OPSWA’s 2nd Annual Conference!

One year later from the first conference & I’m writing about it yet again. Huh.

Well, I can’t say I’m surprised. I knew from the moment I read up on OPSWA that it was something I wanted to be a part of. So to have really taken part in this years conference – from planning, to working it AND presenting – was a huge huge thing. And I loved it.

Instead of hosting it in a clinical setting, we opted for the more relaxed, yet formal look at the Cambridge Hotel & Conference Center just off of the 401 & Hespeler (If you know Cambridge or drive the 401W frequently, you know where it is, otherwise, use Google. It’s your friend). It was perfect. The staff who set up the tables & prepared the food & helped us electrically-challenged were absolutely fantastic. And I think our guests thought so as well.

Instead of sitting and enjoying the show, I was wondering about taking pictures, Tweeting & Facebook-ing the event. As I did so, I not so subtly reserved one ear to eaves drop. Hey. I worked hard on helping to prepare this conference, so I wanted to know if people were enjoying it. Of course I could have asked – and I did – but this way got me very honest opinions. Words like “so much fun!”, “Interesting!” & “I can’t wait until next year!” made me smile from ear to ear. THIS is why I do this. Not for the money – because working for a not for profit association isn’t exactly the best way to become a millionaire – but because I BELIEVE in this.

PSWS are the forefront of healthcare and we NEED so badly to be recognized & held accountable to those we serve. This was mentioned adnauseum throughout the day & I have no doubt people may have become numb to hearing about it. Well, we’re not going away. & if this is something you too believe in then don’t stop preaching.

We had a lot of very interesting speakers, some even came back for a second round. Tilak Dutta of Toronto Rehab came last year and just like the first presentation blew our minds the second time around. He introduced a lot of new technology being tested so that one day it may make work for the PSW a lot easier. Hey, find me one PSW who isn’t on board with that.

Louise Lachowskyj, RN, OPSWA’s Director of Operations & token RHCP also came for a second time and talked to the crowd about the importance of proper charting. Her words are spoken with true honesty, sincerity & with a touch of humour & firmness. I very much enjoy the privilege of working with this wonderful woman and listening to her presentations.

Other presentations worthy of note are the Palliative Care talk by Wellington Hospice, MY VERY OWN presentation about apswlife & how I became involved with OPSWA. Needless to say I was a tad nervous, but I think my excitement and exhaustion covered that up nicely.

OPSWA’s President Miranda Ferrier – and my wonderful mentor & friend – also spoke to the crowd. Her focus was on the future of the PSW, leading into the desperate need for regulation. Will it happen? We still don’t know. Is there hope? Yes. there is always hope. We’ll keep pushing until it happens.

The day was a success. The presenters had a great time and most importantly, so did the 80 PSWs in attendance. Some came from local cities, where others travelled from Sudbury, Barry & Windsor to name a few. That’s dedication.

As much as I can’t wait for next year, I’m also sort of happy it’s over. I need a day… or 360 of them, before I can do this again.

For more highlights check out our page on Facebook. You can also search our hashtag on twitter #OPSWAConference2015.

I’ll leave you with CTV Kitchener’s coverage.
http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=600180&fb_action_ids=765156423600404&fb_action_types=og.shares
Yeah, that’s right. We got CTV there!

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