By: Jennifer Burtch, DNP, MSN, APRN, ANP-C
It’s the beginning of the year, and as a nurse practitioner, I have been looking for medical conferences that provide the most up-to-date information and expertise in hospital medicine. The caveat is finding one that has pharmacology hours needed for annual licensure. I prefer to attend conferences in my field of practice; however, there is often no allocated pharmacology hours. This results in an abundance of CME hours and me scrambling for dedicated pharmacology hours at the end of the year. I know I am not alone in having this added holiday stress of trying to complete online pharmacology hours by midnight December 31st.
Does all of this sound familiar?
The search is over! SHM’s Annual Conference, Hospital Medicine 2019, will have dedicated AANP Pharmacology hours for select sessions. I get to attend my favorite conference of the year and get the hours required for my APRN licensure.
Why is this conference my favorite? I have worked as a nurse practitioner for 11 years, with 8 years in specialty services (Cardiology, Nephrology, and Neurology) and 3 years in Hospital Medicine. Working Hospital Medicine in a community setting is the most challenging position I have had the privilege to work in. At SHM annual conferences, I have the opportunity to become a better clinician by becoming familiar with the latest research, best practices, and networking with other hospital medicine providers in an APP-friendly environment.
Just to give you some insight into things you could learn from HM19, here are a few clinical pearls from the HM18 Annual Conference that I apply daily into clinical practice:
- Implementation of the GOLD 2018 report for patients admitted with COPD: I use oral Prednisone 40 mg instead of IV steroids if applicable. Regarding the overuse of antibiotics in COPD patients, I try to reserve for patients with increased purulent sputum and those who received noninvasive ventilation.
- Use of procalcitonin level to determine discontinuation of antibiotics in patients with pneumonia: I use procalcition as a tool in my decision making to discontinue antibiotics. This was not common practice in my clinical setting.
- Syncope Guidelines: I am more conscious of ordering cardiac imaging and carotid imaging, EEG and MRI/CT head in the absence of neurological symptoms. I check d-dimer on all patients presenting with syncope as the prevalence of pulmonary emboli is more prevalent for hospitalized patients.
My personal favorite sessions to attend are in the Clinical Updates, Rapid Fire, and The Great Debate tracks. The Clinical Update sessions provide updates and best practices in the management of disease processes in the inpatient setting; this year, they include pneumonia, diabetes, COPD, infectious diseases and more. The Rapid Fire sessions are highly engaging, promoting audience participation by answering questions during the sessions. Highlights this year range from the use of medical marijuana to care of transgender patients. The Great Debate track is one you don’t want to miss. In these sessions, hospital medicine leaders debate controversial topics. (There’s even a dedicated half-day NP/PA track!)
I gain an abundance of knowledge from speakers who are the “best of the best” in hospital medicine and have fun at the same time. If you enjoy networking and meeting new people, you’ll have many opportunities. The NP/PA Special Interest Forum allows for open discussion on issues relevant to today’s practice regarding NPs and PAs. I also enjoy the chance to “mix and mingle” with physician and APPs who practice in different subspecialties and locations in the U.S. This is not always possible at conferences geared towards only APPs, so I take full advantage of learning the many ways to improve processes or the delivery of patient care within my practice.
I can’t finish writing this blog without mentioning the fact you get to visit National Harbor, a town you may have not visited before – or maybe it has just been awhile. This year I am flying in a couple of days earlier with my kids to visit Washington, D.C., which is just a short drive away. I already contacted my senator and have my tickets to visit the White House!
I am looking forward to a great conference and hope to see you there. (And I get pharmacology hours this year!)