IMSH2019: Make it Your Own


by SimGHOSTS Board Member, Billie Paschal

IMSH 2019,

Redefining and Redesigning was the theme selected by the IMSH 2019 planning committee.  When I approach a conference, I prefer to choose  my own theme and this time for me it was "Prioritized Passion." Attending IMSH previously I have always had different themes, networking, team building, growth, but not this one "prioritized passion." After seven years in undergraduate nursing education, I made the transition at the end of 2018 to the hospital setting.  I registered for this conference in November while still in nursing education and there were no topics to choose from and only a small idea of vendors.  My personal theme then was "networking and socialization."  Fast forward to December with a new team, in a new area of simulation, but this extreme passion for improved patient safety from my 5,000 square feet of paradise.  I have entered my new environment full of ideas, and then I realized I need to reevaluate MY objectives.  I have my passion!  I have wanted to be in this realm ever since I had an understanding of what simulation could do.  PASSION!

    When the schedule builder was finally released in early January the feeling of being confounded overtook me.  I knew right away the only way to tame this feeling was to "prioritize my passion." Having over 200 sessions to choose from, meetings to attend and to try to get to the Exhibit Hall was just tad bit intimidating.  One advantage I did have was that this is not my first, but the third IMSH to attend so I could decipher some of the abstracts better.

     This is a different focus than any of the other simulation conferences I attend.  My focus is different, now that I have a more administrative role and in the hospital setting, which led to forward thinking on my part.  What is one to do when there are THREE sessions at once only offered on one day that you want to attend?  Divide and conquer!  I had two new associates also attending IMSH that did make it easier.  With the flexibility to share schedules and topics.   

      As the event was held in Texas, I was able to drive to San Antonio. Many people with long commutes will agree that good music and smooth traffic make for good thinking time.   It was just a quick trip by Texas standards; only 278 miles from door to door passing many miles of construction, cows grazing lazily, and Texas-sized gas stations (Beaver nuggets anyone?).  My driving time gave me time to think about the my passions in anticipation of the event, and then reflect on how my personal theme influenced my event experience during my drive home. 

     "Prioritized passion" worked for me in this case.  I was able to find amazing research resources.  Gained some topics to investigate further. I realized that we are not the only children's hospital that needs as a tracheostomy task trainer.   As with any conference, new contacts to help me on this journey of making a difference.  All while I "prioritize passion" and move forward to make a difference not only in our center, or our hospital but in this industry.