by Leslie Nikou
INSider Associate Managing Editor, Infusion Nurses Society
Like many moms, her typical day starts with a personal wake-up call from her toddler daughter, tending to her infant son, taking a quick run with her dogs, then tackling the day’s to-do list. Sometimes that includes laundry and cleaning the house, and sometimes it includes conference calls, writing, or meeting with survivors of sexual assault and other types of abuse. Elizabeth Smart is a typical mom with an inconceivable story.
Abducted at knife point from her home in 2002 at age 14, then raped, drugged, and abused for 9 months, the story of Elizabeth Smart’s ordeal gripped the nation. Incredibly, after witnesses spotted Elizabeth walking with her captors on a public street, she was safely returned to her family in March 2003.
Elizabeth largely credits her parents with aiding her recovery by creating a sense of normalcy when she returned home. While they were sensitive to her needs, they didn’t treat her any differently than her siblings, and slowly guided her back into teenage life. After finishing her education, Elizabeth became a staunch advocate for change related to child abduction and founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation in 2011. She considers herself one of the “lucky ones,” not only because she survived, but because she was able to go home.
She wants to lend her voice to other victims and their families worldwide by creating “something that would help shed a light on the brave work done in fighting crimes against children…(and) provide a place of hope, action, education, safety and prevention for children and their families, wherever they may be.”1
Elizabeth strongly believes that empowerment is a key component to victims’ survival. She says a traumatic experience might alter the direction of our lives but it does not have to define who we are. Regardless of your background, how you were raised, your financial situation, or whatever impactful event you have experienced, “there is nothing that another human being can do to you that can diminish your worth as an individual.”
In addition to promoting the National AMBER Alert system and other child safety legislation, Elizabeth’s foundation has propelled her into public speaking events across the country. While the actual events of her abduction have been chronicled in best-selling books and made-for-TV movies, the focus of Elizabeth’s talks is not just about what happened to her, it’s about hope, survival, and recovery. She reminds her audiences not to compare themselves or their personal traumas to anyone else’s, because everyone’s situation is unique. There is no “one-size fits all” formula to healing, but learning to love yourself again is one of the first steps.
Elizabeth Smart will bring her inspiring and powerful words to INS 2018 this May as the meeting’s keynote speaker. Listen to our podcast in its entirety at www.learningcenter.ins1.org/p/INS2018Keynote
. For more information about Elizabeth Smart and her foundation visit www.elizabethsmart.com
INS 2018 is heading to the shores of Lake Erie and the bustling city of Cleveland, Ohio. This year’s annual meeting will include 4 days of thought-provoking educational sessions, peer presentations, round-table discussions, and so much more! We have lined up nearly 4 dozen speakers from all facets of the industry to bring you the latest evidence-based information in the infusion specialty.
Highlights for attendees will include a chance to test their infusion IQ in an interactive quiz show, ask infusion nurse-experts about the top-10 most common questions and answers, and collaborate in a 2-hour boot camp on immunoglobulin therapy. Accompanying the education, attendees can roam the jam-packed exhibition hall, experience a special event at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and enjoy countless networking opportunities with colleagues.
Can’t make it to Cleveland? Take advantage of our Virtual Infusion Education located in the INS LEARNING CENTER. The INS Virtual Infusion Education platform is designed to deliver conference programming directly to your home or office. Programming is presented to a live audience and streamed simultaneously. The program is recorded and available on-demand.
This year’s virtual conference, “Infusion Nursing: Why We Do What We Do,” will be streamed live on Tuesday, May 22. It will feature expert infusion nurses and provide foundational information about fluids and electrolytes, and pain management strategies. The day will conclude with a mother’s testimony on the impact infusion nurses have had in her family’s life.
Whether you plan to experience INS 2018 in person or virtually, this year’s meeting is a must! Visit ereg.me/INS2018
for a complete schedule and registration information.