CALEXICO – The Imperial Valley Nursing Council (IVNC) hosted this year’s ninth annual evidence-based practice nursing conference Saturday for registered nurses and nursing students who participated in several educational workshops.
The conference began with registration and a welcoming ceremony from Helina Hoyt, San Diego State University/Imperial Valley campus RN BS coordinator, who introduced the activities for the event. The first keynote speaker, Christina Olson, Health Program coordinator, discussed Imperial County and recent efforts on making the area an accountable community for health.
“The main goal of this conference is to educate nursing students and registered nurses on becoming leaders in their field,” said Hoyt.
Being a leader in this field means providing the correct sanitary procedures and the correct discharge information to patients. By providing this correct information, patients can rest assured and take action to help in their own recovery process once patients leave the hospital, organizers said.
Attendees participated in three different workshops presented by the El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC), SDSU’s Imperial Valley RN-BS Nursing program, and a presentation from Pioneers Memorial Hospital.
The ECRMC had a poster presentation to educate nurses on the procedures necessary for making a hospital stay comfortable for patients. Also, students were educated on the different types of nursing teams that ECRMC has and their functions, giving students insight on their future careers.
Following the first session, students and nurses moved to the Pioneers Memorial Hospital session, where Kristy Gillespie, chief nurse officer at PMH, presented her Masters’ work on heart failure. Her presentation dealt with patients incorporating a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart failure, which is one of the most common diseases in the Imperial Valley.
Adding to the Pioneers Memorial Hospital’s session, a major topic was on asthma. In this session, students and nurses learned how to properly educate patients coming in for asthma-related issues, in hopes of preventing these patients from making another trip to the hospital.
“In Imperial, we have a higher asthma rate than all parts of California and on windy summer days, Pioneers is overwhelmed with patients who come in to get treated for asthma,” said Hoyt. “Our hope is to educate these nurses and students, to provide patients with the knowledge they need to prevent these occurrences from happening.”
For the final session, SDSU RN-BS students put together a poster board presentation on their individual programs of study. One group worked with sports-injury, and highlighted the steps an athlete can take to prevent injury out in the field.
Group member Alyson Fink said, “Our presentation deals with sport injuries and how we can educate coaches and athletes to properly stretch, and exercises that can be done to prevent the most common types of sports injuries.”
Closing out the conference was keynote speaker Beverly Carlson PhD, who gathered everyone in the auditorium to encourage students and nurses to be confident in their work, because they are the ones who spend the most time with the patients in hospital.
“Our hopes are to bring better education to students, and to bring up the standards of our hospitals,” said Hoyt.