Beginnings, to May 2018

Resettle.

27 December 2017: I am in Australia! After 24hour delay in Dubai, landed into summer. A new life.

As you recover from jet lag, you start to make the city your new home.

[W]hen I move into a new town, I stake it out as my own place by finding a place to live, a route to work, the local grocery, … and so on …  (Curry, 1996: 98)

Wonder-full Sydney. There’s finding a place to rent, apply for a medicare card, get a new bank account, change addresses, organise new time frames for keeping in touch with family across time differences. Daily early rises.

Then adjusting the home budget and life style to expensive rents. Adjusting to the accent, noticing differences and continuities. Small things. Good day. Stand on the left on escalators. No yellow on crossings. Movable seats on the tube (it’s not the tube, it’s the train; it’s not the Oyster card, it’s the Opal). The first few weeks are exciting and frightening, but I wished they’d never pass.

Sydney Early Morning

Re-register.

I am now working with three University accounts: new ones at Macquarie and UCL, and the old one at LUBS for continuity. Emails, web profiles, passwords and access to drives: managing multiples! I am also now registered with Twitter and struggling to make it work.

New friends.

A very warm welcome in my new workplace. @AIHI there is a community from all over the world, which is so refreshing in the current political climate. My new colleagues have their roots in China, US, Canada, Germany, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Croatia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, UK, and Australia. (Did I forget anyone?). We occupy the top floor of a 6 storey building, with three terraces and a big kitchen full of light. Lunch at noon in the kitchen is a daily opportunity to get to know people, exchange ideas and experiences. Definitely something every University should promote, I believe. Plus, we celebrate birthdays and promotions with homemade cakes, and in March we went out for a pizza lunch (great pizza Italian way).

AIHI multidisciplinary international team

New research.

The research project associated with this fellowship aims to investigate the consequences of electronic medicine management systems on individual and collective mindfulness, in order to improve medication safety in hospital settings. The original plans envisaged a mixed-method study to be conducted in parallel to a stepped-wedge RCT evaluation of EMM in two children’ hospitals in Sydney, and a comparative study to be conducted in Europe during the return phase.

As always happen at the start of a project, the original plans were to be refined and adjusted, given the actual status of the EMM hospital implementation that had begun in previous years. As the fellowship began, one of the hospitals had already completed the phased EMM implementation; the second hospital had changed plans for a big-bang implementation (no opportunities for stepped wedge data collection). New opportunities for research were also emerging as the hospitals were considering implementation of other additional systems.

Thus, the first few months have been spent understanding the hospital context and revising the research design. We have confirmed the aims and research questions and realised these constitute high level ‘umbrella’ questions for a wider long-lasting research programme. We are seeking more specific research questions and measurement objectives for the conduct of specific studies within this research programme. As I write, this work is in progress. It is the necessary step to progress with application for Ethics approval, without which data collection cannot begin.

In the meantime, I also completed all required vaccinations and police clearances and applied for governance approval to access the setting – granted today (4.5.2018). The project is moving forward!

Parallel activities.

Plenty of opportunities over these last four months for growth and learning, including by attending seminars and events across fields.

References

Curry, M. R. (1996) The Work in the World: Geographical Practice and the Written Word, Minneapolis, USA: University of Minnesota Press.

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