For my second anniversary as an ED nurse, I attended the world’s best critical care conference: SMACC2013. Better writers than I have already blogged about the conference, as exemplified by Intensive Care Network and Injectable Orange to name a couple.
Now I’m back at home and soon to be back at work…. and I wonder what has changed. My days are still filled with the same activities – family, work, and study. On returning home, my son greeted me with enthusiasm from his wheelchair. My daughter arrived home from school and disappeared into her bedroom. My husband went to lie down and rest. I faced the inevitable piles of laundry and started writing about the conference in my head…..
Scott Weingart’s passionate approach to bringing our best care to all situations – from resus to palliation. “People are the essence of critical care. WE ARE CRITICAL CARE!” “READ, READ, READ!”
John Myburgh’s thought-provoking assertions that “lactate is good for you”, “oliguria is a normal response to stress” and regarding fluid resus: “Only give what the patient has lost”.
Cliff Reid’s gentle and humble tips for Making Things Happen, and his already infamous ROCKETamine slide. “Why do we relegate IV access to the most junior team members? – we should aim for first-attempt success”
Joe Lex’s whimiscal and erudite presentation pointing out the presence of FOAMed from Hippocrates to today. “The most powerful therapeutic tool is my humanity”. “Use physical contact to establish rapport with patients”.
Michelle Johnston’s heart-wrenching, vulnerable reading of her poem about the resus of a family member. Her self-deprecating humour and impassioned attempts to enhance the voice of women in the slightly “testosterone driven” world of FOAMed.
Victoria Brazil’s somewhat confronting presentations – delivered with panache and style. Reminds us that “technology is not a panacea for not getting the education right”.
Meeting Ian Miller and Kane Guthrie – two nursing heroes and mentors of mine!! Meeting the other nurses present at the conference, including a “follower” of mine
In addition I brought home a renewed determination to implement some of the many personal and clinical lessons I learned at SMACC. I want to innovate, create content, blog regularly and be an influencer instead of an imposter.
But I know that I’m aspiring to something I cannot sustain. It takes enough energy to get through a single shift, a day, a week of this crazy ride I happen to call “my life”. Every time I choose one action (such as writing this blog post) – I reject countless alternative actions (unpacking my smacc bag, catching up on email, baking cookies, meditating).
Who am I kidding? I never bake cookies.
During the writing of this blog post I have processed two loads of washing, helped my son film content for his latest video editing project, fed him his lunch, dealt with his insulin pump, tidied up the kitchen, read lots of twitter comments, and somehow committed myself to taking part in a rural, multidisciplinary simwars entry for SMACC2014. It’s a messy and complicated life!
So what am I taking to heart from SMACC2013? A sense that what I do matters, how I do it matters, and that there are other people out there who understand what this conference was all about. You all have my heartfelt gratitude.