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Knowledge Development and Dissemination Committee Addresses Need for Educational Materials in Palliative Care and Symptom Management

January 20th, 2016 in Board in Action

by Susan L. Beck, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, United States.  ISNCC Knowledge Development and Dissemination Committee Chair, ISNCC Conference Management Committee Member.

One of the major objectives of the Knowledge Development and Dissemination (KDD) Committee is to improve the utilization of the ISNCC website as a point of access for nurses to find and utilize educational materials. The ISNCC Strategic Plan (http://www.isncc.org/?page=StratPlan) specifically outlined the following activities which the KDD Committee is addressing.

  1. Develop a system for identifying existing international educational resources and linking to these resources.
  2. Review content of newsletter and website based on feedback from educational needs survey and update as appropriate.
  3. Offer educational resources in languages other than English.
  4. Develop links with other organizations that have relevant educational material in languages other than English
  5. Develop dissemination plan for existing educational resources.

The KDD Committee began this process by assessing both the educational needs of our members and reviewing which resources are currently available. The Communications Committee conducted a Needs Assessment via a Member Survey in 2014. The participants included 15 full organizational members and 265 nurses who are individual members or potential individual members of ISNCC from around the world. The three most important categories for continuing education for cancer nurses rated by both full/association and individual members were the same: evidence-based practice in cancer care, management of symptoms and treatment induced complications and cancer prevention and screening.  However, when individual members were grouped by level of income country, the most important category rated by the respondents from high and upper-middle income country was different from that rated by those from lower-middle and low income country. The former group chose evidence-based practice, whereas the latter group rated palliative and supportive care as the most important category for continuing education for cancer nurses, followed by cancer prevention and screening.

Current resources available from ISNCC are located on the ISNCC Insight (http://www.isncc.org/?page=Insight). Three types of Resources are available; in some cases access is only available to nurses who are ISNCC members.

Online Resources (http://www.isncc.org/default.asp?page=InsightResources) which contain a variety of types of resources, fact sheets, guidelines, patient tools etc. Many are focused on specific types of cancer treatment such as targeted therapies and have resulted from special projects funded with generous grant support from industry. Many of these are available in more than one language.

Resources from Past Conferences (http://www.isncc.org/?page=PreviousICCN). This section includes slides (in pdf format) or recordings from the major plenary presentations from International Conferences on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) held since 2006. The ICCN is the longest running international conference for our profession and offers a unique opportunity to meet with international cancer nursing leaders from around the world, in one place, at one time. All recordings are in English.

Webinar Library (http://www.isncc.org/?page=Webinars) The ISNCC Educational Webinar Library features experts in the field speaking on relevant hot topics.  Topics include: (1) Workforce/Workplace Issues and Strategies for Success, (2) Long Term Breast Cancer Survivorship Care – Who will Provide it and What are the Needs, (3) Patient Safety Issues, Including Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs, Infections, (4) Treatment Updates – New Treatments and Their Nursing Implications-Including Target Treatments, (5) New Chemotherapy regimens/Drugs, New Radiotherapies, (6) Psychosocial and Communication Issues, (7) Nutritional Issues in Cancer, (8) Women’s Health Issues in Cancer Specifically Sexuality, Intimacy, and Other Issues, and (9) Abstract Writing, Submission and Presentation Skills. All webinars are in English.

Based on this assessment, the KDD Committee identified a significant gap in educational resources in a high priority area – palliative care and symptom management. The committee decided to create a web-based resource for our members that will include educational materials for nurses as well as patients and families. Resources/information will be shared on the website in ISNCC Resources. ISNCC Insight. The Committee agreed to concentrate on pain and nausea/vomiting as the first topics, as these are prevalent and troublesome symptoms regardless of type of cancer or setting. There are ample resources available for both patients and nurses related to these symptoms and the most efficient strategy is to easily link oncology nurses around the world to these educational materials. Committee members have now identified a “first wave” of candidate resources for the members to review. Criteria for inclusion include the following.

  • Are the materials from a credible source?
  • Are the materials relevant and helpful to ISNCC members?
  • Are the materials no more than 5 years old?

We have developed an annotation template and are recruiting volunteers from member organizations to review and annotate materials in specific languages that may not be represented by our KDD Committee members. We will be evaluating the numbers of individuals who access these resource summaries once they are made available.  If you have a potential patient or nurse educational resource related to pain or nausea/vomiting that you would like us to include, please send it to ISNCC Head Office (info@isncc.org). Stay tuned for an announcement of the availability of this new resource in 2016.

Board in Action: Policy and Advocacy Committee

June 10th, 2015 in Board in Action

by Yael Ben Gal, Schneider Children’s Medical Center, Petach Tikvah, Israel. ISNCC Policy and Advocacy Committee Chair.

Writing my first blog as the chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee, I cannot ignore ongoing changes of the society, politics, economics, environment and health. These changes challenge oncology nurses to involve in cancer control in their daily work.

I would like to share with you about my personal story that happened in my workplace when I was a pediatric oncology palliative nurse there. Ron, a 3-year-old boy, was diagnosed with metastatic brain tumor. He was admitted to my hospital and no curative treatment was offered to him due to terminal stage of his disease. After the doctor broke the bad news to Ron’s family, I talked to his family about an alternative approach of treatment — palliative care — which is different from curative approach. Ron’s family was informed Ron is still moving towards end-of-life, but we’d work hand-in-hand together.  We started to create another reality that gives the meaning of life to Ron and his family. During the last 6 months of Ron’s life, he received palliative care which aimed to provide him with comfort and to help him find possible solutions for improving his nutritional status and symptom control (pain, sleep disturbance, fatigue and emotional distress).

From my personal story, I noticed a question nurses or other health professionals commonly ask when they encounter similar situations is about policy. I see my role of being an oncology nurse as important, as I am not only delivering day-to-day care, but also advocating for policy in my oncology nursing organization in Israel.

The Policy and Advocacy Committee is a new committee of ISNCC which aims to educate oncology nurses about health policy and cancer control, how to influence these policies, and how to advocate for change in their country.  The two areas —policy and advocacy — are vital and influential for the promotion of issues related to cancer control and the role of the oncology nurse.

The committee started from a small group and then expanded to a total of fourteen members, who are all an excellent nurse from all over the world.  Brenda Nevidjon (USA), Greta Cummings (Canada), Jane Marsh (Australia), Rebecca Doherty (Switzerland), Stella Bialous (USA), Margaret Fitch (USA), Georgie Cusack (USA), Cathy Glennon (USA),Anne-MarieDewar (AUSTRALIA), Jane Phillips (Australia), Eva Gallagher(USA), Farhan Abdul Rauf (Afghanistan), and Virginia LeBaron (USA).

You can click here to learn more about us.

We asked ourselves three questions to kick off:

  1. What is the role of cancer nurses in cancer control?
  2. What are the main concerns from a nurse’ perspective?
  3. How would ISNCC address these concerns?

We conducted a focus group at ICCN 2014 in Panama to discuss these three key questions focusing on policy and advocacy. We also made use of this platform to work collaboratively with nurse leaders to develop and implement policy for cancer control.

Topics used for discussion were: (1) Palliative Care (2) Pain management (3) Standards of care (4) Chemotherapy services (5) Educational requirement for oncology nurses (6) Timely access to oncology care (7) Access to appropriate drugs for cancer care (8) Work with nurse leaders from both high and low resource countries to identify strategies for policy development and implementation (9) Global cooperation of sharing knowledge and (10) Promotion of cancer prevention programs.

We prioritized palliative and supportive care as the first topic to start with. We are now in the process of developing a position statement on palliative and supportive care.

I and my team believe that our work is only the first step of a long and exciting road but we are going in the right direction.

Board in Action: Member Development Committee

April 28th, 2015 in Board in Action

by Andrew Dimech, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.  ISNCC Member Development Committee Chair, ISNCC Communications Committee Member.

The Member Development Committee has 13 international members and is chaired by Andrew Dimech. Members of the committee are from Australia, Canada, China, Columbia, Jordan, The Netherlands, United States of America and the United Kingdom. The function of the committee is to sustain and increase membership of cancer nursing organisations within ISNCC, increase membership of national nursing organisations in low resource countries, to expand Special Interest Groups and to collaborate and effectively communicate with members and oncology nurses throughout the world.

Click here to view the Member Development Committee webpage.

There are various membership options within the ISNCC which provide a range of exciting benefits. The membership categories include:

  • Individual Membership – Individual nurses or other professionals involved or interested in cancer nursing.
  • Association Membership – Oncology institutions, hospitals, charities and related organizations. This network is an invaluable international resource of nurses working in clinical practice, education, research and management to advise them on cancer nursing and the nurse’s role in cancer care.
  • Full Membership – National oncology nursing societies
  • Corporate Membership – Corporate companies working with ISNCC in stimulating and supporting an active and cohesive worldwide oncology nursing community.

There are various exciting benefits dependant on the membership category. A full list of member benefits is available on the website www.isncc.org. The membership benefits include:

  • ISNCC Insight – provides a unique platform for nurses around the world to access educational materials that are directly relevant to nursing practice. These materials are complimentary for ISNCC members.
  • Cancer Nursing Journal – the official journal of ISNCC.  Electronic subscription to Cancer Nursing is offered to ISNCC Individual Members.
  • Sosido – an online platform for healthcare professionals to share published research and clinical knowledge, allowing members within a specialty community to connect and broadcast recent work or advances in their field. Individual Members will have access to the ISNCC Community on Sosido. ISNCC members will have access to the Sosido platform and receive weekly email digests summarizing all activity in the ISNCC community.
  • Business meeting of the Society which is held during the International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN)
  • Networking opportunities

Over the coming months the committee is focusing on improving engagement with full and association members. The committee will also be producing a promotional tool kit to showcase the work undertaken by the ISNCC and highlighting member benefits.

The Member Development Committee is also excited to be running the Mentor Program at ICCN 2015 in Vancouver, Canada.  The program enables new delegates to be paired with another ISNCC member who will assist in navigating the conference program, identifying key sessions and providing network opportunities. Delegates can opt to be part of the Mentor Program on the online registration form. We look forward to welcoming all to ICCN 2015 and to ICCN 2016 in Hong Kong.

Board in Action: Communications Committee

April 7th, 2015 in Board in Action

by Winnie So, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. ISNCC Communications Committee Chair.

It is my great honor to write the first blog in 2015 and keep you update of what we have done! Actually, the Communications Committee is a new committee of ISNCC, which aims to enhance the Society’s opportunities to communicate with individuals and groups who foster the improvement of health through cancer control. I am so fortunate to have a group of cancer nurses from all over the world working together. My team includes Cynthia Abarado (USA), Andrew Dimech (UK), Lili Hou, (China), Catherine Johnson (Australia), Wai-man Ling (China), Daniel Kelly (UK), Joshua Menang (Cameroon), and Jane Phillips (Australia). You can click here to learn more about us!

Member Needs Survey

In order to have a better understanding about needs of our members, both Communication Committee and Member Development Committee conducted a survey last year. With great support from our members, we have received a total of 235 responses from individual members and 15 responses from full and association member organizations. The survey results have been analyzed and here are main results of the survey.

I. Factors for joining ISNCC and satisfaction with the Society

Three most common factors for joining ISNCC among members were professional development (52.3%), enrich knowledge in cancer care (45%) and networking and collaboration (43.1%). The majority of our members (>70%) were satisfied or very satisfied with the ISNCC membership. However, a small of members felt that they had insufficient opportunities to participate in the Society or to develop professionally.

II. The three most important categories for continuing education

Evidence-based practice in cancer care (Full/asso. vs. individual: 60%vs.65%), management of symptoms and treatment induced complications (Full/asso. vs. individual: 51%vs.53%), and cancer prevention and screening (Full/asso. vs. individual: 40%vs.41%) were the three most important categories reported by both full/association members and individual members. Members also suggested several topics in relation to these three most important categories for continuing education:

  • Evidence-based practice in cancer care: Research in cancer treatment and care; Integration of research into practice
  • Management of symptoms and treatment induced complications: Complications induced by chemotherapy; Symptom assessment and monitoring
  • Cancer prevention and screening: Screening of common cancer; Role of oncology nurses in screening

We also found that the most important category rated by members varied when they were divided into three different levels of income country. Members from high or upper middle income country rated evidence-based practice as the most important category, whereas palliative and supportive care was the most important one rated by those from low-middle and low income country. In regard to mode of delivery, the majority of respondents preferred to receive continuing nursing education via internet, and face-to-face approach.

III. Factors that encourage members to attend the conference:

The three most common factors that encourage members to attend the conference were conference theme, location and keynote / plenary speaker; whereas financial support from their place of work, conference fee, and location were the three most common factors that influenced members not to attend the conference.

IV. Participation in ISNCC activities

The majority of respondents showed interest in being a volunteer and take part in the ISNCC activities (Full/asso. vs. individual: 100%vs.64%). Full members were interested in abstract review, translation and validation of education materials and course development. Individual members expressed their interests in abstract review, course development and mentorship program.

The survey results were carefully reviewed by the ISNCC Board of Directors and Committees. Member feedback and input will be taken into consideration for future planning of ISNCC priorities and activities.  Thanks again for your great support to ISNCC.

Sosido Network

I think members have received a weekly email from Sosido digest for ISNCC.  Actually, Sosido is an online knowledge sharing network which aims to speed knowledge transfer, promote collaboration, highlight the important research work done by our members. Also, members would receive news and updates from ISNCC through Sosido network. We hope you would enjoy the Sosido community network which links our members closer together.