The National Association of Bariatric Nurses (NABN) Sixth Annual Meeting and Conference

| January 21, 2010 | 0 Comments

The National Association of Bariatric Nurses (NABN) Sixth Annual Meeting and Conference
Orlando, Florida, November 4–6, 2009

by Laurie D. McGinley, RN, MS, CNS-BC, APN, CBN

Bariatric Times. 2010;7(1):15

The National Association of Bariatric Nurses (NABN) held their Sixth Annual Meeting and Conference in Orlando, Florida, November 4–6, 2009 at the beautiful Hilton in the Walt Disney Resort. The one-and-a-half-day conference was attended by over 100 healthcare professionals.

The event kicked off with an evening Board meeting on November 4, followed by a brief general business meeting, and concluded with a poolside welcome reception and exhibit viewing in the center ballroom.

The general conference session opened with an informative and entertaining “Greetings from Orlando” given by Dr. Jean Leuner, Dean of Nursing at University of Central Florida. Dean Leuner highlighted local points of interest and research taking place at area universities.

The keynote speaker, Senator Robert Clegg from New Hampshire, gave a compelling talk, “Getting Legislators to Understand the Cost of Healthcare and the Benefits of Prevention for the Obese Patient.” Senator Clegg discussed the rationale behind increased insurance coverage for bariatric surgical interventions. His deeply personal account of daily struggles due to morbid obesity made significant impact on the audience. Many attendees have a newly sparked interest in becoming involved on a state level to advocate for this patient population.

Susan Gallagher Camden, PhD, a return NABN speaker, focused her lecture on risk and liability issues. Although I have heard Dr. Camden speak on a number of topics, I never tire of her pearls of wisdom. She captivates and leaves the listener with ideas to take back to his or her areas of practice. One important “take away” for me was conceptualizing the difference between “I’m sorry” and “I apologize,” which accepts responsibility for an outcome. Nurses often feel badly about an unwanted outcome, but are often not responsible for negative results. Ms. Camden also offered suggestions on how to deal with patient fear and anger.

Dr. John Dixon, the immediate Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society (ANZOS) and an executive member of Obesity Surgeons Society of Australia and New Zealand (OSSANZ) as well as a committee member of American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), was the next invited speaker. Dr. Dixon discussed the topic metabolic syndrome and diabetes as it relates to our patients who are obese. His depth of knowledge and ability to explain on a user-friendly level were additional conference highlights.

Back by popular demand were breakout sessions. It was difficult to choose between the topics with competing times! Joe Nadglowski, President and CEO of Obesity Action Coalition, returned this year with an Advocacy Workshop. Fresh ideas were presented on how to get involved. If you have not already done so, check out the OAC website at
Dr. Jacqueline Jacques was another return presenter. Dr. Jacques’s energetic, empathetic, knowledgeable, and passionate approach to nutritional health inspires us all. Attendees of this breakout session left with vital information for postoperative management of various possible micronutrient deficiencies.

Lynn Thompson, RN, CBN, from the Surgical Review Corporation shared updates on Centers of Excellence (COE) and outlined the necessary requirements for this designation. Ms. Thompson also shared sample bariatric clinical pathways—invaluable tools to take back to the clinical setting. Her presentation created a flurry of questions among those preparing for COE site visits.
Dr. John Dixon graciously spoke in a breakout session on pediatric/adolescent obesity. As many of us know, this is a rapidly expanding problem—not just in the United States, but worldwide.

Mary Lou Muir, RN, COHN, from Canada led a lively discussion group and demonstrated new equipment in her breakout session, “Safe Patient Handling.”

And finally, closing the activities on Thursday, Lois Gould, MS, and Renay Tyler, MSN, ACNP, CNSN, the editors of Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care (Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.), had a refreshing dialogue on “Preparing for Publication.” All who participated expressed an interest and newly charged desire to publish.

Friday was “a full day of education packed into a half day,” as someone commented. We opened the morning with a presentation of invited papers and abstracts. Be sure to review them in our journal and look for future publications on these topics.

Lynne Shaw, RN, MBA, CNA, MEP, C-MSEM, and NABN member, presented, “Emergency Preparedness and Evacuation Issues of the Bariatric Specialty Population.” Ms. Shaw’s presentation generated a number of questions and perhaps will prompt some revisions of evacuation plans nationwide; definitely a topic worth exploration.

Katie Jay, MSW, Director of the National Association of Weight Loss Surgery and a first-time speaker at our conference, drew the audience in with her catchy vocal introduction as she discussed, “How to Talk so Your Patients Will Listen.” After reviewing the attendee evaluation forms, it is safe to say she was a very welcomed addition to our impressive list of speakers. We hope to involve Ms. Jay in future NABN activities.

Closing the conference was a “Best Practice Panel Discussion.” Three topics under current research and review are managing comorbidities, postoperative exercise, and psychological follow up. Time was allocated to elaborate how a Best Practice recommendation is made. Look for ongoing progress as the year unfolds.

The location for next year’s meeting will be announced sometime in January. Stay tuned to the NABN website,, for details.

Author affiliation:
Ms. McGinley is the Bariatric Nurse Manager at Western Bariatric Institute of Reno, Nevada. Ms. McGinley has served as Vice President and President Elect of NABN and currently serves as President. She has worked in the hospital setting as well as office based.


Category: Past Articles, Symposium Synopsis

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