IBD Nurse Education Programme - 2nd F2F Meeting

Wladzia Czuber-Dochan and Petra Hartmann, N-ECCO Members

Wadyslawa Czuber Dochan
Wladzia Czuber-Dochan 
Petra Hartmann wrc 2018
Petra Hartmann

The ECCO IBD Nurse Education Programme was introduced in 2018, with Italy being chosen as the first country to run the Programme. The Programme consists of two face-to-face meetings, one at the beginning and one at the end of the Programme, six online modules that nurses complete as self-directed learning, and a one-week visit to an IBD centre in the home country. The Programme, which ran from November 2018 to May 2019, was coordinated by an experienced IBD Nurse, Simona Radice, with help and support from Gionata Fiorino, consultant gastroenterologist. Both Simona and Gionata work at Humanitas Hospital in Milan, where the face-to-face meetings took place.

The nurses who successfully completed the Programme received a certificate of attendance and completion. Further, they found the Programme to be very beneficial in improving their specialist knowledge of IBD, developing their confidence in providing care to patients with IBD and establishing links and collaboration with other colleagues around the country. Below are a few examples of the comments from the participants regarding the benefits of the Programme:

- “Very well organised meetings in terms of the content and quality of the speakers. I did appreciate the interaction, discussions, and sharing of experiences applicable in real life.”
- “Having the chance to talk with experienced colleagues, both in IBD and in nursing, from whom I had a chance to learn as a nurse and as a person.”
- “Having a chance to get to know about other IBD centres. I have gained more confidence in managing IBD patients, and I would like to make some changes at my centre.”

After the first face-to-face meeting in Milan in November 2018, the participating nurses had 6 months to complete the content of the six online modules and to undertake a one-week visit in another well-established IBD centre in Italy. Nurses were supported by the local faculty, including the nurse and physician mentors. Help and support were always available from Simona and Gionata, and additional support was provided by ECCO Office.

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The six online modules are:

  • Module 1: Pre-reading on, for example, IBD symptoms, diagnosis and role of the IBD Nurse
  • Module 2: The impact of IBD
  • Module 3: UC and CD specifics
  • Module 4: Surgery in IBD
  • Module 5: Communicating, lifestyle and psychosocial care
  • Module 6: IBD nurse issues

The second face-to-face meeting took place in Milan in May 2019. For many participants this meant coming back and meeting friends and colleagues who had been following the same path and experience. The content of the two-day meetings concentrated on: nurse-led outpatient clinics, telephone advice lines, IBD Nurse role development, documentation and audit of nursing care, case study-based discussions and future IBD therapies. The topics generated lively discussions. The sessions were delivered in either Italian or English, depending on the presenter; however, with simultaneous translation all participants were able to take part and contribute to the discussions, as language was not a barrier to communication.

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The overall anonymous evaluation of the Programme provided by the participants indicated that it had enabled them to gain new knowledge and skills specific to IBD, to develop confidence in communication and in giving advice to patients with IBD, to enhance their understanding of the nurse–patient relationship, to improve their problem solving, to gain the ability and enthusiasm to develop new IBD services and to instigate nurse-led research. The nurse and physician mentors also provided positive comments on the value of the Programme. The follow-up evaluation looking at the long-term impact of the Programme on nurses’ role in IBD care provision is currently in progress, and the results will be presented at the ECCO Congress in Vienna next year, at the N-ECCO Network Meeting.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Palle Bager, Karen Kemp and James Lindsay for their idea of developing the Programme and their contributions in putting the content together. We would like to congratulate Simona Radice, Gionata Fiorino and the Italian faculty members for the successful delivery of the Programme! We would also like to thank the ECCO Office, particularly Martina Baeva and Karine David, for their energy and enthusiasm in providing administrative support for the Programme. Finally, special thanks go to all the sponsors for helping to fund the Programme developing IBD nurses across Europe.

The next call for country applications to run the IBD Nurse Education Programme will be open soon. Watch out for the call from the ECCO Office.

Wladzia Czuber-Dochan and Petra Hartmann
IBD Nurse Education Faculty of the 2nd F2F Meeting

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Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, N-ECCO, Volume 14, Issue 3