Monthly Archives: August 2012

“So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye. I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye”

I was always warned that my three years of PhD funding would fly by and while I did not doubt it, I am still amazed at the pace with which it has disappeared.  The exciting news is that I will soon be starting as a Research Assistant in the School of Medicine at Cardiff University, but that means that it is time to say goodbye to theSchool of Nursing and Midwifery Studies.

I know that I’ve said it a lot, but the last three years really have been a brilliant experience.  Not only have I learned how to plan and undertake qualitative research, I’ve also learned all about other research designs and approaches.  I’ve had the boundaries of my knowledge and understanding well and truly pushed, although my partner is fed up of me interpreting everything according to a social constructionist perspective!

I’ve also had the chance to take part in such a variety of other activities and projects.  During the last three years I’ve regularly taught clinical skills, which has been a fantastic opportunity.  I discovered that I love teaching students, particularly when they are at the beginning of their journey to becoming a nurse and you can teach the importance of fundamental care, skills and attitudes.  It’s also been a privilege to teach students nearing the end of their nursing journeys research, seeing their enthusiasm for the profession and their interest in learning how to move the evidence-base forward.

My organisational skills have progressed during my PhD to the point of obsessive, which I made great use of when helping to organise two conferences in the University.  Having attended conferences for several years, helping to plan two was a great and unique experience.  In particular, it was very interesting to work with an inter-disciplinary team to organise the Spotlight on Social Sciences conference, highlighting to me the differences between our research projects and perspectives in general of research.

However, it is the people in the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies and beyond that have made this PhD such a wonderful experience.  I’ve been lucky to share an office with a brilliant group of people, who I will miss terribly when I can no longer fill them in on the banalities of my everyday life.  I couldn’t have asked for better supervisors, while the support from administrators and IT has been fantastic.  I’ve learned such a lot from the research and teaching staff in the school, who welcomed and supported me throughout.

To conclude, I’ve also learned something very important about myself (that I will have to try and change when I leave): that I write best in my jogging bottoms and no make-up, listening to soft opera, preferably in Italian (so I can’t try and sing along), in the morning.

Thanks everybody and I will see you in the evenings and weekends (maybe) when I return to the PhD office to finish the small task of my thesis…

I Won!!!!!

I received information recently from Mina Kerai (who is the research administration support assistant at SONMS) sent on behalf of Dr. Katie Featherstone. She has informed all the second year research students about our Annual PGR Symposium, which will be held on Tuesday 13th November 2012. We are required to attend this event and to give a 25 minute presentation outlining some of our preliminary findings from our data analysis.

Last year, when we celebrated the SONMS Annual PGR Symposium at our University, all research students attended and presented information about their research project in the form of a poster or a presentation. I was so excited at that time, but I was not sure whether I would have enough time to do my research poster due to my busy schedule. But I decided to spend all my free time at the weekend and made a research poster.

This was my first experience of producing a research poster. However, I got some ideas from Jessica and Catherine (my office mates) and from their posters that are placed on our office wall, as well as some ideas from both my supervisors. I designed several sections including the background of the study, study aims, methodology and research impact (outcome continuum and expected outcomes). You can see the results of my work below.

Although making a research poster was a challenging task – presenting my project on a single sheet of paper – in general I found that this task helped me to focus more my ideas about my project. I stood next to my poster during the lunch break on the day of the symposium and answered some questions of each delegate and other visitors. At the end of the symposium day, the Dean and Head of School announced me as the winner of the poster presentation that I had titled “Teaching self-care behaviour to adolescents with type 1 diabetes in Saudi Arabia’’.

Yes! I Did !!  🙂

I won first prize and a voucher for simply presenting my research poster at the SONMS Annual Postgraduate Symposium 2011.  I can hardly believe it. The competition took place as a part of the celebration of SONMS annual post graduate research symposium day. The decision was based on quality of content and design. So, the committee judged my poster as excellent. Incredible!!!  In addition, I was also very happy to talk to people about my research project. I think it can be really inspiring to see that people are really interested in your research. For me it is even more inspiring to see the impact that my research can have on people. After that I also presented my research poster two more times at Graduate School activities in 2012 – Spotlight on Social Sciences and The Voice of Humanities Conference.

I have new good news about my research poster. I had submitted an abstract to the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD). The abstract review committee has informed me that my research poster has been accepted as a poster presentation :))

So soon I’ll be presenting my research poster again at the 38th Annual Meeting of ISPAD, to be held in Istanbul, Turkey from October 10th –13th, 2012. I look forward to it!!!

My Familiar Strange Day

Since beginning my PhD I seem to be viewing life through a different lens.  With my new awakening of curiosity, inquisitiveness and uncertainty (which I am told is normal!) Nothing is as it seems and the ‘familiar’ has become ‘strange.’

Today (Sunday) I woke up at 6am….and got up!! This is definitely not a familiar time for me and for those of you that know me well, I am not a morning person, so this was very strange.

I decided to book a holiday to Seville,

Reasons for holiday:

  • To provide myself with an incentive to work very hard over the next few weeks, to do lots of writing and then be rewarded with the holiday.
  • Seville I am told is an amazing place – lots of history and Tapas!
  • I want a holiday filled with discovery and to connect with part of my Spanish Ancestry because grandfather was part Spanish.

By 10 am the flights and hotel are all booked and I am feeling very excited and then curiosity seemed to take a hold of me.

My grandfather was called – Santiago Patricio Cubillo….I decided I would look up the family name Cubillo…I followed on with typing in my grandfather’s name into google search, to discover some familiar names staring at me on the screen.

Trinidad, Teresa, Maria and Ramona.  I recognised these as being the names my grandfather used to sing to me ….they were his sisters names!!

I always had a vision of his sisters living in Spain and I was not really sure when granddad moved to the UK, he had lived in Scotland before moving to Worsely near Manchester.  He would often talk about his sister’s.  I had never met them and as far as I was aware he had lost contact and just got on with his own life.

As I clicked on the names on the screen my world was opened, there it was staring me in the face – my family tree  – OMG! there are 1,186 people on the tree!

I clicked straight onto granddad – Santiago – to discover his parent’s names:

Gregorio Cubillo 1875 – 1938 born in Spain

Mary Walsh 1890 – 1973 born in Ayshire, Scotland.

They had 5 children

Maria De los Angeles Cubillo 1911-1984

Trinidad Jobita Cubillo 1914 – 1989

Teresa Ana Cubillo 1918 – 1991

Santiago Patricio Cubillo (my granddad) 1918 – 1996

Ramona Sepia Cubillo 1919 – 1937 (she had been a shop worker, she died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis age 18)

They were all born and brought up in Ayshire!  Trinidad moved to East Sussex.

I really did not know this!! All that time they were all in the UK and I never had the opportunity to meet them.

I searched further… I wanted to know more about the Spanish connection:

Gregorio’s father was called Santiago Cubillo born in Spain (?Seville) 1850 and his mother was Trinidad Contreras also born in 1850 in Spain, where they married in 1870, So my granddad was named after his grandfather.

Gregorio Cubillo moved to Scotland from Spain when he was 26 years old in 1901, he worked as an iron works labourer 1911, fireman at pit 1916 and a boiler fireman in 1919.  Gregorio and Mary Married in 1911 at St John’s church old Cumnock in Scotland.

I realised that my mum was named after Mary Walsh.

I then discovered that the 1911 census that took place in the year that Gregorio married Mary Walsh, was only released in 2011.  This additionally provided a snapshot of life in Scotland that was referred to as ‘an era of mass migration and urban overcrowding’.

I also found my grandmother’s family background on the tree of information. Wow, this was different from my normal have a cup of tea in bed, (brought by my lovely husband) and then get up!

The familiar was made strange today.   It made be think about many issues including communication and silence in families, the known and the unknown.

I now know I still do have the Spanish connection, a stronger Scottish connection than I realised and further connections in Cheshire!

Now I am left with many further wonderings and thirst for discovery surrounding the past, present and future.

…. The family research will go on…. Just like the curiosities surrounding family voice and siblings in my PhD study.

But there is one thing I know for sure..I will not be getting up at 6 am ever again, and I will definitely be going to Seville…. I need a holiday!!

A (slightly belated) welcome to Ahmed Al-Ghamdi

I am Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, from Saudi Arabia. My country is located in the Middle East between the Arabic Gulf and the Red Sea, with a population of 26,131,703 (2011), which includes 5,576,076 non-nationals. The religion is Islam and the language is Arabic.

I was born in Baha which is located in the South-western part of the Kingdom. Al Baha is a beautiful city and suitable for tourism with an often old climate.

 

 

 

 

 

In 2002 I moved to work in Makkah city. Makkah is the holy city of Islam and the direction in which all Muslims in the world should offer their prayers. The interesting thing in this city is that during the year we have two Islamic occasions, so we receive from three to four million people from different countries. And they all wear the same dress, doing the same procedures, in the same time and the same places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Therefore, as nursing staff I participate with other health workers to offer good health care during these occasions, including; first aid, clinical, hospital admissions, operations etc. I found it very rewarding and a great experience.

Now we go back to my life story. I worked as a nurse for eighteen years in different departments. Most of my experience was in primary health care services. I tried my best to get a scholarship from the Ministry of Health to study for a masters degree in nursing but unfortunately, the Ministry of Health informed me that at that time they support nurses to study bachelor degrees only. So I decided to study a masters degree by funding myself. It was a difficult stage as I am a father of four and I have a lot of money commitments. But with good planning and the support of my (great) wife I was able to schedule things. So I travelled to Australia and completed a master’s degree in Nursing Administration. After completion of the study I went back to work again.

Then I thought that the masters degree is a way to get a PhD and I felt that if I got a PhD I will reach the levels of a good researcher. I believe researches can contribute to the development of Saudi nursing. I tried again to get a scholarship, but unfortunately I failed due to the same reasons as before. So I decided to resign from my job in Ministry of Health. I had two acceptances to study a PhD from two universities in Australia, but I decided to join Cardiff University to study my PhD for several reasons. The first reason is that I like change because I hold a bachelor degree and masters from Australia. The second reason is that the strength of the Cardiff University system in Saudi society. The third reason is that British education has very good researches, and this is what I want to learn. Now I have got a job in Taif University as a lecturer, so I am a full-time PhD student fully funded from Taif University.

In fact, life here in Cardiff is enjoyable and beautiful. People here are very friendly and they appreciate and respect the different cultures. In additional to that, the beauty of nature that contains the green mountains, rivers, and wonderful beaches.

Finally, I recommend every nurse who wants to study nursing fields to join us in Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, and we welcome you and your questions.