By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief
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.
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: