Esther Schmidlin, EAPC board member, and a nurse consultant, Equipe Mobile en Soins Palliatifs, Reseau Ascor, Vevey, Switzerland
It is always stimulating to come to a congress where themes about your own work are presented and discussed. Effects and feasibility studies of psycho-educational intervention that help families to cope with cachexia-related distress; the particularities of communication with elderly patients about death, dying and end of life preferences; qualitative studies that explore the experience of caregivers, when managing patients’ medication at the end of life (it can be frightening!). These are the topics that are relevant in my daily practice as a palliative care nurse consultant and I have some thoughts on how to include these insights into my own practice.
Some personal highlights of the congress
The idea to address aspects of palliative care such as ‘severe illness and strategies to deal with it’ with a young population, such as high school students, seems like an interesting approach to further health literacy and community involvement.
Discussions about innovative education interventions, such as ‘Practice-based Small Group Learning (PBSG)’, inspire me to reorganise some of my teaching methods. I also appreciated learning about the challenging task of a project coordinator of the EU-funded collaborative project: ‘Access to Opioids and Medications in Europe’ (ATOME) – such hard but important work is being done to identify barriers and improve access to opioids on a political level.
However, it was daunting when trying to understand the nuances and meaning in unfamiliar research areas such as genetic variances and their contribution to variations in morphine metabolism, or the analysis of a classification system in cancer pain. Luckily, I don’t have to write a synopsis about those presentations…
Some of the best moments for me during the congress were meeting new, as well as familiar people, and the informal exchanges that were possible during the generous breaks and very enjoyable social programme.
A nurse researcher’s view of the congress – watch the video clip
I was curious how other nurses perceived the congress. Although members of the nursing profession presented much work, delegates from my profession were not easily identified in person. Wandering through the venue during breaks I addressed several clusters of young women: “Hi, are you nurses?” But no, they were not nurses but researchers – proof that I am stuck in old stereotype thinking. At the last minute I found someone who had just finished her PhD in Nursing Science and was willing to be interviewed. Please watch the short video clip with Antje Koller, an expert in pain-self-management. Find out what Antje is doing and what she will take home from this year’s EAPC World Research Congress.
Keep following us…
Please look out for more articles about the congress in the coming days and weeks. Please visit regularly the EAPC website where congress presentations will soon be available.