Finally, we have an in-person national conference! That being said, we are likely to be a little rusty at navigating large gatherings. HSPA's San Antonio conference gives us the chance to learn, connect, and re-charge. While the past web-based events kept us up-to-date on national best practices, there is nothing like reconnecting with your colleagues. To be successful at the national conference, build an attendance plan.
Make a plan for your education. HSPA's event offers instruction for the seasoned veteran and the new sterile processing technician. Subject offerings are often concurrent. Review the agenda ahead of time to make sure the education offerings you attend meet your growth needs and possibly your department's needs.
Work the Crowd
Mingling among your peers is a great way to build a diverse support group that you can rely on for years to come. It is a great way to learn different perspectives on the challenges we face in sterile processing. It is also a great way to learn different approaches to solving today's problems. Talk with those seated around you during the educational offerings. During the lunches and the receptions, seek out new individuals to dine with and to connect with. Get to know each other on more than a professional basis.
Meet the Vendors
Similar to your education plan, you need to have a vendor plan. Examine the diagram of where the vendors are located and decide who you want to visit. Visit your choices first. Then spend time walking around and reviewing the remaining participants. I recommend viewing every vendor's exhibit because it is almost impossible to know every new product that has hit the market recently. Don't just wander aimlessly around the exhibit floor. Make it meaningful.
I can't say it enough, enjoy yourself! Relax and take in your surroundings. HSPA's receptions and the San Antonio area give you ample chance to recharge. Make sure you spend time outside of the event to take in the local fare. You never know; you may never return to the area again. But don't forget, HSPA's event is a professional event. It is not like Las Vegas!
Bring It Home
Attending the national conference is just the beginning. Bring back home to your local HSPA chapters and your workplace what you have learned. Share with your colleagues who weren't able to attend what you learned. Make the trip valuable for your team. This way, your management team sees the national conference as a worthwhile venture for you and others to attend in the future.
At Evolved Sterile Processing, our consultants have a greater focus on sterile processing. With our decades of experience, we will help you develop better processes and educational resources for your staff.