Author: Yulrich dela Cruz, Upper GI Nurse Endoscopist
"The 22nd European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA) conference which was held in conjunction with the 26th United European Gastroenterology (UEG) week in Vienna, Austria was an exceptional educational event. Various topics were covered during the conference from the value of nursing in endoscopy and gastroenterology, to measuring service performance, delegation to unregistered staff, and mentoring and training in order to retain and sustain the endoscopy workforce. Equally interesting were the discussions on future trends in endoscopy, like the use of artificial intelligence and microbiome therapy. Hands-on training on bio-simulators have also been made available to conference participants interested in learning endoscopic techniques like polypectomy, ligation, and clipping.
The ESGENA conference and the UEG week as a whole was an excellent venue for me to learn about new trends and developments in gastroenterology and endoscopy. The questions and comments from the audience after each session kept things interesting and interactive and enabled participants to benchmark their own practices against current guidelines and emerging trends. Moreover, it allowed me to meet other colleagues not only from Europe, but also Iran and Australia, thereby expanding my professional network.
For me, the session that was most valuable was the free paper session where several speakers from different parts of Europe, including myself, presented abstracts about interesting projects and studies in gastroenterology and endoscopy. My abstract, which was about my 7-month journey from Endoscopy Nurse to Nurse Endoscopist, was selected from a pool of thirty entries. Authors of successful entries were asked to present their abstract during the conference’s free paper session. In my presentation, I shared about my experience in Health Education England’s clinical endoscopist training, highlighting both the challenges I faced and the support mechanisms that helped me successfully complete the said fast-track programme.
It was helpful not only because I was able to share about my experience, but because I felt it initiated further discussion or at least sparked interest on nurses becoming endoscopists through an intensive, fast-track training pathway. Similarly, the presentations from other authors, like process optimisation in endoscopy and preparing patients with autism for endoscopic procedures, were also thought-provoking and made me realise how much more I can learn from others.
Managing to win best paper for abstract-based presentations was icing on top of an already amazing conference. It was a pleasant surprise, and as a prize, I will receive free registration and free one night hotel stay for the next ESGENA conference in Barcelona, Spain."
Author: Dr Sophie Arndtz, Clinical Fellow in Luminal Endoscopy
I attended UEG Week 2018 in Vienna on receipt of a BSG Education Committee Travel Bursary. I had not attended an international meeting before, however my sub-specialist interest in advanced endoscopy and current post as a research fellow had make me increasingly aware of the need for international collaboration and dissemination of new findings and best practice.
In addition to the scientific programme, there was opportunity for networking at the Young GI Network’s “Let’s Meet” event, where colour-coded GI themed wristbands were issued as part of an ice-breaker activity to encourage interaction between different nationalities and sub-specialities.
Overall, I found the meeting to be of excellent education value and returned home with increased knowledge and understanding to improve my own clinical care and inspire my ongoing clinical research activity.
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