1st Oncologic Nursing Course at the Champalimaud Foundation
In this interview with the members of the Organising Committee of the 1st Oncologic Nursing Course at the Champalimaud Foundation, we got to know more about the team’s objectives, how they intend to achieve them, and the importance they attach to the continual training in nursing in the oncological field as a way to improve care provision.
What are the objectives and scope of the 1st Oncologic Nursing Course at the Champalimaud Foundation?
The 1st Oncologic Nursing Course was seen as a space for sharing knowledge among nurses dedicated to oncology. It aims to promote the professional development of nurses, encourage reflection on professional practices and thus acquire new skills which will consequently improve the quality of care provided to cancer patients.
Why hold this course now?
Last year, we held the 1st Oncologic Nursing Conference of the Champalimaud Clinical Centre and we received great interest and positive reviews, leading us to be even more daring. We decided to compile a more comprehensive and in-depth training programme to meet the concerns expressed by the nurses who care for cancer patients.
How important is it for the Champalimaud Foundation to be involved and take an active role in this type of continuous training for nurses?The Foundation has, at its core, Research and Care. We, as well-versed elements and participants of this philosophy, have a responsibility to cooperate in professional nursing training, promoting occasions to meet and share experiences which will enhance critical reflection and the acquisition of knowledge that will later be integrated into professional practice.
Portuguese nurses are recognised throughout Europe because they have very rich basic and post-basic training.
It is a great honour, but also a great responsibility, which allows the nurses of the Champalimaud Foundation to contribute to the continuous training of their peers.
Were you surprised by the response you received to this first edition of the course?We had no idea how the course would be received, because many institutions do not have sufficient human resources to allow staff members to miss work for 1 week in order to attend external training. We understand that some members have chosen to use their holidays to attend the course. This only increases our responsibility and I hope that in the end, the participants feel that the investment has paid off.
The applications have also shown us that there is another target population of nurses who wish to deepen their oncological knowledge. These are nurses who work in other areas such as surgery, in-patient facilities or primary care, and who have contact with a large number of cancer patients, but do not have specific training in the area. The next course will be created with these nurses in mind.
You are already thinking about the next course, then?
Of course. Our time is always scarce, and sometimes it's hard to reconcile these activities with the day to day work, but we are never short of ideas and willingness. We're the Champalimaud Foundation and so we are always in "future mode".
1st Oncologic Nursing Course at the Champalimaud Foundation Organising Committee (from left to right):
Nurse Alexandra Belchior (Head nurse of the Champalimaud Clinical Centre)
Nurse Patrícia Cortez
Nurse Emília Rito
Nurse Marco Fragata
Nurse Susana Pedro