In 2006 a working group was established with the aim to unite the heart failure nurses in Belgium. Since 2010 the official name of the working group is ‘Belgian Heart Failure Nurses’ (BHFN).
The BHFN are part of the larger working group ‘Belgian Working Group for Cardiovascular Nursing’ (BWGCVN) since 2011. There is also a collaboration between the BHFN and the cardiologists of the ‘Belgian Working Group on Heart Failure and Cardiac Function’ (BWGHF).
The working group consists of Dutch and French speaking nurses who help in the specialized care for patients with heart failure, based on the most recent European heart failure guidelines.
The current objectives of the Special Interest Group ' Belgian Heart Failure Nurses ' are
- Facilitate networking between heart failure nurses.
- Promote the expertise of nurses involved in heart failure care by offering educational meetings/programs.
- Identify recent developments in heart failure care and notify the heart failure nurses about these developments.
- Support activities to promote cardiovascular health, for example activities during the ‘Week of the Heart’ and on the ‘Heart Failure awareness day’ (in collaboration with the BWGCVN and the BWGHF).
3 times a year the working group BHFN organizes a heart failure meeting. The meeting is open for Dutch and French speaking nurses who are involved in the specialized care for patients with heart failure.
During these meetings relevant topics about heart failure care are discussed. For example: care for patients with end stage heart failure. Heart failure nurses also share their experiences and give practical advice to each other during these meetings.
The meeting is held in English to bridge the language difference between the members and to encourage further professionalization of the group.
Heart Failure Nurse?
The heart failure nurse works together with the multidisciplinary team for the implementation of a heart failure program in the hospital.
She/He can be responsible for the following tasks in the care for patients with heart failure:
- Individual coaching of the patient with heart failure to improve selfcare management and quality of life by
- heart failure nurse consultation
- patient information at the bedside during hospitalization
- telephone follow-up
- Support in the development of care pathways
- Organizing training about heart failure for nurses working at cardiac units
The job content (tasks) of a heart failure nurses and the way a heart failure program is executed is not fixed and can be determined by the hospital itself