Round-The-Clock Caring Service for the Common Good:
A Lifetime Legacy for all Filipino Nurses
(OFFICIAL ENTRY, HERALDS OF CARE ESSAY WRITING CONTEST SPONSORED BY THE COMMISSION ON FILIPINOS OVERSEAS (CFO) THROUGH THE PRESIDENTIALTASK FORCE ON NCLEX, JANUARY 2012)
Sunlight beams fall upon their sheer purity amidst the bustling crowd in the streets at daytime, rushing their way in and out a vast, white edifice, oftentimes marked by a red-crossed insignia on top. When the moon’s splendor comes out of its throne, their all-white top dress and pants dazzle significantly as dainty strides are made by their shiny, glowing white-polished shoes revealing their saintly stature subsequently. They held their head up high with dignity and pride as some of them are crowned with gleaming white caps of duty and responsibility. Sometimes, they are mistakenly seen as angels who descended from the heavens above.
But how angelic they may seem to be, they are called more than to aid; they are but to serve. They are of course, the Filipino nurses- granted to have a voice which is gentle, bequeathed with softness and sympathy of hands as Jesus has, and most of all, molded to have presence which could bring forth hope and consolation to the sufferers of this day. Well, they are but angels in their own way, worthy to be dubbed as heralds of care to humankind of this age.
Noted: Restless. Sluggish. On slouching position. With aspiration of flying
overseas or abroad via working visa. For analysis of being too vulnerable
to committing negligent errors and concupiscent tendencies.
Ironically however, Filipino nurses are observed to having assessment such as this. More often than not, they are seen and assessed by the society presently as people of indolence and incapability due to everyone’s notion that nursing is one of the most toxic professions nowadays. Many still don’t know that such job is not a facile task.
It entails selfless service for people from different walks of life. Statistically, indeed, there was a high trend of entering into the nursing field currently then searching for greener pastures outside the country thereafter.
Now the question is, is this a merit or menace to us Filipinos? Definitely, it is our gain! With the rampant journeying of Nightingales across the world, our nation is paving its way to becoming world-famous as far as nursing profession is concerned. Most of the hospitals and institutions abroad prioritize and prefer Filipino nurses above others for we are known to have therapeutic touches and individualized quality patient care. We are known to cater empathetically to those who are sick, thereby we are deemed to be effective when it comes to alleviating the sufferings of clients. Holistic- this is one characteristic trait unique from us Pinoys which many do not exude effectively. Simply, we are just globally competitive.
As I went on one of my duties last semester, I have come to ponder why I am directing my paths toward this profession. Upon arriving in the FSW or the Female Surgical Ward where I was assigned that time, I came to a pause and ponder how will I be when I’ll be realizing my dream. Moreover, I asked myself, “I will be a Filipino nurse soon then what legacy I’ll be trying to fulfill?
We were given our bed patients then and were asked to make nurses’ notes consequently. With lingering thoughts, I tried to analyze things to get deeper and find out the exceptional qualities Filipinos culturally exhibit which remain as our lifetime legacy for our contemporaries to date, as well as for generations to come. Thus, the following is the charting I have made.
7:00a.m. Awake. Ready to attend. Punctual. Logs in work on time. Courteous,
Friendly. Enthusiastic. With energy level of 10 out of a scale of 1-10
with such as the highest.
Some of the distinguishing characteristics of Filipino nurses among other races are their innate timeliness and politeness. For one, Filipinos are known to be time-conscious at all times. They may be culturally ingrained by their “Mañana habit” or “bahala na” attitude seldom, however when need arises, and when they know that their presence is essential for the common welfare of the people, nothing beats up the speed of a Filipino nurse! In heterogeneous settings where workers are a mixture of different races, certainly, Filipinos develop adrenaline the fastest, making them come first to their workplace and make things accomplished.
Moreover, a simple beam of smile and a glitter of the eyes make their colleagues jump start their day and be refreshed from the exhausting yet exhilarating work of the coming day. How much more if these are accompanied by sweet greetings and felicitations from them? This is what is admired on us Filipinos because whenever we may be blown by the wind of uncertainty, still we keep our indelible smiles and affability, which is a trademark of being a Juan de la Cruz. Unknowingly, these little words springing from our blessed tongues even help in the treatment and rehabilitation of our depressed clientele. Now let’s see, hospitality…check!
8:00am: On vigorous mode. Still boosted with same energy level. With full
operation precautions. Efficient . Well-Organized.
Embedded in every Filipino is his efficiency and orderliness. At this point of time,
Filipino nurses have the mood of getting started with their tasks briskly. Known to their efficiency, they perform every task given to them confidently and with competence. Put that gratefulness on the excellence of the nursing schools around the Philippines. Quality education- this has been the greatest contributing factor which paved way for Filipino nurses to assume competency in shaping and harnessing their expertise towards their career. Granted, we cannot deny the fact that our country is becoming worse. The economic history, primarily in the medical arena, is best characterized by a roller coaster with its revolution of twists and twirls which seems currently to become a downfall momentum pulled down by the increase of pauperisms, instability, and health deviation. Despite of these, the national government, in collaboration with its branching departments particularly on health, has not lost its enthusiasm to improve the quality of the nurses being produced. Commission on Higher Education (CHED) crafts several programs in support of the nursing students’ education, as well as, in their holistic formation. Review centers nationwide have been mushrooming rampantly which in one way or another, has generated several board passers and topnotchers.
Hence, such wisdom acquisition provided by the country has helped Filipino nurses in becoming more competent to their jobs. More than what is mentioned here; such knowledge is dormant, if there would be no skills and attitude. These three comprises the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains, which only a Filipino nurse upholds.
Organization. This has been another unique quality of Filipinos. Beforehand, it has been already our nature being readily prepared. Nurses’ stations in the country, especially around the globe are made tidy and orderly by no other than the Tagalog-speaking people. And this directs to a cleaner quality of care towards patients.
10:30am: Taking a working break. But still attending to client’s needs. Watchful .
Frequently in contact with patient. Attentive. Observant.
Broadly, we see the exodus of Filipino nurses from our country rapidly. However, we must not generalize things. There are still some of them who opted not to flock together away. On one hand, in the wards or clinical settings, one will distinguish a Filipino nurse from others if he/she sees someone not sticking on couches in the station, but on the other hand, in actual or real life situation, we may see some Filipino nurses choosing to stay in our motherland and render service for his/her fellowmen.
“Nung nasa bus ako, isa lang ang nasa isip ko: “Tama kaya ako?”
Pero nung nasa kalagitnaan na ako, naiba ito, “Nasa’n kaya ang banyo?””.
Sounds funny? Well, many would think of this as a nonsense cliché or worse, a hackneyed joke, but big deeper into it. The aforementioned lines are dialogues from a character in the film I watched when we we’re in 2nd year college then, “Mulanay: Sa Pusod ng Paraiso” and it keeps on reverberating intermittently in my subconscious mind. Such lines are figuratively depicting that our country is also in dire need of our service. The film focuses on a volunteer nurse who opted not to keep in sails but to offer a hand to far-flung barrios in the Philippine communities. The “banyo” there implies our shortage and lack of facilities in our healthcare delivery system in remote areas. Amenities couldn’t cater to the needs of the inhabitants, how much more manpower? The healthcare givers who would provide them health and wellness? Yes, this calls for something and with this, some of the Filipino nurses prefer to give favors to rural communities to improve their way of living. They are just becoming vigilant to what the problems our society faces, just right and true that Filipino nursing care is for both the country and the world.
1:00pm: Getting restless yet boosted. Noted with an unwavering will to serve.
Made patients comfortable in bed thereafter. Caring. Tender. Gentle.
Of course, TLCs have never been far off from Filipino nurses when they
intervene with their patients. Globally, we have been hailed as the best nurses in the world, eminent for our extraordinary touches when dealing with our clientele.
Nevertheless, in times where they gradually get tired and intoxicated, Filipino nurses still fights of with a nerve to hurdle the upcoming tasks ahead. It is also innate to our descent our initiative to help and fervent desire or determination that whatever track we are on, we always persevere and work hard until the end.
Self-giving are the Filipinos as they don’t ask a cost in return. A Filipino nurse is just but an epitome of heraldry: responsible, committed, flexible and tending; characteristics of being an angel they exude. This may be evident as to what heroic acts Filipino nurses did from across the globe, sacrificing even personal wants and desires for the sake of others.
3:00pm: Endorsed to all countries worldwide. Flexible. Noted with zealous
dedication and commitment. Kind. Time-generous.
As I was ending my nurses’ notes for my client, I thought of one greatest and most unique trait Filipino nurses possess: flexibility and capability of extending extra miles to their clients. Yes, only they do spend overtime in giving their care and extra tending for those who needs them. Only Filipinos lengthen their shifts from an eight-hour duty to round-the-clock. Only Filipinos share their time for the benefit of the ones immersed in the oceans of desolation and anxiety. Only Filipinos offer even their own selves just for the comfort and wellness of the sick and the dying.
Hence, in contrary to what the majority puts on them, I believe, they are not just mistaken angels who came down from heaven for nothing; rather, they are heralds of care committed to promote a nursing legacy for their fellowmen and for the rest of the human race.
I realized many things. Now, I would be able to have a vision to foresee and divine, a mission to fulfill, and most of all, a legacy to forever continue all throughout my days. Eventually, I will become like them, do the same things just as them, and shape myself to possess the same qualities and characteristics like they have and are deemed to be.
To all those who belong in this community, may this legacy and zeal be forever enkindled in our hearts and that you may become what is expected to us:
Noted: Alert. Ready to attend. Compassionate and empathetic. Incised with
cognitive abilities. Infused with exemplary skills and dexterity. Seen as
simple, valiant, and value-laden comforters. Endorsed globally to render
caring service for the common good.
Now, Ponder. Make a change. And together, let’s create a healthy nation and a world free from impinging diseases, and hand in hand, help fulfill this dream which is made into a legacy for all Filipino nurses.
We can achieve it.
Just reach out for that call bell and they’ll be there round-the-clock.