By Paula Erwin-Toth MSN, RN, CWOCN, CNS
Spring is finally here! At least according to the calendar it is spring but the snow on the ground in many places disputes this fact. Not only does spring herald new life and warmer weather, but it also launches the ‘meeting season’ (no, not ‘mating season’-that is a topic for another site!). Actually major meetings have already begun. The NPUAP biennial meeting was held this past February. The next major meeting on the horizon is the SAWC in May in Denver followed by the WOCN in Seattle in June. In the fall we have both the Clinical Symposium for Wound Care in October and the September SAWC in Las Vegas. Along the way, there are also outstanding regional and local meetings designed to educate, enlighten and invigorate. Some of these meetings are specialty specific, while others are interdisciplinary. Both types of meetings have their benefits and limitations.
These meetings give us the opportunity to stay abreast of cutting-edge technology, evidence-based research and methods to integrate research into clinical practice. On the practical side, we earn continuing education credits required to maintain our professional licenses. Both types of meetings abound with opportunities to network. Interdisciplinary conferences enable us to interact with colleagues from a variety of professions and practice settings; we gain an appreciation of our colleagues' perspectives and the challenges we all face: patient adherence, resources, integrating research into practice, new products and technologies, reimbursement, pain management, regulations and litigation to name only a few. We can stretch our boundaries and gain insight into the entire healthcare continuum. Profession specific conferences immerse us in information relevant to our clinical practice, as well as education initiatives and current research within our specialty. Sharing information and ideas with people who travel the same or a similar path daily can benefit all attendees. All meetings offer the chance to share, vent and explore solutions; some of the most beneficial discussions occur before and after sessions: during coffee breaks, evening activities-even in the bathroom!
There are many other great opportunities for education available through independent study, webinars and distance learning. These courses offer terrific information and many provide continuing education credits but the face-to-face interaction inherent in local, regional and national conferences give all of us a chance to grow, learn, network and expand our horizons. I hope to cross paths with you soon!
About The Author
Paula Erwin-Toth has over 30 years of experience in wound, ostomy and continence care. She is a well-known author, lecturer and patient advocate who is dedicated to improving the care of people with wounds, ostomies and incontinence in the US and abroad.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.