Nursing sessions well attended, despite early start. Good to see so many nurses and midwives attending and presenting at the sessions here in Helsinki. Lots of high quality presentations from great speakers.
The week started well on Sunday with a precongress course on epigenetics. Eight speakers guided delegates through understanding epigenetics, the impact of diet by way of the Dutch famine, stress, lifestyle, the influence on gametes and embryos of culture medium and freezing, and ultimately the impact that all these factors have on children.
The Paramedical Board were most flattered to see Henry Leese in the audience, who told me he had learnt a lot!
Epigenetics then seemed to weave a route through most of the main meeting sessions I went to.
Invited sessions were well attended in spite of early starts. Kelly Tilleman gave a talk on fertility preservation for transgender patients prior to transition surgery, highlighting their centre’s approach and the legal requirements in different countries. Fascinating for me as I had recently met a family seeking information about future fertility for their 14-year-old contemplating gender reassignment.
The nurse’s role in improving patient satisfaction was definitely a theme in the oral abstract and invited sessions – using patient-centered assessment tools to improve pain control for patients with endometriosis or nurse support for fertility patients who achieve a pregnancy.
Changes and reorganisation of accepted custom and practice was the theme of a presentation by Jolieneke Schoonenberg- Pomper, a former Chair of the Paramedical Board. She urged nurses to take on tasks often more associated with clinicians – for example, ultrasound scanning. The clear message was that with appropriate training and assessment of competence nurses and midwives could learn this skill. Benefits include good levels of patient satisfaction, efficient use of clinic time, cost effective and raised levels of job satisfaction.
All the sessions were well received and stimulated questions from the audience. Already looking forward to next year.
Helen Kendrew, Chair of the Paramedical Group