Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Times They Are A-Changin'

I think this year, more than ever, we have all been faced with the need to change. There are a number of quotes about change but the underlying message is the same- change can be difficult but it's unavoidable so get used to it. For me, I was poised to coordinate my first ASET Annual Conference. I planned for it to be in-person, as is our norm, and even better in sunny San Diego. Not so fast! I mean tell the truth, did anyone actually expect to be living through a pandemic? (Side note- if you answered yes, shoot me an email because I want to take you to Vegas with me!) So my plans for the Annual Conference have changed! 
ASET will be hosting our first ever Virtual Conference. I'll admit this has been nerve-wracking. We have been planning and practicing, practicing and planning but I can't predict all the possible things that could go wrong. I'd like to think what else could possibly go wrong, I mean come on, a pandemic, are you kidding me? However, I am a realist (my husband says pessimist) and so I am making sure we are ready to change at a moment's notice. We have a plan A, plan, B, and a plan C. I figure if we get to plan D, I should plan to just change jobs! During all this planning, I've learned to accept change. I know it's not easy but have found the sooner I get out of my own way and move forward the better. I can sympathize with every one of you who are facing changes, both professional and personal, during these uncharted times. 
I hope that for you what will remain constant is that you can count on ASET. ASET continues to be committed to providing you education, advocacy, and more. If you haven't visited the ASET website or evaluated your member benefits in a while, I encourage you to do so: www.aset.org. This year we've added free resources on LTM coding changes and how to adapt to practice changes during a pandemic. We've also made available additional free CEU opportunities. And, of course, shameless plug, we have the first ever Virtual Conference coming your way this month with a registration deadline of August 17th
I hope to see you during the Virtual Conference, but if you can't attend know the ASET staff is ready and willing to support you even when 'The Times They Are A-Changin.'

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

2020- Is it over yet?

COVID 19, murder hornets, what's next? Let me start out by saying I'm not a very strong blogger. I find it challenging to remember to do on a regular basis but throw in a pandemic and forget about it. So apologies for not writing this sooner but I've been elbow deep in planning ASET's first ever virtual conference. I think Faye picked the right time to retire! 
Planning has been no easy feat since we've been faced with tough decisions, i.e. choosing a platform, selecting course tracks, establishing costs, etc. I initially thought we could just pick up what we do in-person and recreate it in the virtual environment. I discovered quickly this would not be the best approach. I've tried to bring knowledge of educational best practices and experience with online education to the table throughout this process. Pivoting from the traditional event has required me to attend lots and lots of virtual webinars, tutorials, and meetings. I'll admit I am a little Zoomed out! It's been stressful because I want ASET to be able to exceed our members' expectations. However, I think in the end we will have an offering that focuses on content that is relevant and important to a variety of Neurodiagnostic professionals and that is what we strive to accomplish whether face-to-face or in this new virtual world. 
I speak with members daily and recognize many of you have been impacted by the pandemic in a variety of ways both at work and at home. Some of you have contracted the virus or watched patients or even loved ones suffer. Others were furloughed, took a pay cut, or your institution has reduced reimbursement for education. I know you have many choices on how to invest your time and money in your education and obtaining your CEUs especially now. I hope you'll decide to join us though for ASET's first ever virtual conference. 
Conference details are continuing to develop as we hammer out the specifics. For the most up-to-date information or to register, I encourage you to visit: https://www.aset.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4340. I hope to "see" you there but if not, I urge you to continue to focus on our patients and your own well-being during these stressful times. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Putting in all in perspective by special guest blogger Faye McNall, M.Ed, R.EEG T., FASET

To know Faye is to love Faye! When she reached out and asked if she could do a special guest blogger piece, of course, I welcomed it with enthusiasm. So below is what she asked me to share with you and as you can imagine it's pure gold. Thanks, Faye, and to all of you who read this blog- stay healthy!

From the desk of Faye McNall:


The human experience is such that we all live with stress.  Stress is part of life.  There is stress which we learn to handle all the time, such as dealing with the declining health of elderly parents, fear of a cancer screening or concern for job security.  Rarely, some of us have to cope with individual tragedies that are incredibly stressful: a house fire, a missing child.  The difference is that instead of experiencing personal stress, we are now experiencing stress as a group, a nation, a world.  Every so often, throughout history, major world events occur which trigger this kind of stress. Think of a herd, all panicking simultaneously, as the predator approaches.

I often think back to my happy childhood in the 1950’s.  Dad’s work brought home enough money that we always had plenty of food, nice clothes and toys, a warm house and a little camp on a lake.  Back in those days, moms stayed home, kids played outdoors all day crossing from yard to yard, without worry about danger. However, the scary specter that haunted us all as kids came from the “duck and cover” drills conducted in our schools, where we practiced what to do in case of a nuclear bomb attack!  The yellow triangle signs on buildings indicated fall-out shelters and some families had personal bomb shelters stocked with supplies, “just in case”.  Diseases were scary too!  I remember pictures of kids my age in iron lungs, sick with polio. I felt the danger.

Overall, our modern Western society has been fortunate with regard to seminal events which provoke large scale fear. The last time we experienced this was 9/11.  Three thousand people were gone forever, and our nation had been attacked. Stores closed; groceries were in short supply. But then slowly things came back to normal. The whole experience changed our way of thinking and we moved on, more cautious now.  Once again, the fear is upon us... and fear generates panic.

I worry that I might get the virus. Although not a high-risk, I worry that I could pass it on to a loved one who has health issues. I worry that there won’t be basic food supplies available at the market, such as bread or eggs.  In a reaction to this fear of going without, we hoard what we can, while throwing reason and logic to the wind.  I must hold myself in check.  My fridge, freezer and pantry are well stocked.  I don’t need to go to the store today or tomorrow, but I want to go in and get that extra dozen eggs!  Common everyday objects and tasks induce fear of infection.  I fill my gas tank wearing gloves and holding a disinfectant wipe.  The keypads at the market and the bank are fearful vectors of the virus.  When I open a shop door without using a barrier, alarm bells go off in my head until I can use the hand sanitizer. 

But then I try to put it all in a historical perspective. Imagine the stress of surviving the Holocaust!   I have read about the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1917.  Family members died, one after the other.  Occurring during WWI, soldiers who were our sons, fathers and husbands died in battle and more died of the flu, far from home.  There was no way to stay in touch with them or ask how they were doing.  We have it so much better now.  We may miss seeing loved ones, separated by the absolute necessity of staying in isolation, but we can communicate so effectively.  Despite the fact that we are each in a separate bubble of space, we have to get out of our heads and the tiny world we have around us now.  We have to “think outside the bubble” and get beyond this.  We have to suppress feelings of panic and put things in perspective.  Will you live if there is no bread in the market today?  Yes!  As the news reports that there more cases of coronavirus every day, keep in mind, more people are being tested now. As a CDC expert explained, what we are seeing now for greater numbers is a result of where we were at two weeks ago, since the virus takes a while to produce symptoms.  So, as we started to take isolation measures seriously about a week ago, eventually the infection rate will peak and decline.  In the meantime, it helps to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.  So, if you are on the front lines of healthcare, going into work at a hospital every day, take care of yourself too.  And if you are blessed with being able to stay at home, use your time wisely and stay safe.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Time's Yours

I am always saying there aren't enough hours in the day. Well 2020 is a leap year so it seems I have an extra 24 hours this year! The problem is it's February already and I am not exactly sure what happened to January. I know I spent a good deal of time fielding concerns from membership about the new coding changes. At ASET we've tried to stay on top of this fluid situation. We were involved with other groups in advocacy efforts. Additionally, we created two free resources available on our website and hosted an extended webinar in January to promote awareness of the new codes. We also have a coding seminar planned at the Annual Conference this summer to examine real-life implications of these changes and what the current state is. I think the next question is how will these codes continue to be modified? I wish I had a crystal ball to answer that (and, of course, to select some winning Powerball numbers!) The best advice I can give at this point is to continue to talk to your billing department, share your lessons learned so we can all develop a better understanding of what is and isn't working, and keep following along with ASET for updates.
While coding has definitely been a hot topic, we have also been busy using our time to plan upcoming webinars, seminars, and are already working on the Annual Conference, which will certainly be here before we know it. We want ASET to continue to be the place you turn to for your educational needs. I am new at this so welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to reach out to me: linda@aset.org.
While I am excited to have an extra day to be productive, I have a feeling all too soon I'll once again find myself wondering where the time goes! If you are a football follower you may have heard the Chiefs won the Superbowl. Their coach, Andy Reid, has a popular and sometimes "memable" quote during press conferences, "Time's yours." He uses this to open up for questions from the media. So with that in mind, I hope you take the extra day to do something that makes you happy, maybe that means checking something off your ever-growing to-do list or spending time with family and friends but whatever it is just know "Time's yours!"


Monday, November 18, 2019

'Tis the Season...

'Tis the season to be thankful but also maybe a little overwhelmed. The holidays bring with them food, family, friends, and fun. These are, of course, reasons for gratitude. However, you also probably  have a list of things to do (and buy) a mile long. I recently updated my calendar and realized I need to renew my EP credential before the end of the year. I proudly set myself a reminder for every Monday until the end of the year and when it popped up today... I hit "dismiss". Why? Obviously, I have a ton of time to get everything done (she said sarcastically!) Honestly, there are never enough hours in the day to do it all. However, if you follow this blog, I hope this serves as a timely reminder that maybe you have a credential to recertify too. With that in mind, ASET is running a coupon code good for CEUs until 12/20/19. We want you to avoid the holiday rush and inevitable 11th hour panicked phone call the week between Christmas and New Year's. We also know your money is important to you, especially this time of year. Keep on the lookout in your email and our social media pages to get your coupon codes and, hopefully, get your CEUs early. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I try to practice what I preach. To that end, I plan on renewing my credential this week before my next calendar reminder pops up! I don't know about you but it will be nice to have one less thing to worry about on my to-do list. On behalf of ASET, I wish you a happy, healthy holiday season, with time spent doing what you enjoy over the next few weeks!
Best wishes,
Linda


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

September Means Back to School

September has become a bittersweet time of year for me. It's back to school, which means my life is total chaos. I fill out the same emergency cards year in and year out and am scrambling for last minute supplies or even worse the dreaded request for a picture! I mean who has physical pictures anymore? Beyond that my calendar is jam-packed with fall sports and school meetings on top of my work schedule. I quickly get a sense of being overwhelmed. I barely have time to enjoy pumpkin spice lattes and other signs of the season.
However, the flip side of all this is... it's back to school! This is a time of year that should be met with renewed purpose. As a child I remember being excited for the start of the school year, it was so much fun shopping for new clothes and supplies and seeing my friends who I didn't connect with over the summer. I always viewed the new school year as a great opportunity to get back into the swing of learning.
So this year as the new Director of Education, I am going to encourage everyone to seize the moment and view this time of year with the childlike excitement it deserves! What better time to learn something new? The obvious advice is to explore something new within Neurodiagnostics. ASET has plenty of resources to help you accomplish this goal. Simply visit: www.aset.org and check out our new website. You will surely find numerous educational opportunities that fit your lifestyle with in person offerings, like our upcoming Fall seminar, and those that you can do from the comfort of your own home, for example webinars and online courses. Alternately, I challenge you to expose yourself to something brand new. Perhaps there is something that you've always been interested in but could never find the time to do? Maybe you want to learn a language, take a cooking or wine tasting class, enroll yourself back in school to complete your degree, the possibilities are endless. That is what is so exciting about this time of year!
As a strong proponent of practicing what I preach, I have enrolled in a yoga class. Fittingly, the description for the class includes the following, "No matter where we are in life we are always learning and unlearning."
I hope all of you will take some time for yourself, either professionally or personally, and embrace the opportunity to expand your horizons through learning something new.

All the best, Linda

(Below is a hilarious picture that went viral last week of a little girl's first day of school. On the left was how she went off in the morning and on the right was how she ended her day. I think we can all relate!)