Drug & Innovation Update
The Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA) publishes the SCA Bulletin bimonthly. The information presented in the SCA Bulletin has been obtained by the editors. Validity of opinions presented, drug dosages, accuracy and completeness of content are not guaranteed by SCA.
Making Good on New Year’s Resolutions
Welcome to 2010. The New Year has come and many of us have made resolutions that we now have to keep. Two years ago my resolution was to eat more chocolate and drink more red wine. Last year I amended it to eat darker chocolate and to drink better red wine. I’m proud to say I followed these resolutions all year.
The SCA has made two important New Year’s resolutions and we have already begun implementing them. Based on a combination of feedback from the membership, the International Committee, and the results of a strategic planning initiative, The Board of Directors has begun an initiative to enhance its multinational collaboration with other active cardiac anesthesia societies. This collaboration will improve professional networking, create international multicenter research opportunities, and improve information exchange. This enhanced collaboration is taking several forms. At the leadership level, the SCA has invited a member of EACTA to join our annual Board of Directors Meeting. Similarly, a member of our Executive Committee will attend the Annual EACTA Board of Directors meeting. The goal of this exchange is to explore possible synergies for the two Societies. On a more operational level, new members from Europe, Japan, and Australia have joined the Meeting Program Committees. The aim of this expansion is to ensure that our Meeting Programs cover the most relevant topics and include the best speakers to offer the highest level of education possible.
Our second resolution is also aimed at optimizing the educational value of our Meetings. It’s a well known educational principle that active education is better:
• Tell me, I will forget
Studies have clearly demonstrated that active teaching is far more effective at reaching attendees, and that the knowledge learned by the attendees is retained for a longer time. Additionally the instructor gets immediate feedback and can see if the lessons are being understood.
Going forward, all SCA meetings will utilize an Audience Response System (ARS). Initially the ARS will be incorporated in selected sessions, but over time, our plan is to incorporate the use of ARS to most if not all large format sessions. Speakers will incorporate questions into their presentations and the audience will then get a chance to answer the questions. The group’s tabulated results are then displayed on the screen. Immediately, the audience members will know if they understood the material and the speaker will know if the material was clearly presented.
Another function of the ARS is that it will facilitate future meeting planning and help us make sure that the memberships’ needs are met. The meeting planners will pose questions to the audience about possible future topics and the membership will then vote. It will then be clear to the planners what topics are of paramount interest.
ARS is not a new technology, but recent advances have made it far more manageable. There are several different approaches in use. Some systems rely on dedicated hand-held devices to answer the questions. Newer systems employ SMS and web-based responses placed by the use of smart phones. Based on evaluations by the Electronic Communications Committee, Ruggles, and the Board of Directors, the SCA has opted to employ an SMS/web-based technology marketed by Poll Everywhere http://www.polleverywhere.com. To be ready to use this technology, you may want to go the website and demo the technology before you attend the meetings. Just to be clear, every system has its advantages and disadvantages. We feel this system had the best balance: it is readily accessible and easy to use for the faculty and the meeting participants. In order to vote with this system, you must have a SMS or web enabled phone and there must be mobile service in the lecture hall. In places without mobile service we are exploring the alternatives. To avoid interruptions during the sessions, we will also need the cooperation of the attendees to silence the ringers on their phones. There will be a learning curve for the speakers and the attendees, but the benefits are clearly worth the effort.
Multinational collaboration and the implementation of the ARS are two major steps for the SCA. They will provide the membership with tremendous value by enhancing the breadth and quality of the educational sessions. We look forward to your participation in future meeting planning and in the didactic sessions. We also ask for your patience as we incorporate the new ARS technology into our educational activities.
©2009 Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists
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