Recap of the Georgia Tumor Registrars Association Educational Workshop – Patricia Fordham


Marketing Manager

Recap of the Georgia Tumor Registrars Association

Educational Workshop at Middle Georgia State College

November 6-8th, 2017

“CTR’s A League of Their Own”

Submitted by Patricia Fordham, CTR – I was thrilled when given the opportunity to attend the Georgia Registrars Association (GATRA) annual educational conference in Macon, Georgia.  This provided me with the opportunity to not only network with other fellow Georgia CTRs that I haven’t seen in a while but to also share information about Registry Partners with the attendees.

I would like to first thank the GATRA Educational Committee for putting together a great meeting with many topics of interest.  If you’ve never served on your state association educational committee I highly recommend doing so.  There is a lot of time and energy that goes into putting an educational meeting together but well worth it and very gratifying.

The first day of the conference started off with registration and lunch.  What better way to start a meeting … Food!  This provided an opportunity to network with others right from the get go.  

Dr. Helen Meldrum, Associate Professor of Psychology at Bentley University, Waltham MA gave a presentation on “The Art of Active Listening”.  Her presentation was very comical and included certain situations/scenarios on active listening.  It made you stop and think what type of listener you are.  Are you judgemental, advising, quizzing, placating or empathic?  In her presentation, Dr Meldrum shared a Conflict Scale for all attendees to complete.  There were 30 areas to score ourselves using 5 different options ranging from “I never behave this way” to “I very frequently behave this way”.  

We then had to calculate our communication scores into columns of Competing, Avoiding, Accommodating, Collaborating or Compromising.  The higher your score, the greater your perceived tendency to utilize that style.  Each style correlated with different animals (Shark, Turtle, Koala, Owl, Fox).  This test showed I’m a Collaborator and an Owl which is one who sees the big picture approach.

Another topic of interest was presented by Jennifer Ruhl from SEER.  Jennifer’s presentation included Extent of Disease 2018 & Site Specific Factors.  EOD isn’t something new for us old-timers.  It was used prior to Collaborative Stage and will be used again for cases diagnosed 01/01/2018 and forward.  Coding this field will be similar to coding the Collaborative Stage extension codes but with some changes.  SEER release dates are scheduled for mid-February if all goes according to plan; however it will probably be March/April before registry software systems are updated.  Jennifer did state the release will be dependent upon when site specific data items are complete.  Stay tuned … more to come!

Day two and three included various presentations by local area physicians on Head and Neck anatomy, diagnosis, treatment and staging.  We all love abstracting Head & Neck cases. The day also graced us with Head & Neck coding exercises.  I don’t know about you but I learn by example and enjoyed spending time going over these.  Day three included break-out sessions on the topics of Text Documentation or Manager Training.  I attended the Text Documentation session, which I found very educational.  Text documentation is so important when abstracting and should include answers to Who, What, Where and When.  Your text should tell the story and put the pieces of the puzzle together.  I’ve always been told “someone should be able to abstract a case alone based on the text entered”.

CTR’s should take every opportunity that comes available to educate ourselves of the coming changes for 2018 diagnosed cases. Education is imperative to our success.

Registry Partners raffled off two Visa gift cards and we would like to congratulate the lucky winners Cindy Smith (left) and Carol Crosby (right).