Don’t give up… That is what I told myself when I found myself struggling to land a job as a staff nurse (the paid one)and later this year, God gave me the best gift from Him… An Employer (overseas). I’m going to share my experiences before I received that precious gift. And hopefully I can inspire many from it.
I graduated BS Nursing in 2007 and passed the Nurse Licensure Exam on the same year. As a newly graduate nurse and registered nurse at the same time, I made an effort to make an impressive resume but I didn’t have anything to put on it since I was an entry-level applicant. I didn’t have any training like IV therapy, ACLS and whatsoever that hospitals required. The only training that I had was First Aid and BLS. After my NLE, the first thing I did was join the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) as a volunteer so that I can add it to my resume and while searching for hospitals who will accept me. Days and months went by and still not one call, even for just an initial interview or exam. But I didn’t give up, still I kept myself busy on organizing myself. I also did some research on where I can get additional training, then I found a hospital near our house that provided IV therapy training. I joined and luckily passed their training. So, after I acquired my IVT license, I updated my resume and submitted again to the hospitals where I applied before.
A lot more days and months had passed once again, and still no one called. Until one day, a friend of mine told me that a government hospital was hiring volunteer nurses. That was already 2009, 2 years after I passed my board. Because of my frustration and unsuccessful attempts in getting clinical experience, I ask my dad if he has contacts on the that hospital. Luckily he did. His contact helped me to get in as a volunteer staff nurse trainee. June that same year, my training started, and I enjoyed it…. until I learned that the majority of my batch mates were slowly getting jobs in the hospital as staff nurses, when in fact our 3-month training was not even finished yet. I became a little depressed, because I already frustrated to get a job so I would be able to help my family. I was told by my dad that his contact was trying to help me to get absorbed but unfortunately since that time it was the election season, his contact told me just to wait a little more since the person in charge of personnel has stopped hiring, instead he told me to submit my resume to the HR and continue my volunteer work. Here come’s year 2010 and still no news from my dad’s contact, I was already frustrated and I started looking to other options. My mom told me to take up SOLAS and work instead on a ship, whether it’s a nurse’s job or other related work. Without a doubt, early that year, I took up the training and got my SIRB (seaman’s book). I left the hospital since I was already getting bankrupt and instead used the money left to apply to different agencies. There are some who called me and got interested but when they asked me on my experience they always say what they need is a staff nurse work experience not a volunteer… There are many times I really got frustrated and depressed because deep inside myself I can perform the work they are requiring me to do, it’s just that the word “VOLUNTEER” or “TRAINEE” that prevents me from landing the job.
Despite of getting frustrated I keep myself busy again on my organization which is the PRC while searching again for jobs abroad that will accept my experience. I also had the chance to take up ACLS and hopefully I can finally find the job that is really for me. I even tried KSA when in fact my parents don’t like it as a country to work in. Again, days and months had passed, I welcomed year 2011 without a job. I was really positive on this year, I always prayed to God that He will give me the job that is really for me. I still keep on updating my resume and even applied online to some manning agencies until later this year. An agency called me that their employer selected me and asked me to report on their office. Upon hearing the news, without a doubt I reported to the agency, but another problem came. The agency is asking me if I can acquire a certificate of employment that says I did work as a staff nurse, they told me that it will be use only to get a permit i think it’s a working permit or residential permit, by the way the job offer is in KSA. Since I really want the job, I gave all my efforts to get a certificate of employment that says I did work as a staff nurse but the hospital where I had my training only issues certificate that says “Volunteer” or “Trainee” only. I was getting frustrated again, I even wanted to go to Recto to get a certificate but I don’t like to bring a fake document esp. in KSA, so again, I faced the internet, I searched for other jobs until I saw an ad that says “volunteer experience” are accepted. The job offer was also in Middle East. On that same day, I called the agency to confirm if the ad was true and confirmed it’s true. I even searched the principal and to my surprise it was a nice hospital!!! The woman whom I spoke to on the other line told me to report early the next day because it will only be a one day interview with the employer.
The next day arrived, I was so excited, I got up early and dressed impressively. I even make sure that all my requirements are complete. I arrived on time, but to my surprise when I got out of the pedicab, I saw nurses wearing white uniform!!! OMG!!! That was what I said when I saw them, but I didn’t bother to ask some of them. I went straight inside and logged in on the security’s log book. At exactly 9am, one of the agency’s staff arrived and manong guard told me that I can go up to the office. Upon reaching the office, I told the lady on the receiving area that I’m submitting my application and asking her if I could join the interview, she looked at me and ask if I have a white uniform, I told her that I’m not aware that I have to wear white for the interview. She told me that I can’t join unless I provide a white uniform for myself. I was on a panic mode that time, I called my mom and told her about it. I told her if she can bring me my white uniform and thank goodness my dad is available to drive our car. I was able to change in white uniform and was able to attend the interview. While waiting for my turn to be interviewed by the employer via skype I was getting nervous and I was keep on praying that God would help me on that interview. It’s already my turn, I showed up to the webcam with a smile and greeted him hello on arabic language. Thanks to my dad who knows the language. The employer started the interview by making me introduce myself and in what area I was exposed during my clinical exposure. So I told him everything. At first he was asking me about medical conditions since I was exposed to Medical Ward when I was in the hospital, I was lucky to answer correctly all his questions, then he suddenly changed the topic. He asked me about emergency cart drugs. I was lucky to have my ACLS the year before and thank God I can still remember those E-drugs. I was able to answer again all his questions and he ended the interview. I went home still thinking if I passed or not.
The day after my interview came, the representative of the agency called me, he told me that I passed the interview and I need to report for the orientation and contract signing!!! I was really star strucked and still can’t believe on the news that I received that day. I already signed the contract and already done to my medical at this point. But still I’m praying that no problem would occur while waiting for our date of departure…
I shared this because I know a lot of nurses today are experiencing what I experienced before. Patience and strong faith with God is what I used to reach the point where I am now, and still going to use when I go abroad to keep the job that I prayed for so long…
Nurses, God is just a prayer away, He always listens to our burdens… DON’T GIVE UP!!!
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