Tina Haas, RN, 2019 Blog Post Competition Winner

To understand the full impact the 44th Annual Congress had on me you first must know a little about me.  I have been an oncology nurse for nearly 20 years.  This year was only the second time I had attended Congress. 

The first year I went, I was a wide-eyed new nurse who knew nothing about burn-out, compassion fatigue, or mourning.  This year I attended as an “old” oncology nurse who has been through all three.  I am now the manager of a 62 chair infusion center.  The transition from nurse to manager has been a challenge.  While I have survived and grown, it has not always been graceful.  There have been many days where I wondered what I was doing, why I was doing it, and how was I going to be good at it.  This year’s Congress reignited my fire to be the best that I can be not just as an oncology nurse, but as a leader.

The opening ceremony made me realize that as a leader, I am an inventor.  Rachel Walker was amazing at helping me see that only I limit myself in the impact I have. It inspired me to not be afraid to be the only RN in the room and to be bold about speaking up and speaking out against things that need to change.

The Oncology Care Transitions session encouraged me to value my “first follower”.  As a new leader, I made the mistake of believing that it all fell on my shoulders, and I had to be the change.  This session helped me realize that the first follower is crucial and what changes me from the crazy one “dancing by myself” into a leader.  It also helped me understand appropriate structure and reasoning for making changes.

The Quality Metrics in Shared Decision Making session helped me understand some of the barriers to achieving quality metrics.  I liked the acronym SHARE (Seek the patient’s participation, Help explore options, Assess interest and priorities, Reach a shared decision, Evaluate the decision) to use in overcoming these barriers.

The class that will have the most immediate impact, however, was Transforming Hematology-Oncology Orientation Using a Tiered Skills Acquisition Model.  We have been in the process of standardizing our preceptorship program at the infusion center and this is exactly what I was looking for.  Dawn was an amazing speaker and the fact that this model has impacted the confidence of the nurses who come off orientation is in alignment with our goals for our nurses.

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