Interview with N-ECCO National Representative Belgium

BelgiumEveline Hoefkens
© Eveline Hoefkens

Belgium   Belgium

N-ECCO National Representative:
Eveline Hoefkens
Job Title:
 IBD Nurse



What influenced your decision to apply for the role of N-ECCO National Representative for your country?

By being a national representative, you are actively involved in N-ECCO meetings. The yearly national representatives meeting at the ECCO congress is the ideal place to expand your network. You interact with IBD nurses from other countries and share experiences. It is a great opportunity to create an international network. 

What IBD nursing initiatives, N-ECCO Network opportunities or developments in IBD care are happening in your country?
In Belgium we have a national organisation for IBD nurses/study coordinators (BINAstoria). Trough meetings/symposia we provide education, so everyone can stay up to date on the latest IBD news. We create opportunities for new nurses to get in touch with experienced once’s, follow them for a day. This way daily practice can be shared. 

What are the challenges for IBD nursing in your country, both on a personal and on an organisational level?
Every IBD nurse fulfils his/her role differently, has other priorities/tasks. It is a challenge to provide education, ready to implement in daily practice, for a variable group of caregivers. Personally, I am convinced that you still learn every day and that doesn’t always have to be at a congress. A simple phone call of a patient can raise a question you didn’t think about before. That’s what keeps you motivated to stay up to date on the last novelties.

Are you aware of all the opportunities that N-ECCO can offer you?
In April 2018 I had the opportunity to go to St. Mark’s hospital London thanks to the N-ECCO travel award. The N-ECCO opportunities and how to apply for them are well explained on the website.

Is your role as N-ECCO National Representative clear and have you received enough assistance from N-ECCO in this role?
As a N-ECCO National representative I am the direct link between the Belgian IBD nurses and the N-ECCO committee, f. e. for the selection of the candidates for the N-ECCO school. The communication with the N-ECCO office is very clear and easy. I am excited to attend the 1st Council of ECCO National Representatives Meeting in October 2019. It is great to receive this opportunity thanks to ECCO, I am sure it leads to a personal growth and new insights/ideas that can be implemented on a national level.

How would you like to see N-ECCO develop?
I think N-ECCO is on a good way, just keep on moving forward on this track.

What plans do you have in your role as National Representative to promote ECCO to other nurses in your country (including the N-ECCO School, Research Forum and Network Meeting)?
Within BINAstoria we yearly promote the N-ECCO School and the Network Meeting at our bi-yearly meetings. The last years we always have a nice delegation of Belgian nurses attending the N-ECCO activities at the ECCO Congress.

The N-ECCO Travel Award offers nurses an excellent opportunity to learn and share best practice. How do you plan to promote this to nurses in your country?
N-ECCO By sharing my own experience with other nurses, I hope I can gain their interest in applying for a N-ECCO Travel Award. Shadowing another IBD nurse can help you in seeing the good things and those that can benefit from some adaptions in your own practice. It can help to get the quality of your work to a higher standard.

Do you use the N-ECCO Consensus Statements in your country? If ‘yes’, how do you use them? If ‘no’, why don’t you use them?
We don’t use the N-ECCO Consensus Statements in Belgium on a standard way. But personally, I already looked into it several times since I am convinced of the value of evidence based clinical practice.

Posted in ECCO News, ECCO Country Member Profiles, N-ECCO, Volume 14, Issue 3