Hi friends! I hope that your summer has geared up to be awesome and if you live anywhere hot (like me) that your air conditioner works! My life has been a pretty crazy whirlwind lately but I wanted to get back to posting for my lovely readers. And today I wanted to finally share a little bit of reflection on one of the biggest events that has happened to me so far as a child life specialist.
Two months ago the Child Life Council (soon to be Association of Child Life Professionals) had their national conference in Florida. I got the chance to not only go to this wonderfully inspiring conference, but present one of the professional development workshops! I, along with my fellow child life coworker and one of our sedation doctors lead a session on the use of Nitrous Oxide (aka “laughing gas”) with patients undergoing catheterizations for radiology procedures.
While the submission process was long and hard, I was so excited when I found out that the proposal was accepted and that we would be presenting at the conference. Gearing up for the conference was also long and hard, mainly because I could not wait until May! But I was also concerned that our presentation would be filled with important information and that participants would leave with more knowledge they could use in their own practices. We worked hard to try and think about the different levels participants would be at and what things they knew and didn’t know about nitrous oxide. I learned that while it’s difficult to create a presentation that meets every single person’s expectations perfectly, it’s always important to continually assess and get feedback in order to reach towards that goal.
Conference turned out to be everything that I expected and more! I learned so much from the sessions and I couldn’t wait to take it all home and apply it to my own practice. I was inspired to think about child life outside of the hospital setting as well as consider new research ideas for furthering the field of child life. I definitely wish I could go to conference every year!
When it was time for me and my coworkers to present, I was super excited and yes, a little bit nervous. But we had practiced the presentation with multiple audiences before coming so I was feeling confident. I think the most overwhelming thing was when I stood up and saw the room full of child life specialists all looking expectantly, ready to hear what we had to say. But once we got started everything fell into place and at the end I was shocked by how many people that had questions. I was so happy to see people were engaged and wanting to learn more.
I definitely loved presenting for my fellow child life specialists and I am looking forward to the next time that I will present. I already have some ideas about other presentations! I definitely recommend that all child life specialists should try their hand at presenting, even if it’s for a regional conference. I’ve learned so much from this experience and I can not wait to see where it will take me in the future.