By Cynthia Stewart, MBA, RT(R)(T)(M)
As a first-year attendee of the AHRA annual meeting, I applied for the Royce and Paula Osborn scholarship late last fall and waited, well honestly, to be rejected! So, I was very excited to be awarded a scholarship and be a part of the first ever AHRA Virtual Meeting.
Annual conferences tend to pack so much information in a short weekend, when (ok full disclosure here) I really may want to be at the pool or reconnecting with old friends, but I digress! Being able to get away from the office to attend, in theory really helps take your mind away from work enabling you to be focused and attentive in the present.
With this being a virtual conference, I was concerned that I wouldn’t find that time away to really focus on the presentations. My plan was to take 3 days and work from home watching the presentations, in real time all while being super attentive and present! Well, okay, so life happened, and I ended up watching presentations during the workday- you know best laid plans and such.
Turns out one of the very best features of virtual conferences is that you can watch the presentations a second time if you didn’t quite get it all the first time and you can watch on your timeline. You can also watch all the presentations, you don’t have to choose between two great presentations because they are both at the same time. Like at the hospital cafeteria when they have all the good stuff on one day. What is that all about anyway?
I am not sure which committee was tasked with choosing speakers however I am very appreciative at the time and thought that went into the selections. This has been a very different year for each of us, our struggles, although familiar to each other, are unique for each one of us, we each shoulder different burdens, between work, family and simply surviving. The emphasis focused on caring for ourselves was so timely. We all need to hear the message if we don’t care for ourselves, put our oxygen mask on first, caring for others will become unsustainable.
The first timers meet and greet was a fun time and a nice overview of the conference. I enjoyed being able to meet some of the AHRA staff and volunteers, especially the old timers.
I very much enjoyed the virtual meeting. Having access to the presentations has been helpful and having access to all of them has provided a positive ROI for education dollars. I would recommend gaining access to the recorded presentations, I am sure you would not be disappointed.
In short, I am grateful to have received the Osborn Scholarship. I will definitely be interested in next year’s conference and I am honored to be associated with this organization.