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GETH Annual Meeting and the Nurses programme

Nurses Group

The Spanish Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cell Therapy (GETH) organised its annual meeting from 15th to 17th of March, 2023 in Málaga, Spain.

The Spanish Nurses Group is integrated in the Scientific Society and works together with other groups in different clinical, educational and research projects. During our meeting we got involved in the different working groups to update projects. The meeting was hybrid so we had approximately one hundred of nurses attended face to face and also virtual attendees.

During the meeting, each working group summarised their last year activity and set the goals for the coming year. Julia Ruiz as the chair of the Spanish Nurses Group presented the following objectives: “Among our aims we will continue with educational activities, promoting research activities and projects. Some of our projects for this year are to continue working on a research study to propose an adequate nurse-patient ratio for HSCT and CT and we expect to publish soon a discharge educational handbook for patients and caregivers. As educational activities we continue delivering transplant courses, and for the coming year we will develop an apheresis and CAR-T therapy courses. One of our major achievements last year, was the release of the guideline Nursing care in patients receiving CAR-T therapy, developed by expert nurses in the field from around all the country. This guideline can be downloaded from the GETH website.

Nurses specific program was held on Thursday afternoon based on latest relevant topics. Our first speaker was Laura Bibiloni, she works as an apheresis nurse at Son Espases Hospital in Mallorca, she focused on new challenges for apheresis nurses due to new procedures that have been recently introduced where training and maintaining professional competence is a challenge. She highlighted how important it is to prevent possible adverse events in our patient by observing closely, being aware of signs and symptoms that sometimes patients/donors may not tell us because they want to continue with donation. Apheresis nurses play a key role in this process.

Our next speaker was Cristina Gallego from Barcelona Clinic Hospital, who shared her long experience in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation outpatient programs. She outlined that these programs must be led by an expert team. Patients and their environment are evaluated before being included in the program. These programs have an important impact on patients. Caregiver has a key role, so their education is essential and therefore it is delivered by nurses through several weeks. Cristina finalized with this quote “It is essential to ensure that the best treatment will be given to a patient, but there is “no profit in curing the body if in the process you destroy the soul” (Samuel H. Golter) pointing out that this program is based on a holistic approach. The Nurses group is contacting Spanish nurses that are working in this field to share experiences and develop guidelines and future studies.

We had the privilege to have as our next speaker Natacha Bolaños, chair of the Patient Advocacy Committee. We asked her to talk about Patient Reported Outcomes, and about patients concerns. She highlighted the results of a global survey where patients reported several symptoms and concerns years after transplantation. As she shared her presentation, we were aware that although we have done some progress in knowing how patients feel, there is still much to do, and we need to work together towards patient-centred care, which is one of the Spanish Nurses Group aims.

Our last speakers were Alfredo Serrano and Lidia Hurtado, Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP). In Spain we are aiming to achieve a national acknowledgement of ANP. In this session there was first a theoretical review of the ANP in different countries, followed by Alfredo´s personal experience as an ANP in ICU in the UK and closed by Lidia´s experience as a hematology ANP in Barcelona. The Nurses Group has great interest in developing the competences of ANP that are involved in transplant and cell therapy in Spain.

This year there has been elections for the position of chair elect of the Spanish Nurses Group. Julia Ruiz will be chair during this year and stepping down in March 2024, when Enric Santacatalina from Hospital Clínico of Valencia will be holding the new position. We give a warm welcome to our colleague!

If you are interested in any other information of the Spanish Nurses Group or you would like to collaborate with us, please contact Julia Ruiz.