The Pulse | Tuesday, May 29, 2018
One Member's Advocacy Journey
Laura Habighorst, member of the SGNA Board of Directors and surgical services education at North Kansas City Hospital, discusses her journey as a member of SGNA.
SGNA: Please tell us about yourself and what projects and/or committees you have been involved with recently.
Laura: I am the Surgical Services Educator at North Kansas City Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri and my responsibilities include GI, all of our pre-op and PACU units, pain clinic, bariatric clinic and pre-surgery clinic. I always seem to find myself gravitating to special projects, my most current ones are Joy in the Workplace, a research project on generational nursing, HLD Committee and enhanced recovery after surgery. Within SGNA, one of my most favorite committees has been the Healthcare Policy Committee because of the interaction with public advocacy and government officials on various GI topics.
SGNA: What first interested you in joining these committees and/or projects?
Laura: For SGNA, it is simple. Leslie Stewart inspired me to get back involved in healthcare legislation when she was chair of this committee several years ago. I have always had an interest in politics, so this was a natural. My work projects on generational nursing and the HLD Committee grew out of my experiences in leadership with SGNA. Former CEO Dale West was a frequent speaker on generational nursing for us, and HLD is the cornerstone of what we do for our patients in endoscopy.
SGNA: In your opinion, what is the benefit — to yourself and those around you — of being actively involved?
Laura: The benefits of being involved in SGNA are numerous: camaraderie, networking, knowledge enhancement and personal growth. As nurses, we have to continually grow to meet the needs of our patient populations. Utilizing the tools SGNA has available through committees, standards and practices, and networking abilities we can meet those needs in a knowledgeable and caring way.
SGNA: What is your advice for other SGNA members looking to become more involved in their own communities?
Laura: For personal home communities, make your voice heard. Nursing is the most trusted profession in the world. Who knows better what our patients go through than us? Politicians will listen to us. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your representatives directly start by getting their newsletters. You will see their opinions and what legislation they are working on; you can then send them a quick note and offer your opinion. It is a good way to start. For the SGNA community, got to the website and click on the “About” page; then click on the drop-down “SGNA Call for Volunteers.” This will open up the page with our committees and their information. Look for what appeals to you and if you aren’t sure, you can always reach out to the national office and they will have someone contact you. You will be so glad you did. I have been a member of SGNA since 2005, and I am so appreciative of the opportunities this organization has given me.