Post-surgical or post-treatment nursing care for patients having received procedures such as mastectomy, ostomy, chemotherapy or post-traumatic surgery involves ongoing nursing treatment including minor surgery as well as helping them deal with the practical and emotional issues associated with the permanent modifications made to their bodies. This area of nursing receives different degrees of attention and recognition in different regions and medical institutions. Here in Catalonia, the Association of Catalan Nurses in Body Image Management and Aesthetic Dermatology (ACICDDI) has been active for over a year, advocating for the recognition and formalization of these practices. On 27 March 2019 expert nurses, nursing students, and solutions providers from the private sector took part in the Association’s first annual conference, hosted by the Official College of Nursing of Barcelona (COIB).
The Association of Catalan Nurses in Body Image Management and Aesthetic Dermatology (ACICDDI) holds its inaugural annual conference at the Official College of Nursing of Barcelona (COIB)
Núria Cuxart Ainaud and Albert Tort Sisó opened the conference, reasserting the support of the Official Colleges of Nursing of Catalonia and Barcelona for the work of ACICDDI
Doctor Oltra Rodríguez: “Health concepts and practices are experiencing a vertiginous pace of evolution”
Isabel Pera Fàbregas, director of Legal Medicine and Professor at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, as well as co-author of the COIB’s 2017 document Professional Profile of the Nurse in the Area of Body Image Management was also in attendance: “On the road to the acquisition of competencies, we have fought and we have acquired capacity. Now the time has come to exercise authority.”
Breast prostheses: essential for routine life after a mastectomy and before the definite diagnosis that the intervention has been successful, often followed by reconstructive surgery
Wigs for hair loss resulting from chemotherapy or other interventions
The second session of the conference followed the products exhibition, with short presentations by the expert nurses in attendance, all members of the ACICDDI. The session was a roundtable format, moderated by Noemi Arasa Sole, an expert nurse in Body Image treatments who also serves as ACICDDI treasurer.
Noemi Arasa Sole, ACICDDI treasurer, moderated the roundtable in which active ACICDDI members and other experts participated along with the audience
ACICDDI member Merixtell Planas Tura: “The challenge here in Catalonia is to connect the primary care center with the community”
Esther López Carcelle, a biochemist working as Associate Marketing Director at ConvaTec, a provider of ostomy solutions based in the UK, echoed Meritxell Planas’ presentation, in particular with regard to the patient-oriented approach of the NHS. She also argued that a stronger community instinct is at work in the UK, favoring home visits and the creation of support groups and other associations as well as associative networks. Health professionals receive a lot of training and support, there are magazines on every specialty, and information is easy to come by. Nurses derive patients to associations that provide support. In addition, the NHS is proactive and there is cooperation with solutions manufacturers. This translates into better services for the ostomy patient. By contrast, in Spain and Catalonia the associative network is far less developed, and some of the issues surrounding procedures such as ostomy remain taboo. She also warns against reliance on “Doctor Google,” which contains a lot of misinformation.
ConvaTec Associate Marketing Director Esther López Carcelle: “The ostomy patient is better off in the UK than here.”
ACICDDI member Cristina Navalón Pérez: “The loss of excremental function goes through same phases as mourning, and the patient needs accompanying”
ACICDDI member Montserrat López Novella: “Feeling good about one’s own appearance is to feel better”
Eva González López concluded the presentations on a positive note. She explained that nurses in the Gijón are wanted to offer these services and so sought and obtained approval from plastic surgeons. The Spanish government then approved nipples and areola micropigmentation in 2017. Specialized units dedicated to micropigmentation restoration procedures now operate in public hospitals. She is happy with official support and client satisfaction, and stresses that the operations are low risk interventions, with no risk of losing breast implants.
Eva González López, Outpatient Procedures Nurse at the Gijón Red Cross Hospital, cited the positive response and support from plastic surgeons in her region and national health authorities
ACICDDI Founder and Director Núria Sáez Gómez, “Despite what we have seen and heard today, nursing is unfortunately still not considered an independent profession”