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Beth A. Wathen, CCRN-K, MSN, RN, is the current president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), the world’s largest specialty nursing organization. Ms. Wathen has had the unique opportunity to support critical care nurses personally and professionally in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since becoming president in July, she has balanced the need to continue moving the association forward with recognizing the realities of exhaustion among critical care clinicians.
“I’m really worried about the impact of burnout on our workforce and the increasingly significant turnover that we are seeing across disciplines in critical care,” Ms. Wathen said. “We really need to keep our eye on how we can support and nurture clinician well-being and also focus on multipronged retention strategies that emphasize meaningful recognition. Our critical care teams are tired. We all need to do our part to ensure our teams feel heard, recognized, and supported.”
That’s the leader in Ms. Wathen speaking. She will offer her perspectives on leadership during the 2022 Critical Care Congress in the plenary session “Cultivating Leadership From Within.” “This session is really about exploring what it takes to become a successful leader and to examine strategies to enhance your leadership development and build your leadership portfolio,” Ms. Wathen said. “The emphasis is on understanding your personal passion and purpose and what leadership ‘powers’ you have to bring to the table.”
In addition to her work with the AACN, Ms. Wathen has been a clinical practice specialist in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Children’s Hospital Colorado Aurora since 2005. She oversees the PICU’s quality program and serves as organizational lead for the Code/RRT Program and Sepsis Task Force and nursing lead for the Clinical and Operational Effectiveness Council.
Ms. Wathen is excited to participate in SCCM’s Congress, as both presenter and participant. “I always look forward to Congress because of the incredible variety of sessions to attend,” she said. “I think what I appreciate most is the interdisciplinary emphasis of SCCM so that it feels inclusive of all critical care professionals.”
As for those SCCM members who attend her session, Ms. Wathen hopes she is able to serve as an inspiration. “Too often, a healthcare professional’s career development focuses solely on becoming an expert clinician in their chosen field of study,” she said. “Yet healthcare and professional organizations as well offer many opportunities for those who wish to explore developing their leadership portfolio, in addition to their clinical experience. I hope they walk away with an understanding of their purpose and their power, and a desire to explore leadership development.”
Posted: 12/16/2021 | 0 comments
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