Kevin Blissett: Out of the Cave

Leadership, Classroom 2.0, Curriculum, China

Our Current Reality

Nice cartoon below reflecting contemporary communication. Hat tip: Mashable

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April 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Sad State of Medical Care in China

The chances of getting top notch medical care throughout most of China are not high. I know this because I have lived in three different provinces with my family, and we have received one missed diagnosis or treatment after another, particularly here in Xi’an, a city of more than six million. I have had to become my own family doctor to a great degree; moreover, I consistently hear from other foreigners living here in China about similar experiences with shoddy healthcare.

To illustrate the point, a couple of years ago my son had walking pneumonia, which was properly diagnosed via a blood test. My three-year-old was prescribed a medication which is ineffective against this type of pneumonia. I got online and investigated many sources indicating that he should be on Azithromax. I went back the hospital and told them they had misprescribed the medication, and they consented to put my son on Azithromax; however, they insisted that he take the medication in three courses. ALL of the literature on Azithromax says it should be taken in one course over five days…period. I kept my son on one course of the medication, and he was fine by the end of the week. Scary! This type of treatment has been repeated on several occasions. (Doctors here could not even read an x-ray which clearly indicated that my wife’s foot was broken. We got confirmation in the Philippines, of all places.)

One of our teachers  recently had to have an emergency appendectomy, and the doctors almost killed him. He was evacuated to Australia and his doctors there were absolutely astonished at the incompetent care he had received.

As poor as the care is for patients not having life threatening illnesses, the chances of getting proper care if you have AIDS or hepatitis are close to nil, as is evident here.

Lingling had a long history of being ill. From infancy, she suffered colds and fevers, but when her mother took her to the county hospital, doctors would invariably prescribe some medicine and then shoo mother and daughter away, insisting there was nothing wrong with her.

But when Lingling contracted a fever two years ago, Wang Yuehong decided something had to be done and took her daughter to a larger hospital in Xi’an, in nearby Shaanxi province. Tests immediately confirmed the doctor’s suspicion: Lingling was HIV-positive. Ms Wang said she had never heard the word Aids before.

Doctors determined that Lingling had been infected from a contaminated blood transfusion given to her at her county hospital when she was 18 months old, the same hospital that insisted there was nothing seriously wrong with her. 

My family has decided that any serious illness will not be treated here in China, unless stabilization is needed before being evacuated to Hong Kong. In the meantime the government has vowed to make healthcare a priority, though I’m not holding my breath.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Facing Our Fears

denialOne of the hard lessons I had to learn as an inexperienced administrator was that I could not be paralyzed by fear in hearing bad news, nor should I avoid bearers of it. Some of us have the tendency to put our heads in the sand or work behind the scenes to correct bad news without facing those who may have negative opinions. This tactic doesn’t work. As this entry from Franklin-Covey points out, the bad news remains whether one acknowledges it or not so it is better to meet it head on, let folks know you understand their concerns, and work like a demon to correct the impression. From the blog post:

 We all can take advantage of the current economic uncertainty by contacting our most important stakeholders and looking for opportunities to grow our trust account with them. Many people are frozen and afraid to call their customers and other key stakeholders for fear of hearing bad news.  Guess what? The bad news is there whether or not you hear it. Much better to confront reality and give your customer a listening outlet to discuss challenges and feel understood than to abandon the relationship during difficult times. Now is the time to over-communicate with your customers and other key stakeholders. Give them someone they can trust by behaving in ways that inspire trust. 

Read more here.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | principal | Leave a comment

UK Teachers: “Phew!”

So the UK’s Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, assures a teachers’ group the the recent revamping of the national curriculum will not forgo inspiring the nation’s children with a strong dose of history so that it can include skills related to Twitter and other social media. Well, isn’t that special!

First of all, any school curriculum that does not adequately include teaching learners about the past is no curriculum, in my mind. Moreover, as I’ve been pushing since day one on this blog here and here, it shouldn’t be an either/or proposition. History and the other core subjects are essential; and so is teaching students the skills they need in today’s world. There is time enough for a skilled teacher to fit them both in.

April 20, 2009 Posted by | social media, twitter | Leave a comment