Critical Care Nurses: Heading Home to ‘Focus the Flame’

By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

AACN president-elect Teri Lynn Kiss

AACN president-elect Teri Lynn Kiss

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) National Teaching Institute ended last Thursday, just in time to get folks home for Memorial Day weekend. Last week, my post was about the opening session and awards. Here are some more highlights from the rest of the week:

Concurrent sessions were plentiful—too many to choose from. My top two favorites were one on transfusing blood and blood products and another on managing pain, agitation, and delirium. New this year were sessions related to health care financing, a nod to the fact that all nurses need to be cognizant of the cost of care. My other “must attends” were the poster sessions—these are largely by up-and-coming researchers and teams doing innovative projects.

current AACN president Vicki Good

current AACN president Vicki Good

Handling conflicts with colleagues. A “super session” by Christine Cashen, a professional speaker, had everyone on their feet in a standing ovation. Extremely funny and with a clear message about handling conflict with colleagues (a very big issue in nursing, as we know), Cashen was a huge hit. Several attendees sitting near me kept a running tally of coworkers who fit Cashen’s descriptions of people who communicate in a dysfunctional way. While the content was not necessarily new, her framing of it was refreshing and hit home for many. A few of her messages that resonated particularly well:

• We need to ‘BOOGIE’ more in the workplace, with BOOGIE being an acronym for “Be Outstanding Or Get Involved Elsewhere”—a message for those who drag others down with their lack of commitment and energy to the team effort.
• Communicate clearly to the correct person. “Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Don’t be mean when you say it.”

As usual, the exhibits were plentiful, with many booths offering CE sessions on site. Prominent this year: monitoring systems (as usual, but this year there were more telemonitoring systems) and beds that promoted early mobility through almost vertical positioning. Not so prominent were hospital recruiters, though there were a few more than I’ve seen at other meetings, so maybe hiring—at least in critical care—is picking up.

Podcast interview. I ended my National Teaching Institute visit with an interview with AACN president Vicki Good, MSN, RN, CENP (whose term ends July 1) and president-elect Teri Lynn Kiss, MS, RN, MSSW, CNML, CMSRN. Kiss shared her theme for her upcoming presidential year, “Focus the Flame,” which speaks to the passion critical care nurses bring to patient care. You can listen to the interview here:

Next year, the National Teaching Institute moves to the West Coast—San Diego, May 17–21. If you haven’t been to one, I highly recommend it.

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2016-11-21T13:04:42+00:00 May 27th, 2014|career|1 Comment
Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.

One Comment

  1. BERNARD KIPYEGON RUTTO May 27, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    am a critical care nurse in kenya,can learn alot from critical care nurses from america

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