Congratulations to the new nurses!
I know you have been waiting and praying for this moment. You’ve passed the teeth-gnashing and knee-trembling wait for your license. Don’t be afraid to party and party hard. Celebrate!
You’ve worked hard for four long years for this. If there is a course which is literally worked for with blood, sweat and tears, this is it!
Join your Torch Parade. It will only happen once in your life. And when all the congratulations has faded and the parties have already ended, I welcome you back to the real world.
You will now realize that:
1. To get a spot as a volunteer nurse, you will need to pay up or have a powerful backer.
Getting good grades way back in college doesn’t really matter in the real battlefield. You might be your batch’s Best in RLE or even the summa cum laude, but if you don’t have the right connections, you won’t get anywhere.
2. You will be guiled to take up trainings and exams. The licenses you get from there will eventually expire even before you land your first real job.
I’ve had friends who are US RNs but have never stepped foot on US soil. They have IELT’s band 7 plus scores but are stuck in call centers. Some have Basic Life Support and Advance Cardiac Life Support Licenses and etc, but has never gotten to practice their skill in the hospital setting.
These licenses are expensive, yet nurses collect these like badges on a girl scout’s uniform. They look impressive lined up on your wallet and written down on your resume, but as I’ve said earlier, without the right connections, these are all just learning experiences.
3. Reunions with fellow nurses is like a meeting with the labor union. All you’ll ever hear are whinings about the current unemployment rate.
When nurses sit and gather around while sipping an expensive cup of coffee, they are most likely complaining about their working conditions or lack of their off. At the back of their mind, they are also calculating the things they would need to sacrifice to pay off the very expensive cup of coffee they just had.
Have you ever met a happy nurse working locally? Yes? Introduce me to her and I’ll say she is in her manic phase right now.
4. the white uniform is not as glamorous as it once promised to be. You’ll get screamed at, puked on and you’ll even pee on yourself because there is no decent loo in the hospital you are serving.
Your white uniform and duty shoes might be too tight and old already, but you hate to ask your parents for money to buy new ones. After all, you have already graduated and supposed to be “working”.
5. The IW’s salary is twice as what you have. He has SSS, GSIS, PAG-IBIG and PHILHEALTH while you are left battling viruses and bacterias without enough money for insurance and vit. C. (That is if you ever do get to land a job.)
You went to college for four years and you have a diploma to show for it. You also have your nurses license on top of your IVF, BLS, ACLS, Dialysis etc licenses, but your service is free. Sometimes you get paid an allowance that is less than what you get way back when you were still in college.
This makes me wonder how nurses could still stay beautiful despite the hard times.
6. Volunteer, probationary, reliever, contractual, or trainee nurse are not considered as working experience.
How can you get out of this country without an experience? So you agree to be a slave to hospitals that take advantage of your situation?
7. You need to have a raket to survive.
I need makeups and a dozen toiletries. As a nurse, you have to look good and smell good. Your patients would always want to see their nurses looking like angels. But if you are financially hard up, how can you have these little luxuries?
I survived my days as a volunteer by selling anything from contact lenses to scrub suits. My other colleagues have also other rakets from online stores to fake bath and body perfumes. Others would charge for intravenous glutathione injections.
We try our best to survive.
8. On night shifts and rainy days, only a few volunteers would show up.
These are my worst duties. Your staff nurse will be busy snoring while you are left to fend for yourself with over 50 plus census in your ward.
A general rule is to wake up your staff nurse if and only if a patient is dying. IF there is no need for a CPR don’t wake her up from her sweet dreams.
9. Nurses don’t just get assigned to the ER, DR or ward. You will also work in the stock room, medical laboratory, kitchen and laundry.
You are dispensable. If you don’t agree, leave. There is no shortage of nurses, instead there is an oversupply. Many nurses would willingly do the laundry if you hate doing it.
10. You should have not followed the herd.
Everyone wanted to be a nurse way back in high school. So you wanted to be a nurse too. The nursing students all look gwapo and beautiful. You wanted to be one of them.
Now it is too late for you to back out. You already have a degree and license. Yet you realized that nursing is not for you. It is far from the images you see on TV.
Sometimes you think to yourself that if you have taken up management or other boring courses, you most likely have a job already.
Welcome to the sad reality of nursing.
I pray that you become successful in your chosen course. There will be lots of challenges, but if your desire is strong, keep the faith.
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