ICT Conference on Professional Development Attracts 131 Infection Prevention Professionals

LAS VEGAS Infection prevention and control nurses, managers, and directors attended three days of seminars, networking events and exhibits at the first ICT Conference on Professional Development held at the Hampton Inn Tropicana in Las Vegas, January 24-26. The conference was produced by Virgo Publishing, publisher of ICT magazine and producer of the Infection Control Education Institute. The conference platinum sponsor was Bullard.

For more than 10 years ICT has delivered information and resources with the print publication and online education," said Bill Eikost, publisher of  ICT magazine. "The conference allows us to offer additional content in person and offer the opportunity for attendees to earn more than 25 continuing education hours."

The conference began with exhibits the morning of Wednesday, January 24. After checking in and receiving a tote bag, sponsored by BD, attendees had the opportunity to meet a variety of exhibitors offering myriad products and services.  To view a list of companies that exhibited, visit http://www.ictconference.com/exhibitor.html.

A special keynote presentation, The Evolving Roles of the ICP and Whats Ahead, sponsored by STERIS and presented by Libby Chinnes, RN, BSN, CIC, kicked off the education program on January 24. The sessions, Mandatory Reporting and Emerging Infectious Threats and How to Make Your Department Indispensable rounded out the mornings program. Nurse humorist Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN, CSP, CPAE, presented the luncheon keynote address, This Won't Hurt A Bit! (And Other Fractured Truths in Healthcare). The final seminars for the day were Media Relations and Crisis Communications for ICPs and the Doing More With Less Workshop. After the education program wrapped for the first day, attendees enjoyed cocktails and appetizers during a networking event. The reception rolled into the first-ever Gripe Night, where participants shared problems and solutions with fellow practitioners. Best solutions were awarded with stuffed animals donated by Ruhof Corporation.

It was important to us that we provide attendees with a conference experience that was accessible and intimate, where they could network and problem-solve with their peers, as well as laugh and learn in a motivational atmosphere, said Kelly M. Pyrek, group editor of Virgo Publishings medical division and chair of the ICT Conference on Professional Development. Gripe Night was a perfect opportunity for ICPs to come with their problems and leave with concrete solutions for the betterment of their infection prevention programs.

"I was very pleased with the conference, commented Cheryl L. Rogers, RN, BSN, from Kaiser Permanente. I found it challenging and thought-provoking. The speakers were outstanding and the blend of attendees was a good mix of seasoned veterans and newer practitioners. I liked the encouragement to mentor newer practitioners and the recognition that, while our jobs are important, we need to make sure we are taking the time to laugh and take care of ourselves." 

Thursdays events began with exhibits, welcome remarks and the keynote presentation, Making a Business Case for Infection Prevention given by Linda L. Spaulding, RN, C, CIC.  Also that morning, participants attended the sessions Finding and Creating Value in Your Department/Creative In-services and Partnering With Stakeholders for Infection Prevention Success. After a catered lunch, attendees tested their skills in the quiz game Microbe Mania and winners received antibacterial products donated by Dial Corporation and neckwear donated by Infectious Awareables. The winner for the ICT Conference Passport raffle was drawn at the end of Microbe Mania. Gloria Simon of the Veterans Administration in Glenview, Ill. won the $100 American Express gift card prize. The final presentations for the day were Economic Imperatives for Infection Prevention: The True Cost of Healthcare-Acquired Infections,  Outbreak Surveillance and Informatics: Using Data as Leverage and Tying it All Together, and Boosting Compliance with Infection Prevention Principles and Practices.

The last day of the conference featured the presentations, Best Practices from the Experts, Career Success and Communication Skills for Infection Prevention Professionals, and Handling Paper and Projects: Time Management for the Harried Professional. The afternoon program broke into two tracks and attendees chose to participate in the Issues in Infection Control Lecture Series: Respiratory Fit-Testing and Occupational Health session, sponsored by Bullard, or the Certification Made Simple: Preparing for Your CIC Credential Workshop.

"This conference was one of the best I've attended in some time, said Vicki M. Keller, RN, BSN, PHN, CIC, of Northridge Hospital in Northridge, Calif. The focus on professional development was exactly what I needed at this time in my career. So many nurses are burned out or at the least apathetic about what they are doing. It was exciting to be with a group of nurses who are promoting their profession and on the constant road to increasing their knowledge and value to their employers and themselves!"

Faculty included: Gail Bennett, RN, MSN, CIC, executive director, ICP Associates, LLC; Karyn Buxman, MSN, CSP, CPAE, president and founder, HUMORx, a humor-based management and communications company; Libby F. Chinnes, RN, BSN, CIC, independent infection control consultant, IC Solutions, LLC; Susan A. Dolan, RN, MS, CIC, 2002 ICT Educator of the Year, and hospital epidemiologist, The Children's Hospital in Denver; Margaret S. Gallagher, BS, MS, RN, CIC, infection control practitioner, Southeast Georgia Health System; Linda R. Greene, RN, MPS, CIC, infection control manager, Via Health Rochester General Hospital; Roy McKay, PhD, full-time faculty member, University of Cincinnatis Department of Environmental Health, and director, respiratory protection services program, Center for Occupational Health; Cheri Oglesbee, RN, BSN, CIC, certified infection control officer; Suzanne M. Pear, RN, PhD, CIC, associate director, infection control practices, Scientific Affairs and Clinical Education Department, Kimberly-Clark Health Care; Kathleen Roye-Horn, RN, CIC, director, infection control services, Hunterdon Healthcare System; Linda L. Spaulding, RN, C, CIC, 2003 ICT Educator of the Year, and owner, InCo and Associates; and Beth Young, RN, BSN, CIC, 2004 ICT Educator of the Year, and infection control manager, Robinson Memorial Hospital.

The caliber of the faculty was stellar, Pyrek noted. They represented some of the best and brightest individuals in the infection prevention arena, and demonstrated the passion and vision that ICPs have for their work as they protect patients and healthcare workers alike.

This is one of the most informative IC conferences that dedicated its agenda to addressing the vital concerns of ICPs today, and provided quality information and solutions to proactively implement and resolve those critical issues,  said Vince Gonzalez of Bio-Medical Devices Intl.

Virgo Publishing publishes ICT: Infection Control Today (www.infectioncontroltoday.com), today's surgicenter (www.surgicenteronline.com), Renal Business Today (www.renalbusiness) and EndoNurse (www.endonurse.com) magazines, as well as produces the today's surgicenter conference and the ICT Conference for Professional Development. 


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