Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree


Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree….

I don’t particularly listen to country music, but the old chestnut from Tony Orlando and Dawn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBL2kzKg4nY has been going through my head to day, and I were in Honolulu I would find a way to download it onto my BlackBerry. It’s on the same plane as “Elvira” or “I’m Henery The Eighth I Am” – Once you start thinking about it, the song echoes as if you stuck your head in a fifty five gallon drum and you want to shout “enough already!”

Still the sentiment is there……  the University awaits me – and I will be happy to be back. I actually love my teaching job and UH has been wonderful to me overall. Okay, there are certain annoying things,  such as their insistence that they won’t pay me unless I show up to work every semester – but I can live with this….

The Book about the Fifth Cohort

My three day adventure, offering my course  in Bhote Bahal neighborhood of Kathmandu near Sundhara, is over. Thankfully. Oh, the course was “okay” – but not great. The  hospital that allowed me to use their classroom continued to send twenty different members of their staff each day. I had made a total of sixty copies of my handouts, but did not have the budget for additional copies and when I told my contact person about this he said he would get more, but did not followthrough. This mean that the new people who came on Day Two or Day Three were unable to refer to the printed material, the sample ECG strips,  that was the heart and soul of the class. They might as well have been watching Korean TV. The drop-in group included many people who did not speak English, and evidently many nurses from the hospital clinics who never deal with critical patients, or even with stable cardiac patients.  The observers arrived as much as ninety minutes after the sessions began, disrupting the flow of the day. 

Zen Buddhism?

I guess it was one of those zen- Buddhist tests for me – how much annoyance can I take? The answer is, not much. Now that I have had a day to contemplate, I can say oh well…. but also, I will not be doing that again….  I need to make sure I spell out the elements of the class explicitly before working with new host NGOs that are unfamiliar with how to train critical care nurses.

If I  strenuously objected on the first day, I would have risked not having a venue for the second and third days. Oh well. Yesterday I compared each cohort of teaching for the summer, to a book that would sit on my shelf. If I continued that metaphor, I would lend this out to somebody and make sure that I forgot who….Oh well….

We did not cover as much in this three days’ course as we have in the other sessions, and it showed when we did mega-code on the afternoon of the third day. still and all, those students who came for all three days were appreciative.

It’s not as if the course was a total failure. one of the nice aspects of this was that on Monday, four nurses from my Wednesday group came ( voluntarily) which allowed us to have multiple stations during the afternoon mega-code practice. When they arrived it was literally as if the US Cavalry had come over the hill to rescue me…. I am indebted to them.  In turn, these four each got time to practice leading a group through a mega-code, which helps me to develop future Nepali leaders in this teaching area.

Also, for these three days events, I have usually done the “family grief resuscitation scenario” on the second day. Rajani and Bijaya led the debriefing session for this in Nepali, which was very effective. I normally don’t videotape this particular scenario, but I did catch just a snippet of the debriefing and it is on YouTube.

Future Plans 

My future plan is to focus on working with Lalitpur Nursing Campus (LNC), who has been an excellent host all along. The people there are well informed about how to appeal to nurses and what the trends in nursing education are. I felt as though the leaders there were straightforward and tell-it-like-it-is, with an added benefit – they also have a sense of humor to accompany that sense of inquiry you would expect from the best nursing school in a country of twentysix million people.

Stop and smell the incense?

I should add that I have also been feeling poorly these past couple of  days, and soldiered on through the course despite being febrile, with cold symptoms and a productive cough. I took Cipro, the good-for-what-ails-ye nuclear weapon of antibiotics and I am doing better.

Did Marco Polo have to deal with cargo limits?

Back to Tony Orlando…. Today I wrote two numbers in the diary. Yes folks, I am still maintaining a handwritten journal as well as this. The numbers were 71/78. When you factor in the Date Line, I have less than a week to go. Today is the Final Exam and presentation of certificates – should be finished by noon. I will rest tomorrow. Then lead a couple workshops ( on the subject of ACLS of course) at Patan Hospital Friday. Then the rest of the time is “unscheduled” up til the time I get on the plane Tuesday morning. I wil definitely need to pack carefully, because the Wonders of the Orient I am carrying to Honolulu constitute a pile of loot to rival that of Marco Polo.  When I came I brought all my books in carboard boxes, and daypack help everything else. I can’t fit it all in the day pack.

Today is the final exam for the Wednesday group, clearing up all loose ends I hope, so that we can tie that one up with a red ribbon and a bow. The exam will consist of four rhythm strips, some drug questions, and four other softball essay questions.

The schedule does include various end-of-the-summer dinners with friends, a round of social calls without which no trip to Nepal would be complete. I am on a mission to bring 5 kgs of chiura back to Honolulu…. desperately needed there……

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About Joe Niemczura, RN, MS

author of The Sacrament of the Goddess and The Hospital at the End of the World. find them on Amazon! My sixth trip to Nepal to teach nursing starts May 2014, but this time I have funding to extend it for a whole academic year. Nepal is a great country and the people here are wonderful to me. In May 2014 my second book, The Sacrament of the Goddess, was published. Find it on Amazon. I think more Americans need to learn about Global Health. The best way is to send them out as "boots on the ground" but that is not possible. The second-best way is to give them "eyes to see boots on the ground" - and so - the novel of Nepal! I maintain three blogs. You can find the list in the blogroll. On YouTube, look for the "Joe Niemczura Channel". and finally go to FaceBook to find the Fan Page for each of my books, The Hospital at the End of the World or The Sacrament of the Goddess. send me an email!
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