Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Good morning Vietnam-Saturday March 17, 2012

Personal: Pictures taken from my hotel room.

Time to head back to the USA...I will miss our students and the UMP faculty but it will be good to get home.
I repacked several times trying to fit Hue's clock into my luggage but I could not do it! I would have had to leave either my make up or my computer and I was unwilling to part with either one! Hue works at the airport in HCM City so she met me to pick up the clock.
The trip from HCM City to San Francisco was long and tiring. I had an 8 hour layover in Manila. On the leg from Manila to SF, I had paid extra ($50) to have an exit row so I would be able to stretch my legs during that 12 hour flight. This plan worked great on the way to HCM City but not so well on the way home. There was a couple in the seats next to me and all 3 of us FROZE during the flight. We tried blocking the cold air with magazines, carry on bags, the little pillows they give you but nothing worked. I even had a small blanket in my carry on but that did little to help. The flight attendant said that sometimes those areas are too hot and sometimes too cold. I will not be taking that chance again unless I bring Ugg boots and a down full length coat. Even my nose was freezing cold!
I arrived in SF about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday so on this trip, I had no March 2nd and two March 17ths--and, not 1 green beer to show for it!
Professional: The students have until March 24th to finish their final paper. Our UMP faculty will review them first with special focus on format congruent with UMP's style guide. Then they will email them to us for final grading. This has been an amazing experience which has enriched my worldview. On a practical level, it has given me ideas for course revisions at NWU.
Signing off for the Vietnam portion of this trip. I will add pictures of my SF visit later. Thank you all for your interest in my trip!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Last Night in Vietnam

My friend Mindy's cousin wanted to take me out and about 1 more time before I left VN. She had 2 gifts that she wanted me to carry home to Mindy but I could not fit them into my luggage (one was a large picture that she had cross stitched and had framed; the other, a cross stitched picture that was then made into a clock). When we left the hotel, Hue led me to her motorbike! Yes, on my last night in VN I put on a helmet and was driven all over HCM City on the back of a motorbike. You are able to see so much more from that vantage point when compared to the inside of a cab but I can also see why most people here wear face masks--the exhaust fumes were pretty bad. We went to her friend's restaurant and enjoyed excellent Pho [pronounced fa (short a sound)]. It is probably my favorite VN food.

Least Favorite Thing About Vietnam-HCM City: The traffic!! So noisy and so very frightening...
Most Favorite Thing About Vietnam-HCM City: Absolutely, the people! So kind, respectful, and friendly. I will miss them.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Professional: Last day of class in Vietnam. We split into our smaller groups for the presentation of the students' development of a nursing theory. The presentations were very well done. I think the students were surprised that they were able to actually develop their own theory. This is a good assignment; I plan to implement it in my own NU 515 Nursing Theories class.

Personal: The students planned a Going Away Party. It was held at the hotel restaurant where we had enjoyed wonderful food 2 times before. They presented Dr. Kay and me with lovely gifts and well wishes for safe travel. The students were so kind to us--making sure we were safe and well fed the whole time we were here! They are wonderful people and excellent students. Our 2 UMP faculty were very helpful. I trust that they learned some valuable teaching strategies from us. Dr. Kay was a most helpful mentor. Even though I had read her book, learning the application in person from the source is so much better.

For Wednesday & Thursday, March 14 & 15, 2012

Professional: Students did their Nightingale presentations during our morning sessions. They did very well. The application to Vietnamese healthcare was particularly interesting as Nightingale is very appropriate for his population at this point in time. The students told of patients having to share beds--literally 2-sometimes 3 patients in one bed. In the afternoon, Kay and I met with the Chief Nurse Executive of the near-by hospital. She brought up Nightingale's philosophy and pointed to a picture on her wall.  She went on to tell us that her hospital has approximately 2000 beds with an average daily census of around 4000 patients. We can all do the math. She very sadly said that she has tried to figure out what to do about this issue but has yet to come up with a solution. She spoke of patients with incisions laying in bed next to another patient! She also said that the nurse-patient ratio on the wards at night is about 40-50:1 and in the ICU/CCU, typically 7:1. I don't remember if she told us or if one of our students told us, but they do not have heart monitors in the CCU. We did not get to tour the whole hospital but they did take us to see the Emergency Department. I am having difficulty finding the words to describe the scene; "controlled chaos" come to mind. There are no cubicles--just rows of carts with a narrow aisle between the rows. I did see a couple of carts with 2 obviously unrelated patients sharing the space. The Head Nurse of the ED said that they typically staff with 20 RNs per shift and I think she said about 300-350 patients per 24 hours but I am not sure I remembered that figure correctly. Seems like so many but I think that is what she said. It makes sense in that there were at least 50 patients there during our visit. Unfortunately, I was not able to take pictures. They didn't say, "No" but I sensed that they were not comfortable with the idea. One of our students had some pictures that would be emailed to us.

Thursday was spent working with the students on their theory development presentation. They worked very hard and I think will do well with this work. Thursday evening, the Assistant to the Dean, and a graduate of the UMP MSN program took us out to dinner. Kay had her as a student when she taught here the last time. They are very anxious to get a PhD program launched at UMP.

Personal: I am trying to figure out how to pack without going over 50lbs. on my suitcase and still fit everything in! Could be a challenge...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Will update the blog when I get to San Francisco

I had updated one whle day with pictures and lost the whole post due to an Internet glitch at the airport. Will try to get everything up soon. Don't give up. Check back Sunday night...USA time.