In these challenging times for all healthcare professionals, IBD Nurses continue to be an important part of the multidisciplinary team in managing patients with IBD. Many nurses have multiple roles and responsibilities and provide a variety of services. The exact extent and depth of care and services provided vary from country to country, depending on the education levels, the local requirements of the patients and the gastroenterology team, and the professional regulations in the individual county.
The IBD Nurse provides support for patients throughout their diagnosis and treatment, co-ordinates safe management of patients on biologics or other therapies, provides telephone consultations (advice line or helpline) and performs or assists during endoscopic procedures. Many nurses are also involved in management, education, research and further service development as part of an advanced IBD Nurse’s role.
The experience and the level of education of the IBD Nurse play a pivotal role in ensuring adequate support for IBD patients. Two years ago, ECCO developed a comprehensive practical education programme for IBD Nurses that aims to increase the number of IBD Nurses and enhance their role across Europe. The programme takes place in one European country per cycle. The ECCO IBD Nurse Education Programme provides a great opportunity for nurses in the selected country to deepen their knowledge and develop skills, to better define their role as IBD Nurses and thus contribute in improving the care of people with IBD.
The 6-month programme consists of three pillars:
Each participant has two mentors to guide them through the programme and assist with any language concerns. One is an established IBD Nurse from either the host country or another ECCO Member Country. The second is a clinician in the nurse’s own hospital.
The first programme took place in Italy in 2018–19 and the second programme was planned for 2020–21; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plans were delayed until 2022.
The pandemic impacted IBD Nurses in many ways, and we would like to understand how you and IBD services in your country have been affected. N-ECCO, in collaboration with researchers from King’s College London and Greenwich University (United Kingdom), have developed a survey that aims to understand the impact of COVID-19 on IBD care services across Europe. The survey should take 15–20 minutes to complete. We would like as many nurses as possible to complete the survey in the next two weeks. You can do this by clicking on the link here: https://kings.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/ibd-covid-19-survey.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.