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In search of better nursing care for patients

The 4th Regional Oncology Nursing Conference (RONC) held in January brought together close to 200 delegates from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea, India and the United Kingdom to discuss the critical issues and exchange ideas related to oncology nursing. The Conference was organised by the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), with partners Singapore General Hospital (SGH), KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) and Changi General Hospital (CGH).

The three-day event comprising workshops and a two-day conference, served as a platform for intellectual exchange of various aspects of clinical practice, innovations and education, and opportunities for networking to foster future collaborations amongst healthcare professionals in the region.

“Our patients’ journey involves a care continuum where care needs to go beyond the institutions’ walls and into the community setting.

“Connecting the dots” means linking the different aspects of oncology nursing across this care continuum - not only by collaborating with other team members, but also looking at new techniques, innovations, and scientific breakthroughs in new therapies and treatment modalities.” said Ms Diana See, Chairperson of the 4th RONC. Ms See is also Assistant Director of Nursing at the NCCS.

The Conference had the honour in welcoming local and international speakers such as Dr Anne Katz, a clinical nurse specialist and sexuality counsellor at CancerCare Manitoba, who shared about effects of various cancers and their treatments on sexuality, and communication strategies to assist nurses and other health care providers to talk about sexuality with patients of all ages and genders; Dr Deborah Kirk Walker, Associate Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Edith Cowan University, who spoke about the different roles and challenges for oncology nurse practitioners in the tertiary and primary care settings; and Professor Keryln Carville from Silver Chain Group and Curtin University, Western Australia, who shared her expertise on  management of malignant wounds, pressure injuries and end of life skin failure in end of life care.

Workshops, lectures and poster presentations were also held on topics such as cancer rehabilitation, genetic screening, home-based chemotherapy, oncology clinical skills, paediatric and young adult oncology care, community nursing, traditional Chinese medicine in oncology, supportive and palliative care, and survivorship.

Ms See shares that engagement and partnership with the community is necessary to move patient care beyond the acute setting and towards community and home based care. She hopes that the takeaways from this conference would empower nurses and make a difference in the patients’ lives and their cancer journey.

Roleplay: Dr Anne Katz with a participant acting as a patient addressing sexuality issues.

Professor Keryln Carville teaches a participant how to manage oncology wounds.

Ms Mabel Tan, an advanced practice nurse at the NCCS, demonstrates how to care for draining catheters at the Oncology Clinical Skills workshop. 

A poster presentation at RONC.

Thank you for joining us at the RONC!