AARC Congress 2011 Gazette
for Friday, November 4

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Welcome to the largest respiratory care meeting in the world

by Cheryl Hoerr MBA RRT FAARC, Program Committee Chair
Cheryl Hoerr Cheryl Hoerr

2011 will go down in the medical history books as a year when the game changed. As health care organizations began dealing with the groundbreaking initiatives spurred by the Affordable Care Act, providers everywhere scrambled to stay one step ahead.

Here at the 57th AARC International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition, you can be sure you’ll hear presentations on topics integral to our redefined health care system and how respiratory therapists can maintain or even improve high-quality care for patients with lung conditions in this era of change. Evidence-based science is key to achieving that goal, and the Program delivers on that score as well. And with a record-breaking 20 Open Forums on tap, original research will rule the next four days too.

In short, this year's Gold Standard meeting in respiratory care features everything you need to support your organizations in this era of health care reform:

  • Hundreds of presentations on need-to-know information you can take back home and put to work in your facilities.
  • The hottest advances in patient care and technology in an Exhibit Hall filled with all the manufacturers in the industry.
  • Original research presented by and for respiratory therapists in 20 Open Forums spread over the four days of the Congress.
  • All the CRCE credit you need to maintain your state license.
  • Programs targeting all areas of the profession: adult critical care, neonatal/pediatric care, home care, continuing care/rehabilitation, diagnostics, transport, management, education, sleep, and long-term care.

A quick look through the Program illustrates the value you'll find here in Tampa this week. Have a great meeting!

Stay safe out there


You came to the Congress this week to learn more about respiratory care. But some other folks lingering around the Convention Center may have something else in mind entirely. Large professional gatherings in major metropolitan areas often attract thieves and con men, and it’s up to all of us to ensure we don’t become a victim. Here are some common-sense ideas for keeping safe and sound:

  • Don’t wear your badge outside the Convention Center.
  • Watch out for any thieves who try to distract you by dropping coins, spilling something on your clothing, etc.
  • Take care when entering or exiting cabs or other vehicles, particularly when loading/unloading baggage.
  • Keep your eye on your belongings when talking on the phone or waiting for a cab or other transportation. Don’t be distracted when in large groups of colleagues.
  • Don’t reveal your hotel room number in crowded places where it might be overheard by the wrong person.
  • Keep carry-on valuables (particularly high-dollar items such as laptop computers) in sight at all times.
  • Say “no thank-you” to passersby who offer to help carry and/or watch your possessions.
  • Beware of limo drivers who pull up to the curb and offer you a discount on transportation. Use only licensed transportation services.
  • Always carry your wallet in a front pocket and your purse with the flap toward your body.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash.
  • Be sure to have the name, phone number, and address of an emergency contact person with you in case of an accident or sudden illness.
  • Store the emergency contact person’s number in your cell phone and label it “AICE.” (“A” to place it at the top of your address list, and “ICE” for “in case of emergency.” First responders recommend this.)
  • Use hotel lock boxes for all valuables; don’t leave them in your room.
  • If car trouble arises on the trip to or from the airport, protect your luggage by locking the vehicle before seeking assistance.

Make every minute count!

You came to Tampa this week to learn as much as you could about the latest developments in respiratory care. But with all the excitement of the meeting, it’s easy to lose track of your plans. Here are a few tips you can use to make sure you go home with the knowledge you need to help your organization succeed and boost your own career potential:

  • Budget time after sessions to visit with lecturers and ask questions—all the lecturers at this meeting (even the biggest names here) will be available after their talks to speak directly with attendees.
  • Network with your colleagues to learn more about what they’re doing at their facilities and explore job opportunities around the country.
  • Collect business cards of the folks you meet and jot down notes on the back of the cards to remember who's who and why they may be important to your future.
  • Use the Congress to explore new career paths. All of the Specialty Sections and many of the Roundtables are hosting meetings, and everyone (not just current members) is invited to attend.
  • Set aside time each day to visit the Exhibit Hall and make a list of the vendors you want to see during each excursion. Remember, it is open today through Monday, so you don't have to see it all at once.
  • Ask vendors to share the scientific proof behind their new technologies and inquire about opportunities to conduct joint research projects.
  • Take advantage of vendor-sponsored events and be sure to request follow-up calls or visits from vendors once you get back home.

There’s an app for this (meeting, that is)!

Mobile App

Your smartphone will help you find your favorite speakers, interesting topics, and exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall. Plus you can rate the Congress sessions you attend and speakers you hear. Your feedback will help the AARC ensure it continues to provide you with the topics you want to know more about. If you came to the Congress with an Android phone, simply download our AARC Congress App from their “Market.” If you have an iPhone, Blackberry, or other smartphone, bookmark the mobile optimized site at http://moblico.com/aarc/.

“Buying Show” adds value to your Exhibit Hall experience

The lectures and symposia at AARC Congress 2011 are full of the hands-on knowledge you need to deliver high-quality care back home.

With hundreds of exhibitors, including all of the major companies in the business, the Exhibit Hall takes "hands on" to the next level, letting you see and touch the latest equipment in the profession. And thanks to our “Buying Show” concept, you can also negotiate pricing and make purchases right on site, usually at discounts well below what is offered to hospitals, even those participating in group purchasing organizations.

So be sure to ask manufacturers about special pricing they may be offering exclusively to AARC Congress 2011 attendees. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you hear. The Exhibit Hall is open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 11 am–4 pm.

Fall back: daylight saving time ends Saturday night!

Daylight saving time ends Saturday at midnight, so be sure to set your clocks back an hour before hitting the sack so you don’t get up any earlier than you have to for Sunday’s Breakfast Symposia, which kick off bright and early at 6:30–6:45 am. The Roche 5K Fun Run and Walk has an early start time too—chip distribution begins at 6 and the race starts promptly at 6:30!

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