Monday, June 11, 2012

Poor Treatment

I write this comment here - as it gives some idea of the way nurses are treated in distant regions.  I'm talking about Western Australia here, but I suspect that nurses in many remote places are not always treated with the care they should be.

Imagine this.  A contract for 10 days of night duty at a remote town.  Five nights on, two nights off, and five more nights on.  The nurse who went to help - the country hospital was desperate - lives 350 kms away from this town, and I might add is in her late 60's.  She's highly qualified and has been doing this sort of relief work for several years.  Hardly inexperienced.  In fact extremely highly qualified.

After completing five grueling nights of work, she came off duty expecting to get some rest and sleep! Only to be met by officialdom requesting she move out of the accommodation, as someone else was due to arrive.  What?  So where was her alternate accommodation?  Drive home for 350 kms?  After working all night?  It seems that it was somewhat a secret - certainly no one when she arrived at this outstation, that she was required to vacate for her two nights off.  And have a round trip of some 700 kms between her working nights.    After much argy-bargy, said nurse moved into the local caravan park.

The argument is still going on - the person responsible for the contract is unavailable - it is a weekend of course, so a bit more difficult.

The nurse is a good friend of mine - in fact we did our nursing training together in South Australia many years ago.  She often tells me of the treatment of staff and indeed patients in small country hospitals.  I find it astounding!

We will see where this ends - but instead of breaking the contract and heading home and leaving them in the lurch for the lat 5 nights she was contracted to do, she is staying, reluctantly of course as she is so hurt by this, she'd rather head home.

Normally she is provided with accommodation (and some of it rather challenging) for the time of the contract - from the start to the end.  No other hospital has required her to drive home hundreds of kilometers on off-duty periods.

Sad, but true.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Another Bamboo Book

I bought this book for my Kindle - and loved it.  It is "Daughter of the Bamboo Forest" by Sheng-Shih Lin.   I like 'real books' but I love my Kindle too, especially when I am travelling.

I will load quite a few  books onto my Kindle before I set off on my round Australia adventure later this year.  I find it so convenient to read on my Kindle.

On Amazon this is what is said about "Daughter of the Bamboo Forest"

"Alone in the bamboo forest, seven-year-old Little Jade, still dressed in red silk after her father's recent wedding, wonders whether she will ever meet her real mother. DAUGHTER OF THE BAMBOO FOREST is a story set in war-torn, post-revolutionary China during the 1940s. From age seven to twelve, Little Jade longs for the attention of an opium-addicted father and clashes with a desperate, resentful stepmother. The young girl is inadvertently swept by the tides of history, encountering a plague that decimated a village, Catholic nuns in a convent school, and the fabled dragon king along the way."

It is quite a sad story really, about a little girl neglected by her parents, and living a life which is quite tragic really, but the reader follow Little Jade's journey which has quite amazing twists and turns.

The story is based on the author's mother's story.

Read about it/buy it here at Amazon. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bamboo Books

When I was doing research for my university assignment on I found that there were a few books with 'bamboo' in the title.  One "So Far from the Bamboo Grove" I found particularly interesting, as it was written by Yoko Kawshima Watkins, who relates the tale of life around the time that the Japanese lost World War II.

Her father was a Japanese government official working in Manchuria, and Ko, her brother and sister and mother lived not far away in North Korea's Nanam.  When it became clear that they had to escape, Ko, her mother and sister made their own way through North Korea to Seoul.  It is a riveting story.

There has been, since 2006, some dispute particularly about the planes that Yoko describes, but in the front of my copy, she explains that the story is as she can remember.

The book received many awards, including The Courage of conscience Award from the Peace Abbey in Sherbourn, Massachusetts.

I have thought long and hard about including the YouTube Video discrediting the author's story, as I find the whole thing offensive.  Yoko does explain that she was 11 at the time, and clearly she would have been traumatised by what occurred at the time.  One point that the
video makes is that bamboo would not grow in that part of North Korea as it is too far from the tropical zones where bamboo thrives. Bamboo actually does very well in cooler climates, and indeed does grow in places like the UK, Germany etc, and in Beijing, which is almost on the on the same parallel.

I do recommend the book, which I bought on Amazon, but I see it is available in Australia.