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The Ins and Outs of Bowel Disease Conference

  • : Melbourne VIC 3000

Bowel diseases are increasing in Australia today and their treatments are increasingly sophisticated. Bowel diseases have a significant impact on a person’s entire health. Nurses are, therefore, crucial in ensuring patients with bowel disease have the best health outcomes possible. Attend this conference and update your knowledge about:

  • The role of the gut microbiome in health and disease
  • The huge effects of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Nutritional interventions for irritable bowel disease
  • How to troubleshoot challenging stomas
  • Key medicines used in the management of bowel diseases
  • The psychosocial impacts associated with living with a bowel disease and much, much more…

Schedule Day One



Welcome and Introduction


Samantha Dawson

The Gut Microbiome – Where Does it All Begin?

The gut microbiome, a collection of trillions of mostly bacterial microorganisms, is increasingly being recognised as an integral part of the body. More is being revealed about this forgotten organ, especially in relation to the interplay between the gut and health. In particular, evidence now reveals the relationship between the early establishment of the gut microbiome and long-term immune and metabolic health. This introductory session will explain what helps and what hinders the development of the gut microbiome. It includes:

  • How is the gut microbiome connected to health?
  • When does the gut microbiome begin to develop?
  • How does early acquisition occur?
  • What interrupts the early assembly of the gut microbiome?
  • How might this affect long-term health?
  • What restores it – a look at the evidence?


Professor Mark Jenkins

Colorectal Cancer Risks – Prevention and Screening of High-Risk Individuals

Family history is a strong risk factor for colorectal cancer. We now understand which genes predispose a person to this significantly higher risk. Understanding a family history can help prioritise genetic testing and assist people to make informed decisions around screening. This session considers:

  • How does population screening differ to screening based on family history?
  • What genetic mutations can cause bowel cancer?
  • Why do some people opt for genetic testing and others don’t?
  • How can someone reduce their risk if they are a known carrier?



Associate Professor Louis Roller

GORD – What it is and How to Treat It

Gastro-oesophageal reflux and dyspepsia (GORD) are common and uncomfortable health-related symptoms in our society. Many antacid preparations some of which can be purchased over-the-counter, are available for the alleviation of these symptoms. However, they are not without their problems. This session looks at the range of pharmaceutical medicines used to manage GORD and includes:

  • What is GORD?
  • Is it GORD?
  • What are the common medicines used for this condition?
  • How do antacids, H2-antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) alleviate the symptoms of GORD?
  • What are the contraindications and side effects of these medicines?
  • Why the recent controversies regarding PPIs?


Dr Jenny Gowan

Pharmacological Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Anti-inflammatory agents and immunosuppressants are common medicines used in the treatment of IBD. Also, antimicrobial agents may be required, as well as other medications for pain relief and other symptoms. These may be prescribed using a step-wise approach. This session provides a review of these medicines in the context of their treatment of IBD as well as precautionary considerations. It includes:

  • The main types of medicines used in the treatment of IBD
    • anti-inflammatory agents
    • immunosuppressants and biological agents
    • other adjunct therapies
  • The long-term adverse effects of these medicines on the person and potentially nurses
  • How to provide safe advice to patients
  • Considerations when allergies are present



Angela Xiriha

Colorectal Surgery – Challenges and Complications

Surgery for colorectal cancer is a common treatment choice. As such, this session reviews the types of colorectal surgery most commonly performed. It will then focus on how to assess, manage, and treat common complications associated with colorectal surgery. It includes:

  • What are the different types of colorectal surgery?
  • How do they vary?
  • How would you assess and manage the following?
    • Ileus
    • Early and late mechanical obstruction
    • Anastomotic leakage
    • Peritonitis



Melinda Brooks

Preventing Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)

Surgical site infections are one of the most common complications following colorectal surgery. SSIs are a costly, yet preventable, healthcare-associated infection and can severely impact on a person postoperatively. Patient morbidity, mortality, and length of stay in hospital are all affected by SSIs. This session looks at SSI prevention and includes:

  • How should the skin be assessed and prepared prior to surgery?
  • What are the risk factors for SSIs after colorectal surgery?
  • How can SSIs be prevented?
  • How should an SSI be managed if one develops?


Day Two



Clare Osborne & Mila Boado

Our Experiences of Living with a Chronic Bowel Condition

This poignant session commences day two with a story told by a mother and her daughter who both live with a chronic bowel condition. It includes the challenges of the condition and their experience of the care they have received. As well, it will discuss the type of care that has made a difference to their care. An opportunity for questions is included as well as discussion about:

  • Living with gut issues
  • Other hidden impacts of IBD
  • What can health professionals do to better understand and manage bowel dysfunction?


Wayne Massuger

Crohn's & Colitis Australia - “Making Life More Liveable”

Crohn's and Colitis Australia is the peak national body representing the 80,0000 plus people in Australia who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. This brief session will:

  • Outline the role of Crohn’s & Colitis Australia
  • Discuss how Crohn’s & Colitis Australia support people with Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
  • Provide useful resources


Dr Emma Flanagan

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Pregnancy

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to lifelong chronic conditions that affect the digestive tract, of which Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are most common. Women with IBD who are considering pregnancy or who may be pregnant require specialised support and care. As the prevalence of IBD in Australia is one of the highest in the world and is increasing, midwives and nurses are likely to care for women with IBD. This session provides a comprehensive review of the care for a woman with IBD across the perinatal period. It explores:

  • What is IBD?
  • Is fertility affected by IBD?
  • What preconception counselling is required?
  • What are common pregnancy-related IBD issues?
  • Is there a relationship between IBD, pregnancy, low birth weight, and premature delivery?
  • Does IBD impact the type of delivery a woman might have?
  • Are there considerations for postnatal care, including breastfeeding?



Carmen George

Troubleshooting Stomas – A Guide for all Nurses

All nurses, regardless of the area of practice, benefit from feeling confident when caring for a person with a stoma. Being able to answer a patient’s questions and troubleshoot common complications is essential. As such, this practical session focuses on how to troubleshoot and confidently discuss the following:

  • Skin integrity and breakdown
  • Bleeding
  • Wind
  • Odour
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation



Jamee Barugh

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – A Nutritional Perspective

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic condition that affects people of all ages. A person’s health and wellbeing is known to be directly impacted by certain foods. This session aims to enhance nurses’ knowledge about IBS, with a focus on nutritional interventions. It includes:

  • What is IBS?
  • How does IBS differ from IBD
  • What are the effective dietary interventions for IBS and why?


Dr Antonina Mikocka-Walus

Psycho-Gastroenterology – A Holistic Approach to Bowel Disease

Psychological support for people living with a lifelong illness dramatically improves health outcomes. How well equipped are you at being able to recognise when this may be needed? This session explains psycho-gastroenterology. In so doing it will help you to understand the far-reaching effects of lifelong bowel disease on a person. It includes:

  • What are the links between the brain and the gut?
  • How can psychological and psychiatric interventions modify disease activity?
  • How does stress affect the gut?
  • What is the relationship between anxiety, depression, and gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS and IBD?



Ros Ben-Moshe

Healthy Brain, Healthy Body, Healthy Bowel – The Key to Healing?

While the mechanics of mind-body links are still being unravelled, your brain and, consequently, your thoughts and emotions do play a role in your experience of physical pain. Optimal healing is hindered if the body is in a state of stress, pain, or anxiety. This final session will explore:

  • Visualisation and guided meditation practices to assist healthy gut functioning
  • Mindfulness practices to promote healing
  • Deep breathing exercises to elicit the relaxation response and to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Endorphin boosters – the body’s natural pain inhibitor to assist with pain and enhance subjective wellbeing


The Goal Need for Program

The incidence of people with bowel disease varies in Australia with some, such as inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer, being common disorders. They are, by nature, anxiety-producing and may cause very uncomfortable symptoms. Current evidence suggests that the timely management of these conditions and best-practice care is imperative if wellness and quality of life is to be preserved. Nurses frequently connect with patients who have disorders of the bowel and are key in their support and in achieving desired outcomes.

Purpose of Program

This conference provides evidence-based knowledge to promote best-practice nursing care of people with bowel conditions.

Your learning outcomes:

Correlate information obtained from a nursing assessment of a patient’s health to develop appropriate care plans

Use current knowledge about bowel-related disorders and their management to promote best outcomes for patients across the continuum of care

Support patients in your care to deal with the anxieties and emotional strains associated with a bowel disorder

Use information relating to bowel health to promote prevention of disorders and to educate patients


Angela Xiriha

Angela Xiriha

Angela Xiriha is a clinical nurse specialist who has worked in the Gastrointestinal Care Centre at St Vincent's Hospital for ... Read More

Samantha Dawson

Samantha Dawson

Samantha Dawson is a doctoral student supervised by Professor Felice Jacka from Deakin’s Food and Mood Centre, based at the ... Read More

Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins

Professor Mark Jenkins is the director of the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Melbourne. He is ... Read More

Louis Roller

Louis Roller

Associate Professor Louis Roller has been an academic at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Monash University for over ... Read More

Jenny Gowan

Jenny Gowan

Jenny, a practicing pharmacist, is a teaching associate at Monash University, Melbourne. She is a member of the PSA Branch ... Read More

Melinda Brooks

Melinda Brooks

Melinda Brooks has worked in wound management for more than 20 years in a variety of settings, from the Victorian ... Read More

Mila Boado

Mila Boado

Mila Boado, a mother of two and a nanny by choice, has had her bowel removed as a result of ... Read More

Clare Osborne

Clare Osborne

Clare Osborne is 21 years old and in 2017, was diagnosed with Ileal Crohn's. She works as a receptionist and ... Read More

Wayne Massuger

Wayne Massuger

Wayne Massuger is a Project Manager, Crohn's & Colitis Australia. Wayne holds a Graduate Diploma in Community Nursing and a ... Read More

Emma Flanagan

Emma Flanagan

Dr Emma Flanagan is a gastroenterologist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne who works with Associate Professor Sally Bell in ... Read More

Carmen George

Carmen George

Carmen George has been a stomal therapy nurse since 1986. Since then, stomal therapy nursing (stoma, wound, and continence) has ... Read More

Jamee Barugh

Jamee Barugh

Jamee Barugh is a clinical dietitian at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. Jamee graduated in 2007 with a Postgraduate Diploma in ... Read More

Antonina Mikocka-Walus

Antonina Mikocka-Walus

Antonina Mikocka-Walus (MA(Psych), PhD), is an associate professor of psychology at Deakin University. She is also visiting an associate professor ... Read More

Ros Ben-Moshe

Ros Ben-Moshe

Ros Ben-Moshe is director of LaughLife Wellbeing Programs, a leading provider of wellbeing, mindfulness, and laughter wellness programs. LaughLife delivers ... Read More

The Ins and Outs of Bowel Disease Conference
Speciality Classification
Provider Type
11 Hours | 0 Mins
Start Date
End Date
CPD Points
11 Hours | 0 Mins
Price Details
$590.00 (two days)
Melbourne VIC 3000
Melbourne Oaks On Collins , 480 Collins St
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