02 June 2015

Farewell to Bahrain

MANAMA, Kingdom of Bahrain—My four years as an external examiner at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland-Medical University of Bahrain (RCSI-MUB) are over. I may have said something similar last year, after three years as an examiner. However, I was invited to sit for a further year, and the absolute maximum is four. I am sorry to leave and will miss my visits to the island, but other opportunities are opening for me in the Middle East, to be reported in due course.

In addition to examining, I gave a workshop on scientific writing, after which I presented certificates to newly inducted members of the Rufaida Honor Nursing Society. Officers of the society recently met Hester C. Klopper, PhD, MBA, RN, RM, FANSA, president of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), when she was visiting the Middle East, and the local society is making progress in its bid for STTI membership.

New inductees of the Rufaida Honor Nursing Society.

Uncool running
I rose almost early enough on two mornings to avoid the sun but failed to escape it completely. At 5:30 a.m., it is in the low 30s Celsius (86 Fahrenheit), but during the day it has been as high as 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), and when the sun is up, it is impossible to walk, let alone run. Foolishly, I went running at 6 p.m. one evening before it had cooled down, and the ambient temperature was body temperature (37 Celsius/98.6 Fahrenheit). The rest of the story is nearly heat-stroke history.

It was hot in Bahrain!
When I ran recently in a more civilised temperature back home in England, I completed a 10 kilometres race in 46 minutes and 5 seconds, three seconds above my personal best. The 46-minute target continues to elude me. For the rest of the running year, I’m going to focus on breaking 21 minutes for 5 kilometres, something I want to achieve before I am 60 years old.

The next few weeks
Back home at the University of Hull, I am handing back the job of associate dean for research and enterprise in stages to the incumbent, who will resume the position in July. The role has not prevented me from travelling or missing the most important meetings that go with it. Essentially, there is barely a job that cannot be done remotely these days, and nearly all of the administrative aspects of the role were done online. Our faculty of health and social care is now under the leadership of Julie Jomeen, PhD, RN, RM, and I look forward to discussing the next few years—the final ones of my career—with her soon.

Over the rest of June, I visit Spain, Hong Kong, Korea, and Australia. I will report in detail from each of these places, but I am pleased to note that my link with the Hong Kong Polytechnic will continue. I had reported its end in a previous entry, but today I was invited to become a visiting professor again, but in a different role. The university has launched a massive open online course (MOOC) in anatomy, to which I will contribute. “Human Anatomy” is offered under the auspices of EdX, which involves prestigious partner universities such as Harvard and MIT in the United States.

The world needed another Watson
Two weeks ago, Alex Watson, my sixth grandchild—no granddaughters yet—was born to the delight of his parents and grandparents but consternation of his big brother Connor who seems to be tolerating this 100 percent increase in number of his siblings and 50 percent decrease in amount of attention he gets. Yours Truly also has to fight for attention. I can almost predict the welcome tomorrow: “Oh, you’re back. When are you away again?”

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

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