Stories From the Dean’s Travel Fund

Stories From the Dean’s Travel Fund

PhD candidate, Marlena Fisher received funding from The Deans Travel to further her research. One of the requirements for receiving this funding is to put together a short blog documenting the experience after returning from travel. Marlena Shares her story.

Marlena Fisher, MSN, RN, CNL

I had the privilege of attending The Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care in Montréal Canada from March 22nd -26th . This conference is led by the professional organizations of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). This was my first time attending the conference in person and I had the honor of presenting the qualitative aim of my dissertation research in a 15-minute podium presentation entitled: “The Context, Barriers, and Facilitators of Informal Advance Care Planning in Black Adults with Kidney Failure”. In my presentation I described some culturally preferred methods of engaging in advance care planning conversations among Black adults with kidney failure and some key events, like a recent hospitalization, that we can provide further advance care planning resources to aid in facilitating advance care planning conversations. I was shocked at the attendance of my talk and the number of interested researchers who came up to chat and ask questions at the conclusion of my talk. Sharing my work and fielding questions has helped in my preparation for my final defense on May 3rd. As I look forward to the next steps in my research career having the opportunity to disseminate my work and network are very important.

The best part of the conference was networking with other like-minded researchers who are focused on improving end-of-life care for all. I left with many future contacts for collaboration. Attending this conference also enabled me to meet with mentors who I have only met virtually, like Dr. Justin Sanders, and to reconnect with past co-workers from my time as a Medical Intensive Care Unit nurse at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. I greatly enjoyed sharing this conference experience with two of my peers: Drs. Lyndsay DeGroot and Katie Nelson. I greatly enjoyed attending their presentations and debriefing about other presented content with them. In conclusion, this was truly a great conference experience that enabled me to learn about others palliative care research, network, disseminate my dissertation findings, and debrief with my peers.

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