June 15, 2006 – Nurses play a key role in the multidisciplinary health care team to prevent, treat, and control high blood pressure.

The 16th European Meeting on Hypertension held its first-ever session on the role of nurses in treating cardiovascular (CV) disease. Participating in the session are representatives from the Hypertension and Cardiovascular Risk Nurses’ Group.

Information campaigns for prevention, detection of CV risk factors, and health education to improve treatment, monitoring, and control of risk are important services provided by nurses, and result “…is to reduce global CV risk, promoting the self-care, and quality of life in the patient,” said Josep Gutierrez, from the Hypertension Unit at Lleida Hospital, University Arnau de Vilanova, Spain, a speaker in this session. Nurses also have a positive impact on the lifestyle changes needed to treat hypertension.

The Hypertension Interest Group of the European Dialysis and Transplant Nurses Association and European Renal Care Association (EDTNA/ERCA) were also represented in this session, and highlighted the need for specific training in the field of hypertension and cardiovascular risk, and the necessity to promote research and to increase the awareness in nursing colleges to provide training in these areas.

Gutierrez noted the need to improve the level of communication between all members of the health care team, and that nurses play an important role in ensuring patients follow their treatment. “If a patient,… does not follow his treatment, the therapeutic objectives set out by the health care team more than likely will not be reached.”