The 2015 Annual National Emergency Nurses Association Conference (NENA) was held in Edmonton this year and I had the pleasure of not only attending, but also representing TREKK with a poster display on our first Social Networking Analysis.
As a pediatric emergency nurse (The Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg) and a NENA member, I was quite excited to attend this year’s conference, themed “Prepare for the Unexpected”. Those who work in an emergency department (ED) can attest to the uncertainty and lack of a routine that encompasses the ED. The goal of the conference was to prepare and inform emergency nurses for unpredictable scenarios to increase comfort and make the unfamiliar more familiar. This got me thinking – isn’t this exactly what TREKK is all about? Treating children is unfamiliar to many healthcare professionals working in general EDs and can be stressful. TREKK is connecting pediatric and general EDs and creating resources like our bottom line recommendations, to support our general emergency colleagues in getting quicker access to the latest evidence-based care.
NENA connects emergency nurses across Canada by encouraging networking and promoting engagement. As members, we are able to talk about issues that we have in common, explore solutions and learn from one another’s experiences. Talking to general ED nurses at the conference was really exciting. They shared their stories, discussed opportunities to utilize TREKK and were curious to know who was involved in our network from their community, so that they knew who to reach out to for information on treating children.
During the time I spent at our TREKK poster exhibit, I had nurses approach me who remembered our needs assessment from two years ago, to say, “hey, I did that iPad survey!” It was great opportunity to reconnect with them and provide updates on TREKKs accomplishments since the needs assessment and the many resources now available on trekk.ca. I was able to talk with nurses in remote locations such as northern Yukon, nursing stations and big urban centres. Having the NENA conference as a venue to build camaraderie among emergency nurses is amazing. I received great feedback on our Social Networking Analysis and was able to broaden my connections across the country.
I encourage all TREKK coordinators to reach out to their provincial NENA representative – this is a critical connection to make so that we can continue to work towards our shared goal of improving emergency care for children across Canada.
Written by: Laura Ebenspanger