Q&A with Sunniva Zaratkiewicz, PhD, RN, CWCN
National Conference Planning Committee Chair
What goes into planning a big educational event like WOCNext?
So much more goes into planning than I ever realized prior to joining the National Conference Planning Committee (NCPC). It’s a full year of meetings and the dedication of many volunteers and WOCN staff who make the event happen. The amount of time that each track co-chair puts into finding just the right topics and speakers, the time in communication with speakers and the broader NCPC, is no small commitment. Most impressively, everyone involved is dedicated, patient, and willing to work hard to ensure we provide the best possible content and experience for attendees.
What was the thought process behind rebranding the WOCN Society’s conference for 2019 (and beyond)?
We heard from our members that they were looking for innovations and change. We took these recommendations and dedicated focused time on the committee in which we discussed adult learning theory and recent industry trends, along with relevant and novel research. These conversations and collaboration allowed us to reframe the way we did things in the past in a way that retains the well-respected integrity of the event and incorporates new and innovative approaches to information sharing and education.
What does the name WOCNext mean to you?
WOCNext means not only keeping the stride with an ever-changing and evolving healthcare environment, but being a leader in setting the pace that drives patient care, education, and research with an ever-present focus on the best possible patient outcomes.
What’s new this year for attendees?
Themes: how were the themes decided?
We looked at national aims in healthcare quality and improvement along with feedback from our members and found the common ground that linked these. Not surprisingly, the feedback and national aims were closely mirrored. This year, the education at WOCNext will be presented under the following themes:
Behaviors, actions and interventions to promote health and well-being.
- Symptom Science
Understanding pathophysiology and manifestations of acute and chronic illness.
Measures of patient-centered, safe, effective, timely, efficient and equitable care.
- Clinical Care Innovations
Advancing practice through the integration of education and research.
Format: what was the goal for creating 30,60, and 90-minute sessions? What else is new about educational formats in 2019?
Higher education adopted these variations in traditional class/lecture times some time ago. As time goes on, other conferences and educational events have had success with this format as well. The themes are new and allow us to more seamlessly integrate wound, ostomy, continence, and professional practice material into current and meaningful areas of focus in healthcare. The approach is well rounded and inclusive… and, I think, fun!
Increased product knowledge: what does that mean for attendees and exhibitors?
We have allotted more time to make one-on-one or small group appointments with vendors in order to allow attendees to meet with vendors regarding products that they would like more information about. This also allows exhibitors to spend the time needed to answer more in-depth questions in a setting that is a little less busy and noisy than the usual vendor hall hours.
Enhanced networking opportunities
I’m very excited about having a mixer for all attendees on the first night. Be ready for some fun ways to get to know your colleagues, meet new folks, and re-connect with others.
Is the education provided at WOCNext just for WOC nurses?
The education provided at WOCNext is applicable to a wide variety of healthcare clinicians; including, but not limited to, nurses, advanced practice nurses, physician’s assistants, physicians, and physical therapists. Whether you work in a hospital, clinic, skilled nursing facility, long term acute care, respite, home health, tele-health, or provide mobile health care for those experiencing homelessness. The content is equally applicable to those working in research, quality improvement, and the legal profession. There’s something for everyone at WOCNext!
What are you the most excited about at WOCNext 2019?
Between the amazing speakers and topics, networking with other WOC clinicians and researchers, getting to know new attendees, checking out the vendor hall, and enjoying Nashville, it’s pretty hard to decide what I’m most excited about at WOCNext 2019. Fair to say, I’m planning on enjoying every minute!
For more information on WOCNext 2019, please visit wocnext.org.