The importance of the Sylk Menopause Nurse Bursary

Our blog has been written by Debra Holloway –  a gynaecology nurse consultant at Guy’s & St Thomas’ and the first to be awarded an honorary fellowship by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.  

At a time when NHS budgets are at breaking point, nurses are having to fund their own way attend courses – such as the latest guidelines on menopause. This is where a bursary, like Sylk’s, comes in.

With over 32 symptoms, it is vital nurses stay up to date on the latest menopause guidance

Over half the population in the country will go through menopause yet there is a lack of funding within the NHS to educate health professionals in diagnosing what can be a complex issue.  Fluctuating and declining hormones affect us all differently. With 32 different symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat.  Too often women are prescribed anti-depressants when in fact it is their hormones that need addressing.

There are constant updates and new study guidelines being published on a regular basis.  Nurses need to ensure they are on top of these in order to provide the best care possible for patients.

Menopause Courses enable Nurses to stay up to day with latest treatment guidelines

Interpreting the studies and working out patient impact can be hard. That’s why courses designed around menopause education are so important.  They provide valuable insight and guidance for nurses from trusted sources.  As the nurse role is so varied, it is important to find a course that suits the individual and reflects their role.  The British Menopause Society has an education for Nurse’s page which is very helpful.  It shows the courses that are designed and run for Nurses by Nurses, though Specialist Nurses can also access these courses too.

https://thebms.org.uk/training/menopause-education-for-nurses/

Accessing funding for courses

As study leave budgets continue to be cut, Nurses’ increasingly have to pay themselves to attend courses.  This can be prohibitive.  At a time when menopause awareness is higher than ever, it is important than all health professionals, particularly Nurses, are up to date on the latest treatment guidance.  That is why the Sylk Bursary plays such an important role.

What is the Sylk Bursary?

Sylk Natural Lubricant provide funding for nurses to undertake additional study. The company kindly donates 3p from every sale of Sylk to the Bursary.  Since its launch a few years ago, the Bursary has helped around 80 nurses attend study days.

Donna Loose BSc (Hons) Nursing, Family planning and sexual health lead

“The ability to help with funding enabled me to attend a two day course on menopause which has provided me with up to date information and guidelines for good practice.

I am now able to provide all my patients with sound advice.  For them this means being able to make an empowered choice on their HRT for symptom control improving quality of life and health benefits for HRT.

With the knowledge gained on my course I have also been able to construct a presentation on HRT ‘then and now’ to the general practice in which I work therefore benefitting all staff”.

Jamie Green- Bursary Recipient

“The Menopause Course has been on my radar for a few years now but I have not had the available time or personal funds to attend. This year I am delighted to have the opportunity to attend, at long last! This will not only be an enjoyable learning experience but will help develop my knowledge and skills to better relate to my patients. Working in the education sector my primary demographic is women and as the workforce is ageing many of those women are experiencing menopause symptoms in the workplace. Having the knowledge and skills to properly support them and advise them of their available options is invaluable. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity”.

An example of some of the eligible training days and events

The Menopause Course with Kathy Abernethy

British Menopause Society Conferences, Meetings and Training Days

Women’s Health Concern Events

Any other menopause related training or conferences

How to apply for the bursary

Join the UK Menopause Nurse Group by visiting https://ukmenopausenursegroup.co.uk and fill out an application form.

For more information email Debra.Holloway@gstt.nhs.uk

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