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Career opportunities for gastroenterology nurses.

NZNO's Gastroenterology Nurses' Section (GNS) annual conference, held alongside the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology annual scientific meeting, was held in Blenheim from November 15-17. More than 100 nurses from throughout New Zealand attended. The keynote speaker was nurse endoscopist from the Royal Wolverhampton Hospital in the United Kingdom, Sarah Harnden. She spoke about her pathway from nurse to nurse consultant in gastroenterology. She has her own clinics, trains registrars in aspects of endoscopy, and has several endoscopy lists per week. This is a career opportunity that should be investigated by nurses in New Zealand.

Nelson Hospital microbiologist Richard Everts spoke about infection control and endoscopy, the importance of thorough manual cleaning of hollow flexible endoscopes before processing in an automated endoscopic processor, and the importance of hand washing. Everts is a member of the Standards New Zealand committee for microbiological testing of hollow flexible endoscopes. The handbook published by Standards New Zealand was presented as a very good guide at the Australian gastroenterology week I recently attended. It made me proud of the standards we adhere to here.

There were several educational awards for nurses who had presented at the conference or had published articles in the GNS journal The Tube. Winners were Thomas Todd of Auckland, for his article on plume extraction; Bronwyn Scully of Waikato, for her presentation on advancements in technology to treat and examine the oesophagus, stomach and small bowel; and Debbie Levet from Waikato Hospital, who presented a paper on a multidisciplinary team facilitating colonoscopy procedures on 187 patients. This was a funding initiative to address the surgical screening colonoscopy waiting list. These winners were well deserved and their presentations will be published in upcoming issues of The Tube.

The support from trade exhibitors was amazing and something all attendees valued. The exhibitions provided a wonderful opportunity for doctors and nurses working in endoscopy to examine new technology, network and discuss issues relevant to their practice.

NZNO professional nursing adviser (PNA) Charlotte Thompson was welcomed at the GNS AGM. She has replaced Susanne Trim who was the PNA for the section for eight years. Four new members were elected to the committee, as three had served their time and one member had resigned. We have tots of work to do this coming year to ensure the new members are supported in their roles. We hope to have a new editor of the journal as well, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Congratulations for organising such a successful conference must go to the nursing convenors on the organising committee Judith Diamond and Suzanne Simmonds from Blenheim.

Report by section chair Sherry Sharp
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Title Annotation:SECTION/COLLEGE NEWS; job opportunities for nurses
Author:Sharp, Sherry
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Dec 1, 2006
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