My job

I chaired a conference, lived to tell the tale, and learned some useful lessons

RCNi's Colin Parish reflects on chairing the inaugural Learning Disability Practice conference in September 2015
Colin Parish

Colin Parish reflects on chairing this year's inaugural Learning Disability Practice conference in September.

Having worked as a journalist for the past 17 years, including more than eight years as a reporter on Nursing Standard, I’ve probably been to more conferences than just about any other nurse.

You name it, I’ve been there. Conferences on mental health, learning disabilities, wound care, emergency care, management, older people’s care, district nursing, health visiting, children’s cardiac care, dementia care, renal disease, education and cardiac care, I’ve seen them all. RCN Congress and the Unison health conference? I’ve been to dozens of them.

During this time I’ve witnessed dramatic entrances, inspirational speakers, entertaining presentations, great debates and a smattering of tears, tantrums and tiaras – the last a diamond-studded one on top of a Middle-Eastern princess’s head.

But I’ve also witnessed more than my fair


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