Experiences at the Asian Oncology Nursing Society (AONS) Conference 2021

December 7th, 2021 in International News, Reflection

Author: Ariesta Milanti, BSN, RN, MHC, The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; ISNCC Policy and Advocacy Committee member

It was a great pleasure to attend the 5th AONS Conference on the 18th-19th November 2021 among more than 500 delegates from 17 countries. This conference was held on a virtual platform in respect of the pandemic control. It was held by the Taiwan Oncology Nursing Society (TONS) of China.

In the opening ceremony, it was an honour to see Dr Ching-Te Lai giving the welcome address. All the welcome remarks gave the tone of the conference’s theme: “Innovations of Science and Art in Oncology Nursing”. After the opening remarks, there was a keynote speech by Professor Chien-Jen Chen, addressing the achievements and challenges of the national cancer prevention programmes in Taiwan of China. Another keynote speech was delivered by Professor Patsy Yates from Australia. She underlined that the era of precision cancer care brings the implications for nurses to understand more about the influences of patient experience, to deliver tailored intervention, and to support self-management of the patients. Meanwhile, the second day keynote speaker, Professor Winnie So, emphasised that the cancer health disparities which may occur in the disadvantaged populations should be addressed by using innovations to promote their access to cancer care.

The invited speakers and their speeches are inspirational. They are prominent leaders and scholars who have made a huge number of significant contributions in cancer nursing. Their presentations brought important lessons about the trends and current situation of innovation in cancer science and how cancer nurses can be the innovators to improve nursing practice.

In the oral presentation sessions, I was able to learn from a wide range of research topics from psychosocial care and survivorship to the hospice palliative care. This learning opportunity has widened my horizon and increase my knowledge about what is happening in cancer nursing studies, especially in Asia. In the poster presentation sessions, hundreds of recorded posters were played in marathon. Some of the presenters used text-to-speech application to present, which echoed the technology innovation to address the language barrier. In these sessions, I was also struck by a great number of cancer nurses who have made a difference in their clinical or educational settings to improve quality of care.

Lastly, I was very grateful to receive the scholarship award from AONS and to have an opportunity to present my study in a special award session. This session also invited the winners of excellence awards – cancer nurses with major contribution in research and practice. It was a great honour to be in one stage with the stellar nurses from different countries in Asia. Overall, this AONS conference 2021 was a rewarding and enlightening learning experience to increase my knowledge in cancer nursing.

Patsy Yates presenting to AONS conference 2021
Presentation of Patsy Yates – President, International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC)
Virtual award presentation at AONS 2021 conference
Special award presentation session (clockwise direction: Eunyoung Suh, AONS president; Winnie So, AONS past president, ISNCC president-elect; Sarita Chhetri (India); In Gak Kwon (South Korea); Eun Young Park (South Korea).