The conference, being held in Panama, has brought together nearly 400 cancer nurses from 34 countries. ISNCC have partnered with the Panamanian Society of Oncology Nursing and the University of Panama Nursing College, to run the conference and delegates were given a warm welcome to Panama with traditional singers and dancers.
Following an introduction from Myrna McLaughlin-Anderson, Jose Federico Hernandez- Pimentel welcomed participants on behalf of the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization, acknowledging Panama’s leadership role in the recent resolution on palliative care by the World Health Assembly and this important milestone in the development of palliative care worldwide. The conference started with the presentation of the ISNCC Past Presidents Award to Xu Bo, Xu is the Director of Nursing in the Cancer Institute and Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and has initiated and sustained a programme of cancer care in China.
Participants were urged to use the conference as both a way of updating themselves professionally but also to take time to make new friends and meet old friends. The programme covers a wide range of topics including all aspects of the continuum of care from screening and prevention, through different aspects of treatment and the provision of palliative care. Presentations also cover care of the elderly as well as children, thus ensuring that there is something on the agenda for everyone. Breakout sessions included presentations on supportive care and treatment, cancer across the lifespan, care for the caregiver, workforce issues, models of care, ethics, genetics, survivorship and innovation in practice.
Plenary sessions throughout the day included a focus on oncology nursing in Latin America, Asia and global issues. The final session being given by Dr Betty Ferrell, recipient of the Distinguished Merit Award, looking at the Global Imperative of Palliative Care with a focus on the work of the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC). She shared the need for palliative care around the world and examples of the way that ELNEC has contributed to that development.
In her introduction, Myrna McLaughlin-Anderson, commented on how excited they were that ISNCC has come to Panama, and what it means to them in the recognition of all that is happening in cancer nursing in Panama.