Sara Colomer Lahiguera
European Paediatric Oncology Nurses Working GroupOne year ago, SIOPE hosted the first meeting of the European Paediatric Oncology Nurses Working Group at its premises in Brussels. On this occasion, representatives coming from different European countries (Austria, Italy, France and Spain) shared their experiences and points of view concerning paediatric haemato-oncology nursing. The aim was to have a clearer picture of the interests, needs, and expectations of this professional category, in order to identify a way to effectively address them from a pan-European and multidisciplinary perspective. Paediatric oncology nurses are first line health-care professionals with a specific profile and a unique role involved in all stages of disease from diagnosis to treatment and long-term follow-up. Several studies have associated nurses’ educational level and specialized training with an improvement in patients’ outcome and decreased mortality (Aiken LH, et al.; JAMA, 2003; Estabrooks CA et al.; Nur Res, 2005) and inversely, an inadequate nursing staffing level correlated with an increase in the hospital stays and therefore a higher risk for complications (Kane, RL et al.; Med Care, 2007). We believe that addressing the inequalities in access to educational resources for paediatric oncology nurses might be a key for the achievement of childhood cancer care gold-standards. However, a standardization of care in the frame of the European countries requires to face challenges like the lack of national paediatric oncology nursing societies, the different academic background and access to nurse education or training, the different organization of staffing levels, the different regulations and responsibilities and scope of nursing practice or even the lack of resources in some instances; but also demands to take into consideration the language barriers, with almost twenty different languages other than English. Therefore, one first step in order to achieve the objectives stated above is to understand the background and to have a clearer picture of the needs, interests and expectations of the European paediatric oncology nurses’ community. This is why, on the occasion of this first meeting in May 2015, participants from the European Paediatric Oncology Nurses Working Group (EuPONwg) proposed to launch a pilot research study entitled ‘Depicting the situation of the Paediatric Oncology Nurses across Europe’. Nurses specialised in paediatric oncology from across Europe were invited to participate by completing an electronic multilingual survey. Conducted by the EuPONwg with the support of SIOPE, the current survey covers topics including demographics, education, the role in the multidisciplinary team, satisfaction at work and nursing research. The collected information will provide interesting data about paediatric oncology nursing in Europe and will benefit the nursing profession by better understanding the most pressing needs and guiding the efforts of the EuPONwg towards this direction. Once finalised this pilot phase, the survey will be extended as broadly as possible at the European level/to the different European countries. The aim of this working group is the creation of an official ‘European Paediatric Oncology Nurses Group’ in partnership with SIOPE – as the established European organization representing all professionals within the paediatric oncology field. If you have any questions regarding the survey or this research project or you are interested in receiving further information of the EuPONwg, please send your requests to email@example.com.