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AACC boot camps on point-of-care testing (POCT) offer unique, interactive experiences to help POCT professionals improve their programs. This year’s regional conference in Pittsburgh, 2019 Point of Care Testing Boot Camp and Beyond: Communicating, Connecting, and Collaborating, places a specific emphasis on skills and tools that will enable POCT staff to successfully manage POCT programs and work with all personnel who use or oversee areas that use POCT devices.

The conference organizing committee chose this year’s topics based on a survey they sent to point of care coordinators (POCCs) from around the country, Kerstin Halverson, MS, organizing committee chair and a clinical applications manager for acute care diagnostics at Instrumentation Laboratory in Bedford, Massachusetts, told CLN Stat. “We are continuously reevaluating the agenda for the conference, based on participant feedback. We strive to make it a day of learning and engagement for all attending.”

Feedback from prior attendees has been that everyone comes away learning something new—regardless of their experience level, Halverson said. “We have also rearranged our agenda a bit as well to make the day as interactive as we can make it,” she emphasized. “This is not a day where one will sit still!” Attendees at this energetic daylong meeting will learn all about competency, training, policies, procedures, communication styles and tips, quality, regulatory compliance, and connectivity.

New to the conference, POCCs in a series of “hot topics” roundtables will have the opportunity to discuss and flesh out options for resolving an issue. “While we haven’t yet decided on which hot topics we will be discussing, we want them to be relevant so specifics will be decided shortly before the conference,” said Halverson. “We have been monitoring AACC Artery suggestions and those from previous questions we heard at boot camps held in Portland and Baltimore, so we have a good list of topics to cull through.” Attendees will be able to discuss more than one topic “so it should be a good hour of valuable discussion,” she added.

The conference also will offer plenty of opportunities to interact with peers. “The networking that happens during this conference really is the icing on the cake for attendees,” said Halverson. “Meeting new POCCs, sharing ideas and solutions to common issues, and interacting with others who are in the same boat is a key takeaway we have heard from previous attendees. There always is a low key, no pressure opportunity to speak one-on-one with industry reps who sponsor the boot camp, all conveniently located in one place.”

Participating in an AACC POCT boot camp can be career-enhancing, according to one prior attendee, Erika Deaton-Mohney BS, MT(ASCP), CPP, who was inspired to take AACC’s Point-of-Care Testing Professional Certification exam and to collaborate with other POC professionals in preparation for that exam. “It proved to be an opportunity for learning, collaboration, and professional networking,” said Deaton-Mohney.  “I brought back more than one golden nugget of ideas and understandings.” All of the information is timely and practical, noted another attendee, Leslie Comella MT(ASCP): “Attending the boot camp is a wonderful opportunity for laboratorians taking the leap into point of care.”

Register now for 2019 Point of Care Testing Boot Camp and Beyond: Communicating, Connecting, and Collaborating on November 8 in Pittsburgh and earn 7 ACCENT credit hours.