From QLD to UAE: sharing our nursing knowledge

Cassie Dickens

Earlier this year we named Sunshine Coast nurse Cassie Dickens the recipient of the 2015 Adem Crosby Nursing Award. Cassie used her Award to enhance her professional development by attending the 5th Emirates Haematology Conference in Dubai.

The phone call came through in the late afternoon on a weekday. Ten days later I was boarding a plane to the Middle East as I had been selected as the successful recipient of the Adem Crosby Haematology Nursing Award, which is jointly supported by Team Adem and the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland. The Award provides opportunities for haematology nurses to further their education and have a positive impact within their workplace.

Attending the 5th Emirates Haematology Conference in Dubai was an incredible opportunity, as the guest speakers included well-known medical professionals from the European Haematology Association, the American Society of Haematology, and the Emirates Society of Haematology.

I had been to haematology conferences before, but never outside of Australia and never featuring such prominent identities from within this speciality.

The three-day comprehensive program was fantastic and featured multidisciplinary symposia, case studies, key-note lectures, abstract sessions and workshops. A wide range of topics were covered, including thrombosis, haemostasis, haemoglobinopathy, anaemia, myeloma, lymphoma, leukaemia and bone marrow transplantation.

Many of the lecturers presented their research, which had been implemented to develop “gold standard” management guidelines for various haematological conditions.

The conference also consisted of an interactive evidence-based nursing care workshop which I was an active participant in, discussing the guidelines and policies that shaped the nursing practice within my own hospital on the Sunshine Coast. The nursing workshop covered nursing care of patients with sepsis, GCSF guidelines in febrile neutropenia (nursing management), CLL management of side effects and infusion-related reaction, haemophilia overview and nursing management, ITP and TTP case presentation and nursing management, and chemotherapy-induced anaemia.

Haematology nursing in Australia

This nursing workshop was invaluable; not only did it identify many of the challenges faced by health care providers within the UAE, but it also enabled me to network and develop contacts in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

During the conference’s scheduled breaks, local attendees and I were able to chat about the differences between haematology nursing in Australia and the UAE. Developing these new relationships and having these conversations made our breaks interesting and created an international network for further communication.

Since my return from the conference I have kept in regular correspondence with the people I met in the UAE, and we have been sharing resources and educational materials. I’ve been able to then share this valuable knowledge with colleagues within my local hospital and health service.

I am so grateful to the Leukaemia Foundation and Team Adem for the opportunity that I was provided and know that my attendance of this conference will continue to have a positive impact on patient care and staff mentoring within my organisation.

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