Irish Association for Nurses in Oncology Conference 2013

    Irish conference has strong patient focus

    Eileen O’Donovan, President of the Irish Association for Nurses in Oncology (IANO) and chair of the EONS Communication Working Group, takes us through the highlights of this year’s IANO national conference, held in Dublin in April.

    Up to a hundred members attended our annual conference, which had the theme “Optimal Outcomes for Patients with Cancer: The Role of Cancer Nursing”. The key purpose is to educate and update our members, but it is a also great opportunity for us and all our members to network.

    Kathy Redmond (key speaker) & Marie Lavin (chairperson)
    Kathy Redmond (key speaker) & Marie Lavin (chairperson)

    Highlights of the day included:

    Milestones in cancer care: reflections from across the sea presented by one of our key speakers, Kathy Redmond. Kathy took us back to cancer care in Ireland in the early 1980s and brought us up to the present day, showing how far cancer care and cancer nursing has come in Ireland. Her talk then moved on to future priorities such as personalised cancer medicine, recognition of the cost of cancer for patients and families, the management of side effects, new side effects, patient compliance with oral chemotherapies, and the increased use of complimentary therapies - these are just some of the topics that need focus and development.

    Audit: Essential element or tiresome task? Our Speaker, Dr Ian Callanan, had the challenging task of discussing audit. Good clinical audits will focus on identifying and promoting good practice and eliminating waste, promoting MDT work and improving patient outcomes. Audit and gathering data numbers does not need to be big but the data gathered must be the right data.

    Panel Session with three cancer nurse specialists presenting on telephone triage, referral process to Triage Breast Clinic, Orla chemotherapies.

    An Advocacy presentation, Is there a role for patients in accessing new treatments? was a thought-provoking topic as it highlighted the difficulty for patients and how vulnerable they are in situations where the cost of a drug outweighs the need!

    IANO President Eileen O’Donovan with SIG national executive members and past president Patricia Fox.
    IANO President Eileen O’Donovan with SIG national executive members and past president Patricia Fox.

    The IANO has recently been successful in affiliating with all the cancer nursing sub-specialities in Ireland so we now have Special Interest Groups (SIGs). To accommodate the various sub-specialities, we had had several parallel breakout sessions on Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer and Colorectal/Gynae-Oncology Cancers presented by some of our medical colleagues. Topics presented:

    • Role of neo adjuvant treatment in breast cancer
    • Update on Vaginal Dilators and sexuality following pelvic radiotherapy
    • Stereotactic radiotherapy for lung cancer
    • Fertility options for cancer patients.

    We also had a poster competition with up to 17 submissions and the winning poster was Addressing safety concerns in the management of patients receiving oral anti-cancer medication.

    For any further details on our event and conference, please contact:
    Eileen O’Donovan
    President IANO.