My last bog on the 27th March, shared with you my experiences of debating the meaning of patient-centred care with a group of undergraduate nursing students. Next month is exciting because I will be undertaking two international conference presentations relating to patient-centred care and collaborating effectively with children, young people and families. Although a fairly seasoned conference presenter, attending conferences always evokes a range of emotions from excitement to slight apprehension about whether my presentation will be well received and engage like -minded colleagues. Attending conferences is a fantastic way to catch up and is often the only chance to reconnect with people I have collaborated with over the years. Presentations and seminars are a great way of keeping updated particularly in relation to current evidence underpinning practice but are one-directional. More importantly conferences are a great opportunity to meet new people and make new contacts. It is the individual and personal conversations with experts in their field that I find the most insightful. The opportunity to take time out of busy working lives and think about different ways to approach current projects or work related issues is always of value.
What I enjoy most about conferences is that I always return to work enthused and inspired. So, my top two tips for getting the most out of conferences are: review conference abstracts and think about whom you would like to meet and how you might achieve this in advance; networking is essential, yes reconnect with people you know but meet new people. So I’m off to the 2nd Paediatric Nurses Association Europe Congress being held in Glasgow at the beginning of June and the 7th International Shared Decision Making conference taking place in Peru mid June. I look forward to sharing with you the debates and issues that arise from these conferences in my next blog.