AADO Scholarship 2004
A Report on the Spinal Cord Injuries Conference
San Francisco 2-5 June 2004
It is a report from Mr. Cheng Ying Cheung Anthony,
one of the successful
applicants of AADO Scholarship 2004,
who attended the Spinal Cord Injuries Conference held in San Francisco,
USA in 2 - 5 June 2004.
Thanks for AADO in offering me a sponsorship to attend
the Spinal Cord Injuries Conference, held at San Francisco from
2/6/04 to 5/6/04.
Of the 350 registrants, there were nurses, therapists,
physicians, rehabilitation specialists, social workers and case
managers. Most of them came from North America and I was the only
one from Asia. Although the schedule of the conference was very
tight, we still found some times to chat and share our experience
on the management of spinal cord injury. It was really a good opportunity
to learn the health care belief in other parts of the world, how
it affects health care practice and outcomes of the recovery.
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The conference adopted a multidisciplinary approach
to layout topics, which were significant to the care of spinal injury
patients. The focus was so comprehensive that not only clinical-based
issues were included, social and psychological concerns were also
put in a high priority for discussion. Topics such as patient’s
compliance, euthanasia, transition from critical care to rehabilitation
were thoroughly addressed. I was so impressed that some speakers
bore two roles - on one hand they were health care providers while
on the other hand they were spinal cord injury patients! They have
continued their career and contributed to the community in a different
way. Their unfortunate experience has given them insight on how
to take care of such group of patients. They brought out an important
message that health care providers have to show respect and maintain
patient’s dignity in all circumstances and it was through
a good rapport that the delivering care would become effective and
meaningful. Their sharing also offered me new perspectives that
no one was totally disabled if he / she had the drive of achieving
something! Of course, good support from family and health care services
were also keys of success.
Furthermore, there was quite a lot of related information
provided by the organizers of the conference. Reading materials
such as patient education pamphlets, books and wide varieties of
rehabilitative equipment such as electric wheelchair, pressure-relieving
devices were shown at the exhibits during the conference time. All
this valuable information became part of my “bring home gifts”.
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Although it was a long way to travel
from Hong Kong to San Francisco, I really treasure the experience.
Not only because of what I have learnt from the conference, but
also because of the health care professionals that I got to know
and the city life of such a fascinating city. I strongly recommend
for those who are interested in spine services to attend the conference
next year at Washington D. C. in April.
By CHENG Ying-cheung, Anthony
Nurse Specialist (O&T), PYNEH
18 June 2004