WOCNext® 2021 will convene in Orlando, FL, on June 27-30, 2021, to bring together wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) nurses and healthcare professionals from around the world. The education will revolve around the dissemination of the latest research and evidence-based knowledge of innovative techniques, applications, technologies, and treatments related to wound, ostomy, continence, and foot and nail nursing.
WOCN® caught up with the new WOCNext 2021 Abstract Chair, Carole Bauer, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, OCN, CWOCN, to find out more about her personal and professional interests, and to get her expertise on how to successfully submit an abstract. Carole currently resides in Troy, MI, with her husband Mark of 38 years. She has two children, Shannon and Ryan, and is a Grandma to Lucas, age 6, and Julia, age 3. Currently, Carole is working contingent since the start of the pandemic, a change that has helped her daughter, who’s also an essential worker, with her children. While Carole still maintains a clinical role in an outpatient ostomy clinic one day per week, she also spends time taking care of her parents.
As a WOCN member since 1996 (the year she also became a WOC nurse!), Carole has served in numerous local and national WOCN volunteer roles including positions on the Ostomy Committee, the Board of Directors, and the Scholarship Committee. She was also a member of the revision of the Scope and Standards of Practice Second Edition Task Force. When asked what she’s looking forward to the most in her new role as Abstracts Chair for the National Conference Planning Committee, Carole said, “I am looking forward to leading a remarkable group of volunteers as we navigate through this abstract season!”
Get to Know Carole Bauer
What do you like to do for fun? Is there anything that you do to unwind after a long and/or stressful day?
For fun, I like to ride my bike, hike, spend time with my family, and go “glamping” in my RV. Lately, to unwind I float in my pool on a giant blow-up chair.
What led you to a career working as a WOC nurse? Is there anything that has surprised you about your career as a WOC nurse?
I decided to become a WOC nurse initially because wound and ostomy care were like solving a puzzle. I went to school at MD Anderson and left my young family home with my husband for the entire time. Then in 2009, I obtained my MSN to open an ostomy clinic. This is such a great need in all communities, and as a BSN prepared nurse running a clinic back in 2009 was not an option. Running an ostomy clinic generally does not make enough money for salary support, so I was happy to be recruited a number of years ago by a local community hospital that has a strong colorectal program. I think the biggest surprise for me [about working asa WOC nurse] was when I moved from an inner-city cancer center to a community hospital in an affluent neighborhood. I was so surprised that the needs of those who had health insurance were still so like those who did not. So many people struggle with navigating our health system.
How many WOCNext/Annual Conferences have you attended and what is your favorite part of attending
Oh, dear! I have lost track. In the past, I was on the Board of Directors serving from 2010 to 2014. I have attended every conference since 2010. My favorite part has always been networking with my peers. I get to see those I have met through the Society who live all over the country.
Do you have any professional accomplishments you’re most proud of?
I think I am most proud of all the WOC nurses I have been able to precept and mentor in my career. I have lost count and forgotten some of their names but now count many as my friends. I am very proud to have been able to help expand our membership and the practice of WOC nursing.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? What advice would you in turn give to someone who is just starting their career?
As a nurse, the best advice I think I ever got was from Mary Gerlach, who was one of my preceptors and then my partner for many years. She told me, “Do not become a product nurse”. It was always about science and not about putting a bunch of products onto the patient. She helped me to really think through my clinical practice. I was also very blessed in my career to be mentored by a lot of great thinkers, such as Joann Maklebust, Mary Sieggreen, Laurie McNichol, and Dea Kent. The advice I would give to someone just starting a career as a WOC would be to make sure and network with those around you. This field of nursing can feel like you are on an island at times. Do not be afraid to shoot an email out to people who you may not even know but see listed in the Society membership directory. I am always reaching out to others, which helps me to stay current and to build a supportive network of people around me that help me stay current and keep me excited about this specialty.
As a WOCN member, do you have a favorite member benefit?
My favorite member benefit is the Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing (JWOCN). It helps me to keep up to date on the most progressive things in our area of practice.
Have you ever had an abstract get rejected?
I once had an abstract rejected! But I inquired about why the abstract was rejected and resubmitted for the next year, and it was accepted! I guess that is a fun fact because you should not give up on your ideas.
Submission Insights from the Abstract Chair
What should individuals know about the Abstracts process this year?
This year we are looking at ways to make the abstract site more user friendly. We hope that the changes to the site will help people follow the directions which the reviewers use to grade the abstracts. By doing so we hope to lessen any rejections for people understanding the directions. Each type of abstract has specific sections that must be included, which are listed in the directions. By formatting your abstract to fit these specific categories you can increase the likelihood that your abstract will be accepted.
- For Case Studies, each abstract should include the following sections: Statement of the Clinical Problem/Challenge, Significance to Practice including Past management, Solution/Clinical Treatment Approach, and Outcomes and Conclusions.
- For the Practice Innovation abstracts, each abstract should include the following sections: Topic/Significance to Practice, Purpose of the Innovation/Objectives, and Process/Replication and Outcomes.
- The Research Abstracts should each contain the following 5 sections: Topic, Purpose/Aims/Research Question, Study Design/Method, and Results and Conclusions.
Also, this year’s references in APA style will be required. Each abstract will need a minimum of 2 and not more than 5 references.
Are there any additional resources that will be provided as part of the Call for Abstracts process this year?
This year, we are going to do several new things:
- Offering a mentoring program for those who have an idea for a poster but have never had a successful abstract submission. The mentors will not be connected to the review process but will have had abstracts accepted in the past.
- Offering a Bite Sized Learning course on the abstract submission process, which will be hosted in the Continuing Education Center (CEC).
- There is also a PowerPoint that has been updated to reflect the new changes that cover everything you need to know about submitting your abstract.
In your opinion, what makes a successful abstract?
A successful abstract is one that has a topic which the author(s) are passionate about and for which they have read and followed the directions! Probably the greatest problem people have is not reading and following the directions.
Do you have any top tips for individuals interested in submitting an abstract this year?
Read and follow the directions! Once you understand the directions, tell your story clearly and concisely. Your goal is for someone else to read, understand your work, and then be able to replicate it in their practice setting. I guess it is important to remember that each abstract is blindly reviewed. You do not know the background of the person reviewing your abstract so you want to be sure that after reading your abstract they are excited about what you have to say, and that they will be able to replicate your work in their setting. If the abstract is not clear, there is a greater likelihood that the abstract will be rejected.
Why is it important for individuals to share their outcomes/abstracts?
Abstracts, in my mind, are “cutting edge” information. They are about the real-life things we all experience as WOC nurses and healthcare professionals. They lead us to bigger ideas and expand our horizons on how to expand our practice and our body of evidence.
Abstract Submission Resources:
Bite Sized Learning Course: wocn.digitellinc.com/wocn/sessions/5642/view
Instructional PowerPoint: slideshare.net/WOCNext/wocnext-2021-abstract-submission-instructions