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By John Wallace

Perioperative nurses and SPD professionals from across the country gathered at OR Today Live in Denver this week to discover new opportunities, broaden their knowledge and exchange ideas. OR Today Live provided a safe and clean environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic for individuals to network and earn valuable CE credits..

Amy Hobbs, USOC Medical executive director of sales and customer service, said the opportunity to interact with customers and potential customers in a safe environment was among her reasons for attending OR Today Live.

“I was ready to get out of the house and be face-to-face with customers again,” Hobbs said.

Vangie Dennis, executive director for perioperative services at WellStar Atlanta Medical Center and WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South, mentioned networking and top-notch educational sessions when asked about the conference.

“For me, OR Today Live has always been an excellent connection for meeting with our peers and the educational offerings are always great,” Dennis said. “So, why during this pandemic would I choose to come? I think it is re-connectivity.”

“I prefer the live connection,” she added. “I’ve done a lot of webinars. So, I am going to put my mask on. I’m going to wash my hands and I’m not going to touch my face. Being a first responder in a Level I trauma center in Atlanta, and I’m going to be honest with you and I’m not cavalier, this is the least of my worries of being in a small venue. And, I am so glad that I did come.”

Karen Elliott, a clinical nurse specialist, who is active in the Denver chapter of AORN praised the conference.

“This is my first time being at an OR Today Live conference,” she said. “I am very glad we are doing a live event with all that we are dealing with with COVID. I think it is very beneficial to network, to speak with others and really to express what we are doing here for the community and for the nurses.”

Tracey Young, nursing professional development periop education at West Penn Hospital, said she found out about the OR Today Live conference through the OR Today webinar series.

“I’ve been watching the webinars for about six months, I use them for my CEs and also I am in periop education. So, I also pass them on to my staff,” Young explained.

She said her first ever OR Today Live conference was a great experience.

Jill Teubel, RN, MSN, clinical surgery educator at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center is another attendee who enjoyed previous OR Today Live conferences and was excited to experience the 2020 version in Denver.

“From the first time we went to OR Today Live we felt like it was something different than any of the other conferences,” she explained. “It’s definitely much more intimate. I feel like we gotten to know people and network with people and every year we can come back and touch base with them which has been really awesome in practice and what they are doing.”

“You can’t beat the price point of it,” she added. “I’ve never been to a conference that has as much to offer as they do with the price point. So, between the both of those I just feel it was a no brainer that this is something we want to attend every year because we learn lots of things. You have great speakers who are bringing up different topics. And that, in a nutshell, is why we always come.”

MD Publishing Vice President Kristin Leavoy said it was an honor to once again host the OR Today Live conference and bring peers together for a successful event.

“The 2020 OR Today Live conference may have looked different from past years with masks and social distancing procedures in place, but the feeling of camaraderie was stronger than ever,” Leavoy said. “As an event organizer hearing from attendees that they felt safe and comfortable at the conference provided reassurance that we made the right decision to proceed with an in-person meeting this year.”

She added that the event would not be possible without the great nurses and companies who support the OR community.

“I would personally like to thank the attendees and vendors who participated in this event. You placed your faith in us that we would host this event in a safe and clean environment and we truly appreciate your support,” she said.

For information about the next OR Today Live conference, sign up for a FREE subscription to OR Today magazine and/or the electronic newsletter at ORToday.com/subscribe.

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