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Student conference attracts leading cancer experts

10 October 2018 @TeesUniNews


Cancer experts from across the country have visited Teesside University to attend a conference organised by nursing students.

Delegates at the Discover Oncology student conference,
Delegates at the Discover Oncology student conference,

More than 250 people attended the School of Health & Social Care’s annual student conference, the theme of which was Discover Oncology.

The two-day conference hosted speakers from a range of regional and national healthcare organisations including the Rutherford Cancer Centre, South Tees NHS Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Care, Anthony Nolan Trust and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The subjects covered in the conference included mental health and cancer, palliative care, cancer screening and the role of a GP in cancer care.

There were also moving stories about how cancer had affected families and individuals.

The conference was organised with a very small budget as an enterprise activity by Summya Hussain, Sophie McCabe and Michael Nertney who are all students on the BSc (Hons) Pre-Registration Nursing programme.

The students thanked everyone who contributed to the organisation and running of the event including senior lecturer Mark Wheatley.

Michael said: 'I decided to get involved with the conference as it was something that interested me.

'I’ve never been involved in a task of this size and I thought it would help to develop my time management skills for when I do qualify and go out into practice.

'It has also allowed me to develop my leadership skills, as the three of us not only took the lead in various areas of the organisation, but we also had to recognise each other’s strengths and weaknesses and encourage and guide each other to help us achieve our goal.

'Personally, it has also helped me to develop my confidence greatly.

'It has pushed me to develop my communication skills when I was contacting potential speakers and having to speak in front of the cohort of around 250 people. 'Speaking in front of a group of people has always been a challenge for me and being a part of this has allowed me to overcome those issues that I had.'

He added: 'I think my personal highlight was a presentation from Karen Harrison. She shared a very personal story with us about her daughter Jessica. It was very moving and it touched many of us in the audience.'

Summya said: 'We are all so pleased the conference went well and has received the recognition it has. There was some unbelievable speakers who attended that were all so passionate, enthusiastic and influential.'

Linda Nelson, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement) in the School of Health & Social Care, said: 'This was a fascinating conference with some really interesting and informative, high-profile speakers.

'It was extremely well-run and testament to the hard-work of the students who have demonstrated important entrepreneurial skills by organising the event, sourcing speakers and marketing it to both University staff and students and key external stakeholders.

'Cancer care is a vital area of healthcare and so learning from practitioners and people with direct experience of it is enormously beneficial to our students.'