5 Things I Learned at AARC Congress 2015 to Make Me a Better Educator

Janelle Gardiner, left, and Esther Brobbey at AARC Congress 2015Janelle Gardiner, left, and Esther Brobbey

By Janelle Gardiner, DHSc, RRT, AE-C

I have been fortunate to attend both the AARC International Respiratory Convention & Exhibition and Summer Forum for quite a few years now. It seems each time I come away with a renewed energy and enthusiasm for respiratory therapy, both as a therapist and as an educator. This year was no different.

Counting down in true David Letterman fashion, I want to share with you the top five things I learned at AARC Congress 2015 to make me a better educator.

At #5 are the things I learned about accreditation, inter-rater reliability, process improvement, and developing employable graduates from the panel presenters at “Tell Me Something I Should Know: Current and Future Issues Impacting Respiratory Care Educators.”

#4 comes from Diane Oldfather, MEd, RRT. She discussed “Planting the Seed: Education Strategies to Cultivate Engaged Students.” I am using some of her suggestions to continue to develop leadership skills and nurture confidence in my students.

#3 is what I learned from Brady Scott, MS, RRT-ACCS, FAARC, in “Simulation in Clinical Respiratory Care: Teaching, Testing, Trials, and Tribulations.” His presentation gave me some ideas of different ways I can improve the use of simulation for both teaching and testing my students.

The #2 thing I learned is students can be good teachers. I asked a couple of students to attend the Student Seminar and listen to what was said with the intent to share some of the things they learned with their peers upon their return back home. They were fortunate enough to learn about “Acquiring Your Credential” from Bill Galvin, MEd, RRT, FAARC. They also benefited from Dana Evans, MHA, RRT-NPS, as she taught them “How to Lose a Job Before You’re Hired.”

And the #1 thing I learned at AARC Congress 2015 to make a better educator is that I can instill in my students and patients the “who are you to tell me what I can and can’t do” attitude. The closing ceremony with Amy Van Dyken was incredibly inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed listening about her triumph despite many obstacles, big and small.

Thanks, AARC, for these great take-away lessons and many others.

Janelle Gardiner is an associate professor of respiratory care at Weber State University in Ogden, UT.