By Melody Cubas, BSN RN-BC
This ANCC Magnet Conference held in Dallas, TX on Oct 8-10, 2014 was attended by 8,400 nurses, nursing executives, and healthcare professionals from around the world. It was the first time I ever attended a big conference and it was indeed a once in a lifetime, fun and educational experience. Meeting and sharing experiences with the best of the best nurses is priceless! I thank The Mount Sinai Hospital for the opportunity to attend, and to proudly represent our Sinai team in celebrating and being recognized for our third Magnet Designation.
Being a Nurse is not only a profession or career for me; it is truly a calling. 28 years ago, I decided to be a Nurse and it was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life. I have always been proud to be a nurse, and even more so to be a “Magnet Nurse!” Nursing is synonymous to Caring and that’s one of my takeaways from this conference. Jean Watson, a world famous Nursing Theorist, reminded us that Caring is just as valuable and essential to our patients as Curing. A person can have caring without curing but cannot have true curing without caring. She also mentioned the theory of caring as it focuses on love as the primary healing tool in nursing. One has to personally experience it in order to provide a true caring experience. She encourages us to “fall in love” three times a day.
Another memorable takeaway was from Jack Uldrich’s session. He is a global futurist who talked about the need to learn to unlearn old ways of thinking in order to learn to embrace new opportunities in future trends in health care. He tells us to think about the unthinkable and to understand that being aware of one’s ignorance is the key component of true wisdom. He talked about how he envisions the future which includes “internet of things,” social media, robotics, emerging technologies, innovations and other future health care trends. For example, he referenced the use of Google glass currently being piloted in five hospitals in the US. It’s a type of wearable technology, voice-activated, run with Android. He also mentioned an interesting tiny chip, about 14 mm in size, implanted just below skin. The chip can detect a molecule tied to heart attacks 3-4 hours before an attack. A battery patch on the skin receives the chips’ radio signals of information and transmits them to a cell phone, which then helps send the data to a doctor. There’s also an app with a special heart attack ring tone. Another wearable technology that I think would be very useful in a health care setting is the use of a Hand Washing band or Hand Hygiene band. It alarms/vibrates if a health care worker passed by a soap dispenser (where the alarm sensor is) and didn’t wash their hand with soap.
Some of the concurrent sessions I attended are informative but, I realized that we at Mount Sinai already do most of the things they discussed. One session, “Let the Games Begin” by Mercy Medical Center, MD was interactive and interesting. They used Gamification, Infographics and E-Learning, Mobile Communication, Digital Story Telling, and Online Media for patient and staff education to improve patient outcomes and enhance staff engagement. I thought their techniques were more fun, and not as boring as the traditional paper instructions or power point presentations.
Another useful and informative concurrent session I attended was the “Patient Education: Clinical Nurses Creating a Foundation for Active Patient and Family Engagement” by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville,TN. They revised patient education policies to incorporate patient engagement by simplifying documents to a fifth grade reading level (patient education, informed consent forms, financial documents, patient’s bill of rights and many more). They also focused on nursing learning modules and intensive workshops on “teach back,” each of which resulted in improved patient outcomes, engagement and satisfaction.
Of course this conference is not all work and no play!
The Welcome Party at Gilley’s Dallas was incredible! I had so much fun, especially Line dancing to live music, the Texas way. Overall, this is the most fun and memorable conference I ever experienced.
I am proud to be a Magnet Nurse. I am proud to be a Mount Sinai Nurse!
Melody Cubas, BSN RN-BC in Psychiatric Mental-Health Nursing, obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines in 1990. She has worked in Neonatal, Pediatrics, Medical/Surgical, and Labor and Delivery in the Philippines for 3 years before she migrated to the United States. While in the US, Melody had worked in MICU/SICU for more than a year and spent five years in Forensic Psychiatry before coming to Madison 5 in the Icahn Building here at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Now, in her 13th year at the Hospital, she is one of the recipients of the Mount Sinai Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice (2013), a Magnet Champion and a Falls Champion.