It was a pleasure to attend the European Congress on Emergency Medicine in the beautiful environs of Westerpark, Amsterdam from Sunday 28th September – Wednesday 1st October. I had been invited to give a three-minute presentation on the systematic review that I had been working on for two years, ‘Barriers, facilitators, disparities and consequences for people from minority ethnic groups accessing prehospital care: systematic review and narrative synthesis’.
Prior to going to Amsterdam, I had rehearsed the presentation many times. This carried on right through to an hour before the Monday afternoon Lightning Session I was due to present in. The ‘Lightning Session’ itself was due to last 90 minutes with 23 presenters summing up their research. I was 18th up so at least I could get a feel for what to expect. I was nervous, but not shaking, as I made my way up to the podium, without notes. Before I started, I familiarised myself with how to work the slideshow to avoid any embarrassments, which previous presenters suffered. I knew exactly what I was going to say on each slide. There were minor departures from what I had planned to say, but I got the underlying message across to the audience. I felt I answered the question from the chair about uneven translation service provision in the UK competently. And that was that. Thorough preparation had made a seemingly daunting task manageable.
There were other interesting lightning presentations on prehospital care from around the world, but the conference focused more on clinical and emergency department research. However, I gained another valuable professional skill and spent some time in lovely Amsterdam. Which were no bad things at all!