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If you’ve ever been to a professional conference, you know what an energizing experience they can be. You come back to the office with a new vigor for the work you do, and often you are inspired to change your work based on what you’ve learned. This was certainly true for the TCAI nurses and technologists who had the opportunity to attend the premier electrophysiology annual meeting—Heart Rhythm Society conference 2011 (HRS 2011).

This year’s theme centered around Science, Discovery, Innovation, and a focus on Technology. The four-day conference featured electrophysiology’s international heavy-hitters, who presented ground-breaking research into the latest advances in the field. There was a special exhibit this year called the “Networked EP Lab,” in which practitioners could actually try out new technologies that improve patient safety and procedural outcomes. Another attraction was the Atrial Fibrillation Summit, where physicians and allied professionals learned about the current status of and future of AFib treatment strategies.

Though they had the opportunity to attend any of the physician-led sessions, nurses and technologists also had their very own track at HRS 2011—The Allied Professionals Forum. Maegen Lane, RN, BSN, one of TCAI’s Atrial Fibrillation Nurse Educators who attended the conference, remarked that “the Allied Health Professionals Forum was very beneficial to me. It gave me an in-depth look into the anatomy of the electrical conduction system of the heart, pacemaker management tools and a closer look at VT ablation.” This is critical information that Maegen put to use as soon as she returned from the conference, during her patient education sessions.

Most importantly, the allied professionals who attended HRS 2011 were able to network with other nurses and technologists, sharing ideas for how they can better care for arrhythmia patients. Maegen Lane and Greg Gilbert, a supervisor in the TCAI Electrophysiology Lab, met with the course directors for HRS and discussed the potential to use St. David’s Medical Center and TCAI as a site for a future Allied Health Professional regional conference.

A lot was learned in the four days of HRS 2011. The benefits of attending such a conference are likely to last TCAI’s nurses, technologists, and patients until HRS 2012.

~ Jamie LaRue, RN

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