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Q&A with Kristine Barman, SGNA President

par Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | April 07, 2017
Kristine Barman
From the April 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates will hold its annual course May 7-9 in New Orleans. With the date fast approaching, HealthCare Business News reached out to President Kristine Barman to learn a little of her history in health care and about the latest news from the society.

HCB News: How did you get involved in health care?
I was interested in health care ever since I was a little girl. When I’d visit my grandparents on the upper peninsula of Michigan and my grandfather got a cut, he would come find me and say I was the best at putting on a Band-Aid. I loved taking care of him. Later, when I attended college, the two majors that didn’t require a foreign language were engineering and nursing, so that helped to direct things, too.

HCB News: How did you get involved with SGNA?
When I first started my career, I was working at a small community hospital in Florida when they opened a new department — endoscopy. They were looking for volunteers to staff the new department, and while it didn’t come with a pay raise, it did come with educational opportunities. A friend of mine invited me to join her at the local SGNA regional society meeting, which was the perfect place to get my education. I also found the networking to be invaluable.

HCB News: Why should others consider joining?
Joining SGNA is just so beneficial. You get so much back for every hour invested. It’s the best place to learn about best practices, and for me the annual meeting is like going to a family reunion.

HCB News: What have been the main initiatives you’ve championed as president?
The main message during my presidency is to invest in yourself and inspire others. When you invest in yourself professionally, you get so much in return for your practice and the greater GI nursing community. You also are able to share with others and “pay it forward” in terms of sparking passion in your colleagues. SGNA has always, and will continue to have, provided the resources to our members in order to be successful, and safe practitioners and patient advocates.

HCB News: What are the biggest challenges facing your members today?
One challenge is to stay current with technology advancements, and continue with training on new procedures and new accessories. We want to provide safe patient care and serve as patient advocates. It is important to be educated on how the new technologies will impact patients and what kind of complications we need to observe for. The GI community is doing things we never imagined we could do with a scope and it all definitely requires extra training to understand our roles and patient safety.

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