Sophia Antipolis, 22 March 2011: The 11th Annual Spring Meeting on Cardiovascular Nursing is being held between 1 and 2 April 2011 at the SQUARE Meeting Center in Brussels, Belgium. The conference, ‘In the Heart of Europe’, will bring together nurses, allied professionals, and cardiologists in a full programme of educational and scientific sessions aimed at improving patient outcomes.
Organised jointly by the European Society of Cardiology’s (ESC) Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions (CCNAP) and the Working Group on Cardiovascular Nursing of the Belgian Society of Cardiology, the event offers experience- and evidence-based insight into the treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Around 500 participants are expected, representing 30 countries including many of the ESC’s member societies as well as the USA and Canada.
Cardiovascular nurses are increasingly taking on wider responsibilities for managing therapy, ensuring patient adherence and adjustment to treatment, and in many countries they also prescribe medication. This has propelled nurses to the centre of the patient care model for both the multi-disciplinary care team and those working in the device and pharmaceutical industry.
The importance of cardiovascular nursing is recognised by the ESC President, Michel Komajda, who will formally open the conference and also deliver the keynote address on the second day. “I am very pleased to be invited to speak at this conference,” he said. “Nurses are deeply involved with patients throughout the entire lifecycle of CVD treatment. Events such as this Annual Spring Meeting are essential preparation for cardiovascular nurses, and the ESC will do all it can to support education and training programmes that improve the quality of care we provide to patients.”
There will be poster and moderated sessions on all CVD topics including acute cardiac practice, heart failure, prevention, diabetes, surgical interventions, devices, and psycho-social issues. Highlights include a regional symposium for Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, and sessions on emerging concepts such as cardiac surgery in the cath lab, involving the patient and public in the development of healthcare services, and reading and interpreting ECG results in clinical practice. The conference programme also contains a number of ‘How-to’ sessions that provide expert advice on implementing best practice by cardiovascular nurses and specialists. Notable amongst these is a session that recommends the best way to run nurse-led cardiovascular clinics.
Through close collaboration with the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), the organisers have put a special focus on arrhythmia, and welcome EHRA President Professor Panos Vardas to give the opening keynote address and deliver two presentations. He will firstly outline the challenges of arrhythmia management using the ESC Guidelines and, in his second presentation, discuss how to interpret ECG results in patients with palpitations.
Professor Vardas acknowledges the remarkable progress made in the training of cardiovascular nurses and members of the allied professions. He said, “The educational standards of nurses and other specialists working in the treatment of CVD continue to improve every year, especially in the fields of cardiac rhythm management and electrophysiology. This great achievement helps our profession and greatly enhances patient care. I am enthusiastic about maintaining the ESC’s commitment to education for nurses and the allied professions.”
CCNAP Chair, Doctor Kaat Siebens, is convinced that the Annual Spring Meeting is a valuable event. “The scientific programme is highly relevant to all of our members, not only the cardiovascular nurses” she notes. “We have structured the sessions to appeal equally to other professionals such as dieticians, technicians, physiotherapists and psychologists. This means that everyone involved in the treatment of CVD can network, pool knowledge, and learn from each other. This sharing of information helps us keep a close watch on important issues – for instance, the differences in roles and responsibilities across Europe.”
The Mayor of Brussels, Freddy Thielemans, will host a reception at the historic Town Hall on Friday 1 April, giving participants the opportunity to network and greet colleagues. Next year, 2012, the Annual Spring Meeting will take place in Copenhagen on 16 and 17 March.