24 February 2016

Italy, Qatar, and back to the UK

EN ROUTE TO MANCHESTER—After a 4 a.m. start, I’m having breakfast in the luxurious Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar. I’m also reflecting on yet another month spent largely away from home as I watch my diary fill up with travel well beyond the middle of the year.

My flight to Doha was aboard the fabulous Boeing Dreamliner plane, and the picture shown below, which I took en route from Manchester, England to Doha, shows its unique wing shape against an extraordinarily blue sky. As I write this, I am about to return to Manchester from Doha, aboard Qatar Airways Flight QR46. 

Wing tip of the
Boeing Dreamliner
Earlier this month, I spent a week in Genoa, Italy at the University of Genoa, which I visit regularly. The weather in Italy was beginning to warm up, which was a change from a cold and dull UK. On this occasion, Mark Hayter, PhD, RN, FAAN, my Hull colleague, was there, making his second visit. Since we both edit the Journal of Advanced Nursing, we often share our experience of writing for publication with colleagues and students. It’s a good double act, as we complement each other methodologically across the quantitative-qualitative spectrum.

One of my tasks on this visit was to inaugurate a series of international lectures for final-year nursing students, and I was asked to talk about writing for publication. I am really not sure how relevant this is to all of them, but I emphasised the bad things we academics get up to by way of cheating with regard to publications: plagiarism, duplication, fabrication, falsification, creation of bogus webpages and publications, and subversion of the peer-review system. Frankly, they loved it.

Spotted on Professor
Gray's noticeboard
My return to the UK today follows a few days of visiting the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in Doha. This visit was built around several lectures, workshops, and tutorials on writing for publication, and I was there at the invitation of Richard Gray, PHD, RN. Gray is an editor of the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, also from the Wiley stable. 

Hamad Medical Corporation is, primarily, a private company that provides medical care on an impressive scale to the population of Qatar. It is not an educational or research institution but has a very active education department led by Annie Topping, PhD, RN, one of my long-time friends in nursing. I may have mentioned this in a previous entry, but I was a student nurse on the ward that Topping managed at St. James Hospital in London when I did my ward management assessment. We go back a long way.

In addition to the work, which starts at 7 a.m. in Qatar, I visited The Pearl, a housing complex mainly occupied by expatriates. The HMC owns two blocks there for its employees. Over a barbecue and speaking with friends, I gained more insight into expatriate lifestyle in Qatar, which, I imagine, is similar across the Middle East.

In a country that is nomadic in origin but now extremely urbanised, the expatriates are the nomads. Few spend a long time here, but most have spent a long time away from their native countries in expatriate communities. Similar communities can be found in Hong Kong and Singapore. Although expatriate life offers great rewards, it also requires great sacrifices, and I am not sure if it is a life I would have liked to lead. On the final day, I gave a lecture titled “Tips on successful publishing,” which you can listen to in this podcast.

Next month, the Middle East beckons again. I note that my 50-page passport has only one page left. and it is only four years old. My priority on returning to the UK is to obtain a new passport, or I will not be going anywhere.

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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