Gut Check | Tuesday, April 30, 2019
First-Time Attendees’ Perspectives on the SGNA Annual Course
Earlier this month, nearly 2,000 gastroenterology nurses and associates came to Portland, Ore., to attend the SGNA 46th Annual Course. Over the course of several days, attendees could earn up to 34.25 contact hours by choosing from more than 100 educational sessions, which spanned eight tracks.
The Annual Course was a great opportunity for GI professionals to not only learn from experts in the field, but to network with peers, too. For first-time attendee Sophia Pahio, RN BSN, this was a huge plus.
“To be able to network with colleagues from other states who share the same field of work was truly fascinating,” said Pahio, who is also the Hawaii Region SGNA President. “It was interesting to hear the same questions and concerns that popped into my mind from another member in the audience. Although the entire class comes from different facilities and state, it was comforting to know we share similar obstacles.”
For Stephen Shelby, also a first-time conference attendee, the orientation designed for new conference-goers was a good opportunity to ground himself in the conference and network a bit with fellow SGNA members.
Shelby noted he enjoyed sessions such as “Personal Greatness and Team Excellence” and “Advances in Endoscopy.” Upon returning, he was able to share what he learned. “I spoke with my manager about warmed IV fluids to assist with chilled colonoscopy patients and how it also decreases discomfort with propofol injections,” said Shelby. “We also discussed ergonomics and abdominal pressure as we have several staff members, myself included, who have been injured doing this. I also brought up a poster topic, same day bowel preps for afternoon colonoscopy patients.”
Beyond educational sessions, there was ample time to be inspired by keynote speaker. Pahio noted the positivity that radiated from the selected presenters. “[Keynote speakers] Michelle Ray and Stuart Ellis-Myers delivered such a significant wealth of positivity that it left me feeling regenerated and motivated to lead by example,” she recalled.
Ellis-Myers, who delivered a presentation focused on how he has overcome Tourette’s syndrome, particularly captured Pahio’s attention. “Stuart approximated that he twitched his head and his right arm over 30 million times during his lifetime. When Stuart’s presentation started, all I could see was a man on stage, walking around twitching every 5-10 seconds and speaking very loudly to the audience,” she said. “As Stuart’s presentation progressed, I began to experience an emotional connection to Stuart’s message and hardly saw the twitching. Stuart’s positive attitude was so powerful, that it hindered my eyes from the attraction to his constant twitching.”
Both Pahio and Shelby note they’d like to return to an SGNA Annual Course in the future. “I would definitely recommend this event to my co-workers, Hawaii SGNA members, and all other GI staff to attend at least once,” said Pahio.
SGNA’s 47th Annual Course is already on the books! Save the date for May 17-19, in Louisville, Kentucky. Interested in presenting and sharing your knowledge? Abstract submissions are now open and accepted through June 7, 2019. Learn more here.