Just one more sleep, then I’ll be off to the SAAHIP conference. Sorry if you’re not joining us this year. Just do some practice research, submit an abstract to next year’s conference organiser then maybe you’ll be able to join us next year to share your experience with your colleagues.
So what is this year’s conference going to be like? I can probably write half the conference report now. The easy half. Like the venue and the people.
I’ll start with the venue – Champagne Sports Resort. I’m looking forward to waking up in the morning, or sitting on the balcony at any time of day, and projecting my spirit up and into the mountains. I love the Drakensberg, having spent many days on many occasions over the years exploring it mostly on foot, but occasionally horseback and once in a helicopter. I find my peace in the mountains and even though this time the visit is for work not leisure, there is still going to be the opportunity to absorb the majestic view and heal my soul.
Then there are the people. Obviously the delegates change from year to year, but there is always the opportunity to appreciate the company of old friends and celebrate making new friends. SAAHIP people are different. Yes, you get the old cranky ones (like me), but the rest have something important in common – their passion for pharmacy and for SAAHIP. It really is a community all of its own – a sisterhood if you like. And the guys become honorary sisters too.
SAAHIP delegates’ passion for pharmacy is what fires up the agenda. It isn’t the usual litany of complaints that one expects from conferences and other meetings. It isn’t only presentations that feel awfully like lectures. It’s pharmacists who have identified a gap, either in knowledge or in research, and gone for it. The knowledge or research isn’t theoretical and doesn’t relate to academic research. Even the academics who present at the SAAHIP conference talk about how to put theoretical knowledge into practice, and they present practice-related research. The important thing is that colleagues share their experiences with their peers. That puts an entirely different complexion on the conference programme.
This year, there is a session dealing with antimicrobial stewardship, with three oral presentations and four posters on this topic. The remainder of the academic programme is devoted to quality patient care, with seven oral presentations and four posters. This shows the dedication of our members to these important aspects of our daily lives.
There will be a workshop, too. With the intriguing title “Fifty shades of pharmacy – no limits”. They haven’t put an age restriction on it so I don’t need to get my mother’s permission to attend. I’ll make sure that you get to hear about it too.
We’re also looking forward to hearing to hearing about last year’s innovation project initiated by one of our young pharmacists.
Obviously we will be attending the SAAHIP AGM. I can’t wait to see who are new leaders are going to be for 2018.
I think that’s about it for now. If you read these words again in the SAPJ, I hope they’ll sound vaguely familiar. Speak to you again soon.