I’m on my flight home after another successful LWW nursing conference! Nursing2014 Symposium was held from March 26 to March 29, and between the preconference workshops, sessions, exhibit hall, and city of Las Vegas, these days were overflowing with learning from national experts, networking with colleagues, and fun!

I was lucky enough to assist with the preconference workshop, Let’s Get Messy: Hands-On Anatomy, Resuscitation, and Emergency Skills Lab, presented by Scott DeBoer, RN, MSN, CEN, CPEN, CCRN, CFRN, EMP-P. During this one-of-a-kind course, we reviewed anatomy and practiced procedures such as intraosseous device placement, airway management techniques, and more. We even practiced skills on actual pig airways, hearts, and lungs. Here are some pictures!  

A recurring theme throughout the sessions I attended had to be changing clinical practice based on the evidence. In the opening session, Nurse’s Habits: “But That’s the Way We’ve Always Done It!, Julie Miller, RN, BSN, CCRN, reviewed many of the practices that we perform just because we’ve always done them. From the use of Trendelenburg for hypotension to methods used for verifying placement of feeding tubes, it is clear that we’ve got a long way to go to change practice based on the evidence. (FYI – unless contraindicated, position hypotensive patients flat with the legs elevated; get an x-ray to confirm feeding tube placement.) 

Here are some more tips & takeaways from this conference: 

*The guiding principles of patient and family-centered care are information sharing, participation, dignity and respect, and collaboration. 
Tiffany Christensen
Partnering with Patients – A Bed’s-Eye View of Patient and Family-Centered Care

*If you don’t know how to do something, don’t ask someone else who doesn’t know! 
JoAnne Phillips, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, CPPS
Medication Safety: Going Far Beyond the Five Rights

*It costs between $45,000 and $55,000 to treat central line bloodstream infection (CLBSI). 
Sophia Chu Rodgers, ACNP, FNP, FAANP, FCCM
Best Practices for PICCs and CVCs

*The only thing you can pre-chart is a plan. Anything else, document as you do it or after it’s done. 
Edie Brous, RN, MS, BSN, MPH, Esq.
Documentation and Liability: How What You Write Can Show Up in Court

*HgbA1C levels are not accurate in sickle cell carriers or anemic patients. 
Christine Kessler, RN, MN, CNS, ANP, BC-ADM
ADVANCED TRACK: Sweet Success – Making Sense of the Dizzying Deluge of Diabetes Drugs

*Test for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency in Caucasian patients younger than 45 with COPD. 
Mary Knudtson, DNSc, NP, FAAN
Acute Exacerbation of COPD

*Make sure the ‘tank is full’ before using vasopressors. 
Michael Ackerman, DNS, RN, ACNP-BC, FCCM, FNAP, FAANP
ADVANCED TRACK: Hemodynamic Stability

These are just the highlights of the many notes I took during the conference. I hope that those of you who attended had a great time learning and networking too! Don’t forget that you can access the slides from many of the presentations online at Lippincott's eConference Center. Also, be sure to complete your evaluations and obtain your CE credit!

I am now looking ahead and getting excited for the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners April 23-26, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. What conferences have you attended or do you plan to attend this year?