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'Heart to heart' symposium held in Christchurch.

A WIDE range of speakers marked the successful heart to heart symposium organised by NZNO's cardiac nurses' section and held in Christchurch recently. The symposium, the first to be held in the South Island, was organised to promote sharing between cardiac nurses around the country. Section membership in the South Island has increased 70 percent as a result of the symposium.

Rev Martha King-Tamihana welcomed the delegates before the symposium was officially opened by Canterbury District Health Board's (CDHB) executive director of nursing Mary Gordon. She emphasised the professional role of nurses beyond their actual clinical hours of work.

Cardiothoracic surgeon at CDHB, David Shaw, was the first presenter and gave an interesting historical perspective on trends and developments in cardiac surgery. He was followed by two presenters from the Heart Foundation, Catherine Robinson and Mary Morgan, who facilitated an active session on the benefits of regular exercise for cardiac health.

Two CDHB nurses Wendy Cuthill and Ann Young gave a presentation on developing and implementing the chest pain assessment unit at Christchurch Hospital. From this project, a nurse led exercise tolerance test clinic has developed, aimed at reducing triage time in emergency and streamlining clinical tests for people presenting with chest pain.

Rural nurse specialist in Karamea, Jenny Roumieu, spoke on marrying specialist cardiac skills with specialist general skills in a rural setting.

A staff nurse at Nelson Hospital Joy Tomlinson gave an overview of the recently completed, purpose-built, intensive care/ coronary care unit at the hospital. St George's Hospital nurse Deborah Cook spoke on a similar theme, giving a presentation of the planning and development of a cardiothoracic unit and the clinical education programme for staff working there.

The last presenter of the day was CDHB cardiologist and electrophysiologist Iain Melton, who talked on device therapy, such as pacemakers and pacing wires.

Delegate feedback was very positive. Sections represent the importance of the professional arm of NZNO. The section committee will soon start planning for a two-day nursing conference, scheduled tentatively for the end of next year.

--Report by incoming chair of NZNO's Cardiac Nurses' Section and senior staff nurse at CDHB, Judy Ward.
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Title Annotation:section news
Author:Ward, Judy
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Nov 1, 2003
Words:356
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