There's also business meetings, wherein we make decisions about just what we, as an Association, are going to be doing. Boring things like we believe it's in the patient's best interests and safety to have a single RN caring for them during surgery, or that we believe it's in that same patient's best interests and safety that that RN caring for them hasn't worked longer than, say 18 hours straight... boring boring boring.
And there's the Trade Show, where many many many Vendors come and set up booths, large and small, to display their wares that make our professional lives easier and more complicated while delivering that safe, quality patient care to one patient undergoing surgery. Health Care Facilities also send recruiters to open a booth (usually one of the 'small' ones) to entice Perioperative RN's to come practice nursing there. And many of these companies offer small trinkets and googaws as gifts for coming by and talking to them.
One company in particular has offered shoes, for years. The type of shoe changed, from cross-trainer walking/running shoes to clogs which may be worn in the OR as one's work shoes, but shoes nonetheless. They send out a small badge to pre-registered attendees with a number on it, and each day of the trade show do a random drawing of these numbers. If the number on one's badge matchs the drawn numbers, one wins a pair of shoes. Over the 13 years I've been going to AORN Congress, I've won three pair.
One year, another company was giving away those hand-squeeze stress thingies, in the shape of penguins (got your attention now, annieguen?); they were also raffling off stuffed toy Emperor Penguin toys which were about 18" tall. They'd decked out these Penguins with an OR hat, a surgical mask, and a sash advertising their name, and there were like 20 of them being raffled, and I won one of those too. Though I've always wondered about that... seems earlier that year Hospital signed a big contract with that Vendor for their product and service on their product. I do mean a big contract, too.
Those shoes and that Emperor Penguin are the extent of things I've won at AORN, though.
This year, quite a few companies were giving away iPods in one manner or another in similar raffles. And apparently, I've won one. It arrived via FedEx yesterday, an iPod Shuffle, all blue and ... little. As Herself said, it's smaller than her cell phone. Oh, and also a $25 US gift certificate to iTunes.
And now, to make it work properly, I'll need to download iTunes and set it up. This won't happen today, as I'm at teh Ranch and so on the whirlwind dial-up connection of 26.4 Kbps. It will need to wait for Monday, when I go back to Hospital and can use the high-speed Internet.