Ruth's Diary


One thing I forgot to mention in my last post (as if it wasn't long enough) was the fact that even though universities claim to be on tight budgets as it is, I honestly think a great number of them should take a good look at themselves. Even now a lot of them think getting state-of-the-art facilities and fantastic buildings is the way to raise their prestige, despite them being unnecessary or misguided half the time. Think about how much money that wastes. Also, Holly (one of the volunteers I've met during my travelling) told me about her time working within the legal department of a prestigious university. Lecturers randomly going to 5* Michelin restaurants and putting the bill on university expenses, as well as travelling first class and staying in 4* hotels on uni expenses. Oh and, those 'sabbaticals' or 'seminars' they go away for? Sometimes they're nothing more than booze-ups and the bill of this madness is footed've guessed it, the university. If universities really want to save money, they can start by restricting and monitoring the perks of their staff.

But now for the reason I really felt like writing this. Someone at the wildlife park I'm currently volunteering at had an accident today. That's not the thing that surprised me (he got injured while using the tractor), what surprised me was that the park did not have a trained first aider to help deal with these matters. There's a first aid box in the office but Cecilia didn't know what to do with it, and when I looked through it I could see it was missing several items (like gloves). So basically I was the only trained first aider around. I handed over some antiseptic wipes so he could disinfect his cuts while my mind was screeching at me to call an ambulance (not that his injury necessitated an ambulance, I just don't have any knowledge on the medical facilities around here).

Well eventually I found out what the procedure was. There's a particular clinic that the park does business with, so the poor injured Fernando got driven there by someone. In the meantime, for medical insurance purposes, a letter had to be typed out giving Fernando's name, details of his accident and his insurance number (insurance provided by the park, naturally). It seems that in the office there's a template letter printed out for every possible occurrence. Here's the dumb part: no one thought to keep the files on every computer so that the template could be brought up, filled in and printed off. (Or maybe the templates were on one computer and Cecilia never bothered to check?) I was brought over in order to type up the letter quickly since...Cecilia can't. She works in an office and has her own computer to work on, but she never learned to type quickly?

Since I have little experience in typing Spanish (no surprise there) my typing was pretty halted. Oh and someone had to switch on the printer. It all got done, and the situation was dealt with. At least there was a system but...didn't it occurr to anyone that a person with emergency medical expertise might be needed on a wildlife park? I know children in large groups visit but it doesn't make it safe!

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