ECND22: Celebrating cancer nurses in Europe
“It’s time to celebrate nursing and to value cancer nurses.”
– Professor Daniel Kelly, Chair of Nursing Research at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
The pandemic has drastically affected nursing staff worldwide.
In the UK, the RCN took a survey in October 2021. It revealed that over half of the respondents (all nurses) were either thinking about or already planning to quit their jobs.
In the same survey, three-quarters of nurses worked beyond contracted hours. Two-thirds were unable to take their full annual leave, felt under “too much pressure” at work or were too busy to provide the highest level of care. In Europe, the stories are similar, evident from our interviews with Dr Matti Aapro and Dr Andreas Charalambous.
Now more than ever, the pressures on cancer nurses have pushed them to breaking point. Burnout. Stress. Waning resilience. These factors are driving many experienced, highly-trained nurses from their professions, affecting cancer patient care and quality of life.
Professor Daniel Kelly emphasises this, insisting:
“Cancer nurses are central to all effective cancer care programmes. It doesn’t matter which country, or which cancer, we think about; without a well-educated and motivated nursing workforce, standards of care, and cancer outcomes, will be impacted negatively.”
WATCH: Professor Daniel Kelly discusses the latest policy developments in HPV cancer elimination and the gender-neutral vaccination plan.
That’s why European Cancer Nursing Day on 18 May 2022 (ECND22) celebrates ‘supporting cancer nurses in caring for themselves and patients’.
The campaign, run by the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), has several different goals to support cancer nurses in Europe:
- Importance of self-care and wellbeing
- Occupational health
Each of these factors impacts the quality of patient care. To help raise awareness, EONS are running a new social media initiative. Entitled #ECND22Go4SelfCare, it’s designed to encourage others to share banners, posters and key messages from a digital toolkit that address important cancer nursing issues.
Professor Daniel Kelly champions the cause, adding:
“Cancer patients really value their cancer nurses; this week serves to remind us all how valuable nurses are to the delivery of safe and effective cancer care.”
touchONCOLOGY supports European Cancer Nursing Day and its campaign to raise awareness around crucial issues cancer nurses and their patients face. You can learn more about cancer care’s ongoing successes and challenges by diving into our library of video interviews, conference highlights, journal articles, and clinical trial updates.
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