|Minaret at Mutrah souk|
(market) near Muscat.
Examining at Sultan Qaboos University
I have been here as an external examiner at the Sultan Qaboos University College of Nursing, located at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital. The college is a cultural melting pot of nationalities with the staff composed of local Omanis, Jordanians, Filipinos, Ugandans, Indians, and at least one Pakistani. Normally, when I work as an external examiner, the job entails reviewing the processes used to examine students, looking at examination content, and assessing how well standards are being met.
All of that is part of my role here, but external examiners are also expected to participate in conducting final examinations of the students. Two days are spent in the hospital listening to students presenting clinical cases and observing them performing a clinical procedure. One day is spent taking part in the oral examinations. It’s very stressful for the students, exhausting for the examiners, and bears no resemblance to what I am used to back home. I am uncomfortable in the clinical areas, as I feel my presence is an intrusion into patient privacy. However, the role of external examiners is explained and, together with previous examiners, I have been able to persuade the college to minimize the time we spend at bedsides.
|Aerial walkway at the university.|
A resolution and an anniversary
My new year’s resolution, not the first time I have made this one, is to read more, and I made a good start over Christmas with The Alzheimer Conundrum by Margaret Lock. Lock is a social scientist who, equipped with a thorough knowledge of the literature, investigates theories about Alzheimer’s disease by interviewing some of the key researchers. Essentially, causes of Alzheimer’s disease—as opposed to correlates—remain controversial.
The Journal of Advanced Nursing celebrates 40 years this year—our “JANiversary”—and we will run a series of editorials throughout the year reflecting on the first issue and key papers from the first volume. These will be available to download free from our website for a few weeks. You may wish to read my January editorial which reflects on 40 years of JAN.
After leaving Oman, I return to the UK for 10 days, after which I travel to the Netherlands and then almost directly to Taiwan. My trip to the Far East will be a special one because, for the first time in many years, my wife will accompany me. Because it will be her first visit to Taiwan, it is causing great excitement among my colleagues there, as only a few have met her. On this occasion, I may not be the VIP.