By Erin Register

Perioperative nurses and SPD professionals from across the country recently gathered at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2019 OR Today Live Conference. Attendees were able to network in the exhibit hall, exchange ideas during educational sessions and earn up to 11 CE credits. The classes, super sessions and keynote included world-class speakers and provided attendees with invaluable knowledge to take back to their departments. Everyone even had some fun with Elvis and the Rat Pack!

The conference kicked off on Sunday morning with registration and a CNOR Prep Course presented by the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI). Education continued into the afternoon with CE super sessions. The speakers gave phenomenal presentations and received a lot of positive feedback from attendees. Phyllis Quinlan’s presentation “Understanding and Effectively Managing Bullying & Incivility in Your Perioperative Department” was described by an attendee as “excellent, motivating and encouraging.” Sharon McNamara, William Duggy and Jamie Ridout also gave a very impressive super session titled “Leadership Across Generations.” One attendee said, “Sharon McNamara is an awesome leader and speaker! This has been a creative and insightful presentation.”

Sunday concluded with a welcome reception in the exhibit hall sponsored by USOC Medical. Attendees were able to enjoy complimentary food and drinks while networking and engaging with exhibitors from all over the United States. Attendees continued to build connections and relationships at an after party sponsored by Las Vegas Heals.

Attendees were not the only ones to provide positive feedback from the conference. In an interview, Jeff Taltavull with AIV was asked what keeps AIV coming back to exhibit at the conference every year. He answered, “AIV keeps coming back because OR Today Live has been a great show for us. It helps us to establish relationships, and the intimacy of the show helps us build those relationships.”

Phyllis Quinlan with MFW Consultants also provided commentary on her conference experience.

“The first thing is the company itself. They are just really true professionals who are very easy to work with and very easy to navigate, as well as very supportive. They make participation for someone like myself, a speaker, very easy and user-friendly. Also, the participants are absolutely wonderful,” Quinlan said. “These are wonderful professionals who have come with a commitment to lifelong learning. They ask very valuable questions and are very engaged in the presentation. They are just a joy to be around.” Quinlan added that OR Today Live is “professional, authentic and timely.”

Following a complimentary breakfast Monday morning, attendees were energized and ready for the second day of OR Today Live. Education continued with several seminars on a wide variety of topics. Charles Hughes presented on table top sterilizers, and an attendee noted, “Chuck is wonderful about relating the lessons to real life scenarios. Learning this stuff was fun!” Additionally, Jim Stobinski’s presentation on the twin threats to nursing knowledge was said to be “very valuable information for aspiring leaders.”

After the morning seminars, lunch was served in the exhibit hall, where a special guest made an appearance. Elvis Presley came to see what OR Today Live had to offer! He mingled with attendees and exhibitors. Everyone was able to get their picture taken with Elvis in the photo area. Attendees also had the option of participating in a scavenger hunt to win great door prizes and OR Today merchandise. Educational sessions continued throughout the afternoon.

When asked about his thoughts on the classes, University of Minnesota Medical Center’s John Zender stated, “I really enjoy the more intimate class size and the content of those classes. It has been excellent and very valuable. It is almost like you’re one-on-one. There has been a lot of interaction, and I really like it.” Attendees ended the day at the Party Under the Stars sponsored by AIV. Located in the Moon lounge, the party included dinner, an open bar featuring a special ORTini, an appearance by The Rat Pack and a spectacular view of the city.

Attendees danced and sang while Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. serenaded the audience.

The conference concluded on Tuesday with more educational seminars followed by a fantastic keynote luncheon and address by Rafael J. Grossman, MD, FACS. Grossman’s speech was titled “Spatial Computing, AR and VR: A Revolution in Health Care, Education and Beyond.”

After the conference, one attendee stated, “This was my second time coming to this conference. Another good experience. I will come again! I also brought another nurse director who has never come to this conference, and she thanked me for letting her know about this conference. She plans to come again as well. The sessions were all informative and the evening dinner entertainment was very much appreciated. I liked the scavenger hunt with the exhibitors and the prizes. I really liked the low-cost of the registration and appreciate your efforts on bringing the cost down and even possibly making it free!”

President and CEO of MD Publishing, the publishing company of OR Today, John Krieg also had a few words to say about OR Today Live.

“OR Today Live Las Vegas far exceeded our expectations and really turned the corner in terms of attendance, quality education and vendor engagement,” Krieg stated. “The response from the OR leaders at the show was just tremendous. They are raving over the intimate yet productive environment, the level of professionalism and overall quality of the program. We will continue to work hard and build on the success of this year’s event and make 2020 even more spectacular!”

MD Publishing Vice President Kristin Leavoy also summed up the conference by saying it “exceeded all expectations.”

“From the incredible lineup of presenters for our educational sessions to the generosity and support of our vendors and sponsors, our team could not be more pleased with the results. The 50% increase in this year’s attendance speaks for itself,” Leavoy said. “Word is spreading, OR Today Live is the conference to attend!”

Indeed, OR Today Live is the conference to attend for perioperative nurses and SPD professionals looking for continuing education, new ideas, networking opportunities and more. For more information about OR Today Live, visit ORTodayLive.com. View more photos here.