My First Experience at the 2015 AWHONN Convention: Day 2

Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN

Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN

by, Bree Fallon, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM,

Perhaps I can attribute it to the time change, but I was awake before 6:00 am this morning once again.

The day is here, get up and get excited!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from “Transforming Healthcare Quality and Safety with Evidence-Based Practice and ARCC,” at the General Session, but a peer back in Kansas City told me Bernadette Melnyk was a “not to miss” speaker so I make sure to sit up front.

Dodi Gauthier came onto the stage first recounting a beautiful personal story of a woman she cared for and whose life she made a difference in, with a call to contribute to AWHONN. It was easy recall many of the women I felt truly blessed to have cared for over the years. By continuing to support AWHONN I know that I too am truly promoting the health of mothers and newborns.

As Bernadette began to speak, her passion for evidence based practice unfolded rapidly. My heart broke as she recounted the loss of her mother and the near loss of her daughter. It absolutely drove the message home to advocate for evidence based practice care in our own facilities and units. To translate evidence based practice to our bedsides, we need to make it part of the culture in our hospitals. When I return to Kansas City, I want to ensure that we reiterate the importance and value our organization places on evidence based practice into our Nurse Residency Program and general nursing orientation. We have to all work together to make change happen, let’s go do it!

Throughout the day, I just kept shaking my head in disbelief. I have not been here for even 48 hours and have been captivated by a dozen of the most impressive and credible nurses in the field of obstetrics.

In the back of my mind, as I listened and took it in, I thought to myself, what can I, myself, do to capture these nurses’ message and impart it on to my own colleagues back home?

Lisa Miller’s talk on “Cases for Concern: Liability in the Intrapartum Setting” was brilliant and she was so sincere and approachable when we spoke after the session. She offered such thoughtful and gentle insight, all the while being extremely entertaining and engaging. I offered to be a groupie. 

TriageI have to admit as I walked into “Obstetric Triage: State of Science”, I was star struck as I realized Cathy Ruhl, aka know as Gayle from the Intermediate AWHONN Communication DVD, would be speaking!

Cathy and Elizabeth Howard addressed the issue many of L&D units had around the country with collaborating to develop an OB triage tool. I know my manager and I are so excited for the triage tool to be released this fall!

I spent the afternoon with a most impressive panel of editors in “Write it Right: Editors Share the Insider’s Track to Getting Published”. Five years ago, I was reviewing the clinical ladder criteria at my facility for the different rungs of clinical advancement. I noticed I could consider submitting a piece of work to a professional journal to obtain a higher clinical status. At the time, I rolled my eyes, discredited myself of the possibility of completing such a task, and stuck with my current incentive. After listening to each woman on the panel’s words of wisdom and encouragement, I know and truly believe that submitting work for publication is completely possible!

Monday always ends with the President’s Party. It was a hoot! I met even more friends from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York and even our neighbors in St Louis.

I have so enjoyed meeting everyone from everywhere. It is like a fraternity where everyone shares the same passion and strange sense of nurse humor. After lots of great conversations and laughs and one spectacular rendition of “Going to Kansas City” with my Kansas City crew, we called it a night.

How can it possibly be this magic begun just yesterday? Along with setting several lofty but attainable goals, I feel as though I have learned and gained so incredibly much.
What will tomorrow bring!?

Bree FallonBree Fallon is a Clinical Educator for Perinatal Services at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, the busiest delivering hospital in Kansas City. She graduated from nursing school in 2004 and started her career in a tertiary care facility, providing high risk intrapartum and antepartum care. In 2010, she moved to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City who was looking for experienced L&D nurses to help open the their new Fetal Health Center.


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