AARC Congress 2013 will get underway in just a couple of weeks, and if you’re lucky enough to be heading to Anaheim, you know you’ll find all the continuing education you need to get up-to-speed on key areas of respiratory care – and all the CRCE you need to maintain your license to practice.
But this annual meeting offers much more than just the chance to learn new things in lectures and symposiums. It’s a great place to grow your career too.
Here are six tips on getting the most out of the career building aspects of the Congress –
- If you’re looking for a new job right now, this year’s meeting features a bonus symposium on Saturday, Nov. 16, with all the information and tools you need for a successful hunt. Getting the Job: From Resume to Interview isn’t just for registered attendees at the meeting either. Any AARC member who would like to attend is invited to take part.
- Use AARConnect to find out who in your area is going to the meeting and suggest an informal get-together at lunch, dinner, or just for drinks later in the evening. This is a great way to come face-to-face with potential employers in a relaxed setting where everyone is geared up to talk respiratory care. Don’t jump out with a question about job openings – just use the occasion as a chance to get to know those in your locale who may help further your career now or in the future.
- Spend plenty of quality time in the Exhibit Hall and make it a point to introduce yourself to the vendors who are showing off their latest products and services. Many of them are RTs themselves, and they’re all interested in working more closely with RTs on research projects and other endeavors. If you see yourself moving into the R&D or sales and marketing side of respiratory care, you can make some invaluable connections in just a matter of hours.
- All of the lecturers at the AARC Congress make themselves available to speak one-on-one with attendees after their sessions, so if you attend a session given by someone from a hospital you’d like to work at one day, approach that person after the session, ask a pertinent question about the talk, and work a comment or two into the conversation about your desire to learn more about the facility. You never know where it will lead!
- The AARC sponsors 10 Specialty Sections and 12 Roundtables – all groups focused on niche areas within the profession -- and most of them host meetings at the Congress that are open to anyone who would like to attend. If you’re thinking about getting into one of these areas, check out the Congress Program (for the sections) or Congress Gazette (for the roundtables) to see when the group is getting together, then go by, introduce yourself, and learn more about it from people who are already doing it.
- What if you’re perfectly happy in the job you have now? Use the Congress to earn some brownie points back home by selecting a few presentations that are especially relevant to your organization and then offering to present an in-service to physicians, nurses, RTs, or others in your facility when you get back. Sharing what you learned not only delivers information about a new aspect of respiratory care to your colleagues, it also shows them that you’re willing to go the extra mile to improve the knowledge base at your hospital.
So, learn a lot, earn your CRCEs, and have some fun in Anaheim, but keep your career in mind as well. The AARC Congress is the perfect place to set the stage for your next big move. And if you’re not able to attend this year, start planning now to attend AARC Congress 2014 Dec. 9-12 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas!
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