12 November 2015

St. Martin's summer in Genoa

GENOA, Italy—Following my return from Australia, October was spent mainly in the UK. Early November finds me back in Genoa, Italy for my final visit of 2015. My visits for next year are planned already. The weather is exceptionally good, and I’m assured this is St. Martin’s summer—a warm spell in early November during the feast of St. Martin before the weather turns cold. I made the best of it with several early-morning runs along the coast.

Mary Seacole Leadership Awards
Soon after returning from Australia, I was in London for the  Royal College of Nursing Mary Seacole Leadership Awards. The event was held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in London’s Regent’s Park, and it was a bit like revisiting the scene of an accident. The 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise Nursing and Midwifery subpanel meetings oscillated between the Royal College of Surgeons and the RCOG, both in Regent’s Park, and while I enjoyed my time on that panel, the work was hard and prolonged.

Parveen Ali describes her project
at the Mary Seacole Leadership
Awards ceremony in London.
I was invited to the awards ceremony by my very good friend and colleague Parveen Ali, PhD, RN, senior lecturer, University of Sheffield, one of the recipients in 2014. In addition to receiving her award at this event, she also presented her excellent project on the use of multilingual nursing staff as translators in UK hospitals. Her interest in the subject arose when she was working for a telephone triage service—since discontinued—called NHS Direct. A native of Pakistan, she is a fluent Urdu speaker, but when an Urdu speaker called, she was required to transfer them to a translator. Listening to the translators, who were not nurses, she often heard them misunderstand callers. These services cost a great deal, and she wondered why the National Health Service did not utilize the services of bilingual nurses, both for telephone services and in clinical practice. For her project, she reviewed the policies of many NHS Trusts and found much the same policy—with some anomalies—across England. Her study raises some very interesting points.

Links between my own University of Hull and the University of Genoa are strengthening. Our previous dean made a visit with me last year, and colleagues from Hull are working, albeit at a distance, with Genovese colleagues on translation and validation of a questionnaire designed to help in health promotion related to melanoma. Mark Hayter, PhD, FAAN, my colleague of many sojourns to the Far East and a Journal of Advanced Nursing editor, visited two weeks before me and, like me, has a programme of visits planned for 2016 and has also established collaborative projects.

My week here has been spent working with colleagues on a range of research and writing projects and teaching research students about writing for publication. The next visit, which will bring Hayter and me here at the same time, is in February 2016.

My running continues, but climbing of all sorts and gym work have ceased, because of a deltoid muscle-rotator cuff injury. I can’t pour water out of a kettle, shake hands, use a mouse and keyboard, turn over in bed, or scratch my head without extreme pain. Although I am having physiotherapy and taking some very powerful antiinflammatory medication, I’m still in pain.

Next week, I will be Aberdeen, on the north coast of Scotland, the city of my birth, to take part in a review of the nursing and midwifery education provision at Robert Gordon University. I’m hoping that will be the final flight of 2016, but it looks like I may need to go to Saudi Arabia in late November or early December. Next week, I also celebrate my 60th birthday with family and friends at home in Hull, and then I look forward to a long break at Christmas before traveling to Oman the first week of January.

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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