09 August 2015

Humidity and humility in New York

HULL, United Kingdom—Unusually, I’m at home in the UK. My holiday with Mrs. Watson (Debbie) in New York was one of the highlights of my life. Debbie, an experienced New York visitor, impressed me with her understanding of how the avenues describe latitude on Manhattan and the streets longitude, with Broadway doing its own thing at an obtuse angle. I loved everything we saw and did. I will spare you most of the details, but running in Central Park was a particular highlight that also provides the title for this entry.

On the way to New York, I said yes to everything that British Airways had to offer in first class, most of which came with champagne. Suffice to say I had no problem sleeping the first night. I woke at 6 a.m. and ran to Central Park, ran around it and then ran back to the hotel, a total of nine miles. I would not recommend this as a training regime, but it seemed to work.

Two days later, I tried to repeat this heroic feat—without the champagne—and had to stop after five miles. The humidity and temperature had spiked, and I discovered I was not Superman. It was a long walk back to the hotel followed by a long talk from Debbie, a much more experienced runner than me, about overdoing things. I’m glad to say I rallied for our last morning, got up at 5 a.m., walked to Central Park and completed the six-mile run without incident. I really felt like I was in a movie and expected to see Woody Allen or the cast from Home Alone at any point.

Our holiday started and finished in the Concorde Lounge at London Heathrow Airport, so it was fitting that we paid Concorde a visit in New York at the Intrepid Sea, Air &  Space Museum. Mrs. Watson in foreground.

Journal matters
I am glad to say that authors submitting to Journal of Advanced Nursing (JAN) and Nursing Open were not all on holiday, nor were my editors and associate editors. More than 50 manuscripts, at the various stages I engaged with them, awaited my attention, so I did not have to wonder what to do first. One of the proofs awaiting correction for JAN was an article by Snowden et al. (2015) on which I am second author. When I am the author of a JAN manuscript, I have no editorial involvement with the manuscript until it is accepted and at the proofing stage. This article reports on a study of the latent structure of emotional intelligence and the discovery of a novel dimension, evident using two entirely different analytical methods.

There was more good news for JAN. I listen to “Today,” the BBC flagship news programme, every morning from 6 a.m. (in bed for at least the first 30 minutes) and was startled at 6:45 a.m. (still in bed) by a mention of “the Journal of Advanced Nursing.” What followed was a report on an excellent article by Weldon et al. (2015) reporting on the effect that music played in operating theatres has on communication between members of the surgical team. The piece was also featured in the subsequent news bulletin. The study shows that music can be detrimental to communication. If you want to hear the coverage, I made it available with a short commentary in a podcast.

Also, I had to resume arbitrating between some authors who dispute ownership of a dataset from which an article was recently published in JAN. I find these disputes often take months to resolve, and I feel sorry for the doctoral student in the middle of this who hasn’t done anything wrong. Clearly, the dispute is at a higher level, but its resolution may well have an impact on the doctoral project.

Life goes on
Along with my wife and two of my sons, we spent a weekend in Scotland clearing my mother’s house. My mother recently moved to a nursing home in Hull and her house is for sale. There were plenty of laughs as we found things long forgotten in the house and reminisced. Some harsh decisions had to be taken about what was being removed and what was going to a local charity shop. However, the hardest thing for me was locking my father’s workshop and studio for the last time ever. The click of the padlock simply choked me and moved me to tears as I recalled the boats built, wood turned, watercolours painted and framed for sale.

My sons took a selection of items but we had to leave many of his beloved tools behind, some of which I recall watching him working with when I was a child; we have no room for them. We managed to find around 50 of his watercolours, and we have stored them. He died five years ago, and we all miss him tremendously. But life, as the cliché goes, goes on, and next week my daughter, who lives in Germany and who I rarely see, returns for two weeks for my son’s wedding. I have no travelling planned until September and look forward to this precious time with them and the rest of my children and grandchildren.

Snowden, A., Watson, R., Stenhouse, R., & Hale, C. (2015). Emotional intelligence and nurse recruitment: Rasch and confirmatory factor analysis of the trait emotional intelligence questionnaire short form. Journal of Advanced Nursing. doi: 10.1111/jan.12746

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. Comments are moderated. Those that promote products or services will not be posted.

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