May 12, 2014

Wisconsin Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates

Many thanks to the Wisconsin Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates for awarding me with a $1000.00 educational scholarship to attend the 2014 SGNA 41st Annual Course in Nashville, TN. I have attended two national conferences in the past and although I enjoyed my experience each time, this by far exceeded my expectation.

The location was phenomenal. The Music City Center was the most beautiful conference center I have ever seen. The location was exceptional, right in the heart of “what’s happening” in Nashville. The location made it convenient to experience the culture of the area while still getting the most out of the educational, networking and exhibit opportunities provided.

The educational opportunities were endless offering a variety of courses to suit novice to expert. The opening general session on Sunday “Ignite the Fire Within” was so inspiring. It was good to be reminded how much maintaining our patients dignity and providing the simplest gesture of kindness can deeply impact our patient’s outcome.

The Booth CE Program increased the value of my time spent in the exhibit hall allowing me to acquire an additional 6 CEU’s while visiting with vendors and enjoying lunch. The welcome reception is always a great time and has definitely sparked my interest in learning how to line-dance:)

Lastly, the Doris Barnie general session was a wonderful addition, paying tribute to someone who has done so much for the profession of Gastroenterology Nursing… very inspiring making me “Proud to be GI”.

Again, thank you for your generous scholarship. I am sure the 2015 SGNA National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland will prove to be another exceptional experience.

Pamela A. Ostrowski MS, RN, CGRN

First and foremost, a very heartfelt thank you for the generous scholarship that the WSGNA awarded me for the 41st annual SGNA conference.
I attended 5 full days of the conference with great enthusiasm and embraced every opportunity to aim higher in advancing my professional development.
The conference offered a variety of opportunities to attend optional, general, concurrent, and vendor sessions. After very careful consideration of those choices I was able to attend a variety of classes in all the areas and earn 37.5 credits. It was an exciting opportunity to network with many wonderful people. I will be applying the credits earned toward my GI recertification and presenting some of the material to my co-workers. Attendance at the SGNA conference has kept my passion for GI nursing lit and has made a difference in my professional nursing practice for our GI patient population. Attending the conference has been an awesome experience. Thank you once again for this opportunity
Dawn Orlovsky RN, CGRN
Aurora West Allis Memorial Hospital
West Allis, Wisconsin

I am writing to thank you for selecting me as a scholarship recipient to attend the SGNA annual course “Blending Our Talents, Orchestrating Better Outcomes” held in Nashville, Tennessee. I was very excited to learn that I was chosen but I had one obstacle to overcome. I needed to find coverage at work so I could attend. Thanks to my wonderful coworkers at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, I was able to attend the annual course.
Nashville was a fantastic host city. Upon arriving for the course at Music City Center, I could hear country music while out on the street. It did not take long to understand why the course name was chosen. Music was also incorporated in numerous educational sessions. I will not be able to see another diverticula in the colon without thinking of Dr. Patricia Raymond singing to us about diverticulosis.
The program committee kept us busy with great educational offerings and networking opportunities. I especially enjoyed playing “POLYP BINGO” which was a game card that had various squares requiring signatures from a number of people who have done certain activities. This was a great networking tool and conversation starter which allowed me to make new connections with colleagues at the annual course. The vendors also contributed by providing educational programs and networking opportunities during the evening hours and in the exhibit hall.
My main objective at the annual course was to attend the educational sessions and earn continuing education credits. The credits I earned from attending these sessions will assist me when it is time to recertify with ABCGN. There was a wealth of knowledge and updates shared on such topics as esophageal motility, gastroesophageal reflux, fecal microbiota transplant, endoscopic mucosal resection, endoscope reprocessing, infection prevention, and safety and quality in endoscopy services to name just a few. The fact that caught my attention most is that the number of patients being diagnosed with esophageal cancer is on the rise. This has become more apparent to me now that I have returned to work and care for patients with this illness.
Lastly, the first and final presenters at the annual course were people who shared their experiences as patients. Both, Allison Massari and Wade Hayes, shared how they each believe their survival through their traumatic ordeal with near death experiences was a miracle. The one common theme from both their presentations was how one act of kindness from one human being can positively affect another human being. We, as nurses, are able to provide those moments and transform patient’s lives on a daily basis. For that they say “thank you”. There was not a dry eye in the audience as they spoke. Their experiences revived a passion in us as nurses and reminded us of the value we provide in healthcare. When you have a free moment, google their names and read their stories.

Again, thank you for your generosity for this most appreciated award. I encourage others to apply for a scholarship and take advantage of this opportunity provided to attend an annual course.
Amy Komp, RN, BSN, CGRN

Thank You, WSGNA!
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