Women's health, weight loss and behavioural changes were some of many topics discussed by hundreds of practice nurses at the Nursing in Practice Event in Cardiff on Tuesday 12 June.
Women's health specialist Dr Annie Evans talked about silent postmenopausal problems and outlined why patients are unaware of menopausal symptoms. "Women don't know how common their problems are, often find medical terminology confusing and are unaware of the solutions on offer," said Dr Evans.
She therefore urged the audience to "think different and speak up" by using "useful" vocabulary, discussing intimate problems and poorly understood anatomy, and banishing stigma and unwarranted fears.
Jackie Harris, breast health nurse specialist for Breast Cancer Care, highlighted the prevalence of benign breast conditions and suggested the audience keep self-examination simple – know what's normal and report any changes.
Also on the women's health agenda, Amanda Tristram, senior lecturer in gynaecological oncology at Cardiff University, discussed cervical cancer, the newly licensed human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations, and outlined where we are today.
She highlighted the fact that "HPV is a marker of sexual activity not sexual promiscuity".
Discussing weight-management programmes, Cirian-Marie Beddoes, a Northampton registered dietitian, told the audience to focus on the patient's behavioural changes, not only the actual weight loss.
"It is one thing to wanting to be thinner, it is another thing to be motivated," she said.
She also discussed a simple recipe for weight loss: eat less, do more and count calories. She compared calories to money – we have a limited amount of calories to spend each day, and in the same way we check the price tag before buying food, we should check food labels for the calorie amount.
Also talking about behavioural changes and motivation, Ian Govier, registered nurse trainer and facilitator, started the afternoon with a motivational session and inspired delegates to identify and seize opportunities, and create a vision for their clinical practice that will make a positive difference to patient care.
The delegates also heard presentations from speakers including: John Benstead, independent training consultant; Dr Mabel Blades, independent freelance dietitian and nutritionist; Ann Davies, clinical nurse specialist in dermatology; Tracey Gauci, nursing officer for communicable disease; Dr Sue Jeffs, consultant in anaesthesia and pain management; Richard Jones, RCN director, Wales; and Jennifer Percival, RCN tobacco policy adviser.
If you want to hear how Marilyn Eveleigh, our consultant editor and Chair at NiP Cardiff, got on, take a look at her blog.
Nursing in Practice Events will be back in Cardiff next year on 8 April.