Tell us a little bit about your background as Coordinator of the Working Group.
I am a nurse and pediatric nurse, and since 2013 I have been working in the oncological field at the Department of Oncohaematology, Hematopoietic Transplantation and Gene and Cell Therapy of the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome coordinated by Professor Franco Locatelli. I have had experience in various care settings from oncology, hematology, transplantation, and since 2017 I have been involved in clinical trials as a study nurse. I became a member of the AIEOP Nursing WG for the first time in 2017 and was appointed coordinator in 2021 with the WG. I collaborate with other national and European scientific societies such as GITMO, SIE, EBMT and SIOPE. In 2018 I obtained the Master’s degree in Nursing Sciences and from 2021 I embarked on the research doctorate course at the Tor Vergata University of Rome. I am the author of several scientific publications, PI of several nursing studies and I actively participate in national and international conferences. I am a Peer-Reviewer for a few journals in the pediatric oncology field.
Tell us about your WG’s history?
The Nursing Working Group was officially created in 2008 with the main objective of creating a stable communication network between the nurses present in the AIEOP centers in order to be able to share experiences, carry out multi-centre research work, plan common child care pathways with oncohaematological pathology.
Over the years, in the role of Coordinator, Elena Rostagno, Anna Bergadano and Moreno Crotti Partel have led the Nursing Work Group making it the expression of the vivacity and competence of the profession in order to guarantee, throughout the national territory, the best quality of nursing care based on the most recent scientific evidence. Several studies have been carried out over the years on the following topics: fatigue, covid, specialist skills, quality of life, burn out, home hospitalization and immunotherapy and CAR-T.
What is the overall goal and in addition a specific current goal of the WG?
The general objectives of our working group are to improve the quality of life of children and adolescents, providing quality nursing care, as homogeneous as possible, capable of reducing disparities between the various AIEOP centers and of promoting research studies useful for improving clinical practice. The main objectives focus on three specific areas:
Training: supporting the dissemination of the best knowledge in the oncohematological field both through national events, such as Nursing Days and the annual Nursing Congress, and with targeted or specialized interventions.
Research: carrying out and coordinating multi-centre nursing studies as well as providing support for the realization of research in the University field.
Information: involving the nurses who work in the AIEOP centers in the various initiatives of the association and promoting the dissemination of news also through a newsletter.
The current objective is to make training and research as multi-centric and homogeneous as possible so as not to create disparities between the different AIEOP centres, enhancing information and continuous updating.
The WG collaborates with the Board of Directors, in which a Nurse has sat since 2018, operating in the specific area of interest and providing expertise on clinical, technological and procedural aspects across individual pathologies by cooperating with the other AIEOP working groups; it is also an external interface with national and international nursing associations (FNOPI, GITMO, EBMT, SIOPE).
What has been your WG’s greatest accomplishment?
The greatest achievement of the AIEOP Nursing WG was to have conceived, designed and implemented the “Little Heroes” project, an educational program created with the unconditional support of Amgen to help healthcare personnel and parents explain to children the disease they suffer from. Digital teaching tools, information materials and video cartoons have been created dedicated to young patients with onco-haematological pathologies. The project available on dedicated APP and web space allows young patients to feel more independent, improving coexistence and acceptance of the disease. Also as part of the project to improve the quality of life of oncohaematological children treated with home immunotherapy, special pediatric devices have been created with an entirely original design and ergonomically designed for children.
What message do you have to the international medical community or what is your hope for the future of your field of work globally?
Foster collaborations between centers in order to increase the flow of information, identify which issues need to be explored with multi-center research and disseminate the results.
Looking beyond the Italian borders, increase intentional collaborations to guarantee comparison with other countries, disseminate scientific evidence discovered in Italy and bring the best known global advances to our centers.