An Interview with Five Conference Attendees

At the Communications and Connections Committee’s invited presentation, How Do I Communicate and Connect with ASPE? The CommConn Committee Tells You How, committee member Dan Brown sat down with five volunteers to interview them about their conference experience. Here are their answers!

When was your first ASPE conference?

Christopher Herring, Stanford University: My first conference as an SP was 2017 in Alexandria; this is my first conference as an administrator.

Melinda Carriker, Des Moines University: My first conference was the 2016 Tampa conference.

Kathy Herzberger, Loma Linda University: Ive been coming to these for decades, so I honestly cant remember which was the first conference for us.

Towanda Underdue, Johns Hopkins: My first conference was in 2016 in Tampa Florida.

Darrell Brock, University of Pittsburgh: My first conference is New Orleans in 2022.

What is something that youve learned at the conference that you plan to implement as soon as you get back to your institution?

CH: I took a workshop on mindfulness and wellness, so I plan on implementing a lot of the strategies that I learned from that to check in with our SPs a little more often, and make sure that I stay up to date with how they are and how theyre doing as a whole person, as they approach what we are asking them to do in simulation.

DB: I took a class on emotional affect and learning about those skills and emotions and everything, and there was a really cool set of games that we can play with SPs to help build understanding of emotions and learning about how to portray them effectively. So yeah, I think those would be really great to implement for our SPs, kind of turn it into a night kind of like a conference.

TU: So I learned, in one of the workshops, strategies to detect and prevent SP burnout, because I want my SPs to stick around as long as possible. And also those strategies help the SP educators maintain their sanity strategies so that they dont burn out as well.

MC: Im gonna say, too, I agree with the one about affect it was “To See the Unsaid,” the games that they introduced were definitely something I can take back and use with our SPs right away. Then, there was the session yesterday on using burnout practices that have been done with physicians to help our staff avoid burnout, and I think that’s something that I can take back and work on with our staff, since we definitely have been in that area for a while.

KH: I went to one today on a new case template that was very succinct compared to our wordy documents. Im going to go home and implement that.

What is something that you would like to implement that might be a little more pie-in-the-sky or harder to implement but you hope to someday?

KH: We would like to pay for home study, and evidently some of the other schools are doing that, and I dont know if Im gonna be able to get people on board with that, but I would like to.

TU: There are some techniques we learned in the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee presentation about setting a stage and leveraging personal identity roles towards social justice. It’s kind of like, because we have to adapt in our roles as SP educators, we have so many roles, that we’re trying to make sure that we identify within our team whose role is what and how we dont have to take on more responsibility than we need to. If possible, we can delegate to the team member thats adapted more to a certain role.

MC: I went to the modules committee session today and I am stepping out of my comfort zone and telling them that I am willing to try and come up with a module to present on. That’s definitely a pie-in-the-sky; we’ll see if I can accomplish it!

What have you learned about yourself at the conference?

CH: I have learned that I know a lot more than I thought I knew; I can really trust myself. I guess the word would be “validated,” I’m very validated to be around like-minded people who also think the way that I do in approaching our craft. So, just trust myself, approach with that humble confidence now, you know more than you think you do, and its OK to take a small chance here in there, and that I got it and there are people here to support me.

MC: Im gonna go along with that, because I am a person who, no matter how long Ive been in something, I dont consider myself knowledgeable enough to tell other people information. So as were stepping out and taking that next step of, “OK Im going to lead a session,” or “I’m going to do an article,”… coming to this conference, you talk to so many people and you’re like “Oh yeah, I do that too.” You start to realize that yes, you do have the knowledge that you can pass on to other people, and other people might be looking for stuff that youve done and they havent thought of.

DB: As a first timer I dont know a whole lot, but… because of the pandemic we all did not make many connections over the last two years; Im kind of re-learning the value of reaching out and talking to people and getting a lot of different perspectives, especially in this field where everybody is doing the same things but approaching them in different ways and giving new ideas toward what we’re doing.  So I definitely appreciated that, talking to so many people here at the conference.

TU: Ive learned that I am more resilient than I realize, and being at the conference with like-minded people and seeing how everyones navigating at their own institutions, I know that Im on the right path… We have a lot of professionals here, and were going to take simulation to the next level because we have all have that passion to do a great job and to see this expand, and to help all of our medical learners.

KH: I think I learned two things: one, I need more mindfulness in my life. My eye has stopped twitching since I was here for a couple of days, so I have learned to let go. I also realize how isolated I felt, even though we never shut down, we rolled all the way through the pandemic with just a lot of safety measures, but being around, you know, your people, its like “Wow I really missed this.” So yay! Yay for ASPE!

MC: I’m very thankful for this organization.

DB: It’s been very great, super educational, awesome mission, awesome commitment. Also, first time in New Orleans, great city. Love it.

MC: I would also add that at every one of these conferences, I meet new people from new areas across the country, and across the world, that I end up making connections with. And I stay connected with those people from then on… Every conference you go to is a unique experience and one that stays with you in many ways.

Communications and Connections Committee Mission: “To bring high quality reporting of current research, trends, techniques and information regarding SP methodology and other relevant industry articles to the attention of the membership through the web-based ASPE eNews blog.”

Please provide comments, questions or suggestions about the ASPE eNews Blog here.

Share this post:

Comments on "An Interview with Five Conference Attendees"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment