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Testimonials from Nurses Grant Recipients

Nurses Group
Nursing Research Committee
Nursing Scientific Committee
Nursing Paediatric Committee
Nursing Global Education Committee

The Annual Meeting through the eyes of nurses delegates

The EBMT Nurses Group offered special grants of up to €1000 for young nurses, new to the field of HCT, to attend the 50th Annual Meeting of the EBMT in-person in Glasgow from 14-17 April, 2024. Please read the recipients' testimonials:

Lucija Kralj

Paediatric Nurse, Clinical Hospital Center Zagreb, Croatia

"This year I attended the Annual Meeting of the EBMT in Glasgow. I am honored and pleased to have received an award or financial support for young nurses from EBMT. Also, such a large organisation can encourage us to further education and improvement in our profession. My review of this year's gathering is extremely positive. Being around people with whom you can exchange experience and knowledge is very challenging and exciting. I think that more awareness should be raised among colleagues that this experience is very useful and that everyone should participate in the EBMT event more often. In this way, we can contribute to the greater progress of nursing. Once again thank you EBMT organisation for allowing me to participate in the congress this year in Glasgow. I hope to see you again soon."

Annual Meeting 2024 Lucija Kralj
Lucija Kralj and her colleagues, Valentina Milinkovic and Valentina Pomper Vragovic

Carmel Galligan

Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Post HSCT & ECP, St James Hospital, Dublin, Ireland 

“Attending EBMT 50th Anniversary and 40th Nurses Group Annual Meeting provided me with the best opportunity to network with UK and European and International colleagues all in the field of HCT and Cellular therapy. This collaboration provides me and our team in Dublin, St James to improve our outcomes, to continue to provide the best available care through our evidence-based practices. It allows me to disseminate my knowledge to other and draw from others. This EBMT was very helpful and beneficial. I have returned to work excited with new perspectives and drive to enhance the holistic approach to HCT nursing. A particular highlight was the back to basic session which was delivered in an effective manner. It highlighted the importance of understanding the core concepts in HCT nursing. Thank you, EBMT, for providing me with the possibility to attend your Annual Meeting. I look forward to next year meeting in Florence already.”

Diana Villalobos

Registered Nurse, HSCT Unit, Luis Calvo Mackenna Children's Hospital, Santiago, Chile

I first heard about the EBMT early on, when I just started this part of my professional development, more than five years ago and I early on started following the EBMT activities, study their guidelines and starting to be part of this new and exciting world.

Every year, the EBMT Nurses Group offers grants to support educational developments. Included in this, was a meeting grant for a nurse from one of the outreach countries that the Nurses Group have worked with, for them to attend the Annual Meeting of the EBMT. So, this year I decided to apply. And it was a very happy occasion the day that I knew that I was going to be recipient of this grant for attending the 50th Annual Meeting of the EBMT in Glasgow, UK. The grant covered for most of my travel fares, being from Latin America, very hight fares indeed, and without the EBMT Nurses Group's support, I wouldn’t have been able to attend the Annual Meeting.
I think I could only describe the experience was "surreal". Seeing so many people, from different countries, different backgrounds, different professions inside the healthcare field... All coming together in a celebration of innovation, advancement of knowledge and with the people that we give care to everyday in mind.

I was primarily focus on the sessions in the Nurses Group. It was truly remarkable that even when protocols change according to each country’s reality, we care for our patients no matter how conditions may vary between them. And not only that, but it was also truly an honour and very empowering seeing nurses thrive in this challenging field, being protagonists in new developments that contemplates a very particular facet of the human reality, when confronted with a condition that threats life, or at least, life as a patient knows it.

A particular session in the Nurses Group, had a patient with GVHD as its speaker. Having seen the effects of GVHD on my own patients (mostly small children and prepubescents), I was particularly interested on earing what this adult man was going to say. He not only talked about how his life turned upside down with his cancer diagnosis, and the knowledge that he will have to go through a bone marrow transplant, but how GVHD subvert every expectation he had, and now must live with this condition and how even the smallest aspect of his life needs to take GVHD into account. He went on saying how his nursing staff was an indispensable support along all the way. One phrase that will be forever stuck in my head "you nurses know more about GVHD of what you think you know”, he was referring to that special relationship that is born between a nurse and their patients and see it as an asset that we, nurses, must cherish, cultivate, and put in service of our work, because nursing it's irreplaceable."

Annual Meeting 2024 Diana Villalobos
Diana Villalobos (left) and delegates from Chile

Evi Sprangers

Quality Coordinator in Haematology and HSCT, University Hospital Gent, Belgium

"The conference was a highly enriching experience with a packed agenda that catered to a diverse range of interests within the nursing community. The event was a blend of educational sessions, interactive discussions, and "Meet the Expert" sessions that brought together professionals around a sharing topic to discuss. 

The conference featured a well-structured and comprehensive program that covered a wide range of topics relevant to nursing practice today. The agenda was thoughtfully created to give participants the opportunity to learn, network and interact. One of the challenges faced by attendees was making difficult choices due to the simultaneous scheduling of multiple interesting sessions. With so many compelling topics presented at the same time, it was often hard to decide which session to attend. The possibility of re-watching the different sessions in the "on demand" catalogue is definitely an added value and makes choosing which sessions to follow live just a little bit easier.

The nurse conference offered a diverse range of topics that appealed to various nursing specialties. Whether it was a session on apheresis techniques, pediatric care, or patient-donor relations, there was something for everyone. This diversity ensured that all nurses, regardless of their area of expertise, found content that was relevant and engaging for them. The enthusiasm of the speakers was infectious, and their presentations were complemented by engaging discussions and insightful questions from the audience. The interactive nature of these sessions fostered a collaborative learning environment that was both stimulating and rewarding.

The "Meet the Expert" sessions were particularly well-received, offering attendees the opportunity to interact with experts and gain insights from their wealth of experience. These sessions were highly informative and appreciated.

A heartfelt thank you to the organizers for putting together such a fantastic event. Their hard work and dedication were evident in every aspect of the conference, from the choice of topics to the seamless execution of the program. 

The 50th annual EBMT meeting was a resounding success, offering attendees a valuable opportunity to learn, connect, and grow. With its diverse offerings, enthusiastic speakers, and engaging sessions, it proved to be a truly enriching experience for all who participated. We look forward to future editions and the continued growth and development of our nursing community."

Sunshine Carpendit

Senior Staff Nurse, Haematology Day Unit, King's College Hospital NHS Trust Foundation, London, UK

"Attending the 50th Annual Meeting of the EBMT has been my greatest decision. I am very grateful for this opportunity to learn, connect, and discover the amazing team behind this remarkable scientific progress on BMT and cellular therapy. One thing I love about this event is the way they involve patients in their talks. Sharing their stories is very brave of them and also rewarding for the team that has been involved in their journeys. Their words somehow reminded me  of the passion I have lost along the way; I’ll try and pick it up again. As a nurse, it sometimes gets tough looking after many patients, but every day I’ll keep reminding myself of the little things we do that mean a lot to our patients who are having a rough journey with their treatment. Kudos to the team for organising this beautiful event. I look forward to a brighter future, hoping that one day patients will feel less pain and more hope, which I believe is highly possible because of this organisation’s continuing efforts in research and scientific progress in BMT and cellular therapy. See you again!"

Annual Meeting 2024 Sunshine Capendit

Silvia Gnecchi

Nurse in Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

"Enthusiastic to have attended my first Annual Meeting of the EBMT. It has been a great opportunity to get connected with international healthcare providers: sharing ideas, projects and experiences. Personally I really appreciated the Patient, Family and Donor Day which highlighted the central point of assistance: taking care of people and not just curing the disease.

The Nurses' programme as well as the Next Generation Group included interesting insights of the profession in the BMT field. In particular, I enjoyed educational and training topics: ward-based nursing teaching, early career challenges, ethical-moral implication and young patients caring. One point I would like to discuss with my colleagues is the promotion of a structured mentorship programme for new recruited nurses in my BMT unit.

Finally I directly contributed to the Nurses Poster Session by presenting my abstract titled: "Teach-back method in onco-hematological patients' education: a scoping review". It was a great opportunity to present my project and to provide advice to colleagues who would like to introduce this educational approach in BMT and oncological wards."

Annual Meeting 2024 Silvia Gnecchi

Laura Middleton

Haematology Clinical Educator, Sheffield Teaching Hospital, UK

"The Annual Meeting of the EBMT 2024 has been a beneficial experience for my colleagues and myself. 

Our first experience of the meeting has been one of great welcomes and positive outlook for the future of EBMT and of our trust. The initial Opening Ceremony could not have been more enlightening with the introduction to the origins of EBMT and how the congress was born from so few passionate people to discover that the passion and dedication lives on and only continues to grow. 

The opportunities that the EBMT Annual Meeting provides from networking with the experts and those who like yourself are still meandering through the complex world of transplant to the myriad of representatives from the drug companies who are on hand to help plan further education in your local areas. The congress was organised beautifully to allow you to access different sessions and explore the work of many in the poster area tying together the wealth of research and knowledge available to you. 
As first experiences go this was certainly a positive start that has not only inspired us to be at the next one but has given us food for thought about what we as a team are going to bring to the congress from within our humble team of experts."

Annual Meeting 2024 Laura Middleton

Beatrice Molteni

Paediatric Nurse, Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Unit, Regina Margherita Children's Hospital, Turin, Italy

“Participating in the Annual Meeting of the EBMT was a significant step in my training in the field of transplantation. 

The opportunity to engage with professionals from around the world provided the best platform for sharing ideas and clarifying future objectives I intend to implement at my centre. The wide range of concurrent sessions offered continuous stimulation to delve into or approach various topics. 

Even though the role of nurses in Italy has yet to receive recognition proportionate to their skills and responsibilities, it was valuable to hear firsthand accounts from nurses in countries where the nursing profession enjoys greater recognition. 

I am currently advancing my training in CAR-T therapy, and it was highly educational listen to presentations on this subject and patient management undergoing CAR-T therapy in other countries.

From my perspective, attending the annual meeting further reinforced the importance of continuous education. In this regard, I am currently initiating a project within my team to enhance the training of nurses and facilitate the exchange of opinions with other transplant centres in Italy.”

Blessing (Nkeiruka) Aziken-John

Registered Nurse at Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria/Lagos University Teaching Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

My EBMT Conference Experience: Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Opportunities

"I was thrilled when my abstract was accepted for an oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the EBMT, and even more so when I was nominated as a finalist for the Best Research Oral Presenter Award. To top it off, I received a grant from EBMT, which was contingent on my physical attendance at the conference in Glasgow. Unfortunately, my visa application was denied twice, leaving me devastated.

In the face of this challenge, the EBMT Congress team generously offered me the chance to pre-record my presentation, which was then played during my scheduled time slot. While I couldn’t be there in person, I was able to watch my presentation virtually. Initially, I thought the grant would be forfeited, but upon contacting the grant team, I was relieved to learn that I would still be reimbursed for my expenses. This was a great comfort and support.

This was my first EBMT conference, and I had eagerly anticipated being in Glasgow to fully experience everything it had to offer. Despite the circumstances, attending virtually turned out to be a rewarding experience. Though network issues caused some disruptions, I managed to engage with many sessions and even watch my own presentation. The EBMT app was instrumental in enhancing my experience—it was user-friendly and helped me navigate the sessions efficiently.

One of my favorite sessions was the Survivorship session of the Nurses Group, where Nicola Hodge shared her incredible survivorship story. It was truly phenomenal and inspiring. 

It intrigues me to know that I have great support out there, especially as a young nurse in a low- and middle-income country (LMIC) who has chosen Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) as a career pathway. I am truly inspired by the encouragement and resources provided by the EBMT community.

While I know that virtual attendance cannot fully replicate the experience of being there in person, I was grateful for the opportunity to learn and connect. I look forward to attending the 51st Annual Meeting in Florence next year, and I am excited about the possibilities it holds.

Thank you, EBMT, for providing such a supportive and inclusive platform for researchers and clinicians worldwide."

Agnese D’Egidio

Registered Nurse Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS – Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Roma, Italy.

My first experience with the EBMT Annual Meeting was enlightening in many ways.

First of all, I was surprised by the number of different healthcare professionals in the haematology field who gathered, eager to learn new knowledge and techniques and to engage with others. Particularly interesting were the Nurses Group workshops on research tools and the sessions focused on the present and future challenges that young haematology nurses might face. It was important to see how many of the issues I often encounter are the same as those experienced by my colleagues around the world, and trying to find solutions together or simply discussing them was very educational.

The session on patient safety was also of great importance; I especially appreciated how much emphasis was placed on the continuous education of nurses in this area. Indeed, I have focused a lot on this topic in my work and studies, strongly believing that good training for haematology nurses results in improved care outcomes and, most importantly, patient safety.

Finally, I found it very enriching to meet other nurses and compare my experiences with them at the Nurses Networking Corner. Exchanging opinions and work advice and listening to the experiences of very skilled nurses was particularly stimulating and made me want to commit even more to my training in the haematology field.