“Hirap at Sarap ng OFW NURSE” (Journey from Philippines to KSA)

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia
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What do you think is the main reason why nurses really want to work out of the country ? Is it all about money? experience? Personal growth? Maybe we are holding a lot of reasons that can answer that question.

I am one of those thousands of nurses who grabbed the opportunity to work abroad. Upon my application, I was  pretty sure that I am really decided to work out of the country. As I started to work in the hospital where I am currently working right now, the huge courage that I’ve been carrying before I go, was replaced by a gigantic sadness which is commonly known as the “HOMESICKNESS SYNDROME”. It is very common especially for the first timers to feel that way. It is very hard to work alone in the place of nowhere, where you cannot find any way out. Admit it or not, we really miss our life back in the Philippines. Everyday shopping, hanging out, unlimited call and texting, party all night, and what more life cannot resist FAMILY BONDING.

Is it really a need for a Nurse to work abroad? Financially speaking, isang malaking OO ang sagot ko. When I was in the Philippines, I have a stable job as a staff nurse in a tertiary Hospital but salary wise I was not satisfied with what I was earning. Kaya ng mabalitaan ang agency sugod naman kami ng friends ko. We took the Prometric Exam to get our Saudi License as soon as possible, thank God we made it. So many good and positive things were built upon us by our agency regarding our workplace and home accommodation, but all of a sudden when we reached the Hospital and the house where we are going to live iyak na lang ang nagawa ng bawat isa sa amin sabay sabi “Ano ba itong pinasok ko?!”. Honestly speaking, the place was like HELL.. Sa sampung magagandang sinabi ng agency, walang totoo.. We all wanted to go back home, but unluckily, there’s no way out. We were stuck and all we have to do na lang ay magtiis ng dalawang taon.

KSA gave me one good thing, its my new FRIENDS, particularly my room mates. They are the ones who made my life happy in the midst of depression. Each of them has a good story to tell, different personalities and attitudes but we can simply jive with each other. Problems will always be present on us; nandyan na ang pambayad utang para makarating sa Saudi, namatayan ng kamag anak pero wala kang mgawa, may naospital sa pamilya at kailangan ng pera, iniwan mong love life ay naagaw ng iba, anak na hindi lumalaki sa piling ng ina..haiii puro problema nakakasawa na sabi nga nila. We came here carrying ourselves and the courage within us, kaya nga courage na lang ang panlaban sa problema. We are all hoping na umabot ng dalawang taon ang courage na yan.. That’s why I really want to correct the connotations of others way back in the Philippines about OFWs na “madami ng pera si Juan dahil nakaabroad na”..oopps teka po hindi po porke nasa ABROAD na marami ng pera, kelangan pang kumayod kabayo para makapagpadala sa pamilya, hindi niyo alam kung anong hirap ang dinadanas ng bawat Pilipino..haiii (kakapikon lang..) haha..

Everyday is a daily routine for us, we are all hoping that time will run so fast for us and will eventually reach the day in which we will finish our contract. We still have 1 more year and few more months so please Kingdom of Saudi Arabia… please be good to us.

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  • aldrin sinlao

    time fliesss…. i also cnt wait till i reach the end of my contract…done with the one year….. another year would be so fast…..

  • tony acuna

    if u are in the non muslim area of madinah,medyo may kahirapan talaga pero kung alam mo lang ang status ng nasa loob mas masuwerte ka pa.at saka,mabuti na yong pinasukan mo hospital at hindi polyclinic.maganda dito sa jeddah pero depende rin yan sa management.malampasan mo rin yan.kaya mo yan,ikaw pa,palagi mong isaisip na iba ang pinoy.52 fridays na lang makakauwi ka na rin and while you are here in the kingdom just enjoy the show.may God bless you and ingat lagi

    • Lyka Lorraine Miranda

      im in the MUSLIM part of madina (Haram area).. ur right, as I have said everyday is a routine, d ko nga napapansin another month nanaman ang ngpassed..haiii patience is a virtue, kea un nlng gnagawa ko.. :))

    • rhea waje

      hello po just wanna ask some advice kasi nabasa ko sa isang post na parang merong negative comment about polyclinics, meron kasi kasing agency na nag ooffer ng job sa kin sa polyclinic in Riyadh, actually wala syang placement fee so i accepted d’ job, sa mga nasa saudi na now, advice naman po. tnx

      • tony acuna

        just inquire from the agency if this polyclinic you are about to join is certified by various health insurance provider here in saudi arabia.these agencies have certain standards(monthly payment of salaries and wages to name a few).kindly post the name of this polyclinic. we have the lists of hospitals and polyclinics certified by these providers that might be of help to you.i will travel to riyadh tomorrow and i will personally check the status of this polyclinic.

        • rhea waje

          the agency gave me two possible polyclinics that might hire me, al khazan consultant polyclinic in riyadh and the other one is abu zahid polyclinic in jeddah, thank you for replying sir tony.

      • tony acuna

        al khazan medical clinic , riyadh @ al khazan st. tel.no. 966 01 43 55 252 is an approved clinic while abu zahid polyclinic in jeddah is not in the list.let me check this polyclinic in jeddah on monday after my project site in riyadh.goodluck

        • rhea waje

          ok po tnx and if may i ask what are the positive and negative aspect of working in a polyclinic? so il know what to expect.

          • tony acuna

            al khazan medical polyclinic is better than the other clinic.polyclinic is not a hospital like any other clinic in our country,it is for outpatient,thus the name al khazan consultant polyclinic.polyclinic-you will be working on two shifts,morning and late afternoon till evening,8 working hours per day and you will be assigned to a certain specialist.take note,no make-up,no need to smile to your patient and to your doctor as well.no perfumes,no tight uniform and most of all,you should be addressed with a sister before your name(sister rhea)to gain respect.may ALLAH guide you and lead you to the right path.GOD Bless.goodluck and welcome to the world away from home.be yourself and be firm

    • Leah Lewis

      Hi po sir Tony, may job offer po samin ng friend ko sa new family polyclinic sa jeddah… ask ko lang po sana kung ok naman po ba yong clinic na yun..tnx po

  • My personal advise to you because you are in the Muslim area pag aralan niyo ang language nila para maintindihan ninyo ang linguwahi nila,para alam ninyo kong ano ang sinasabi nila,and then be frendly to them and keep yourselves busy, stay focus of your dreams and you have the target plan.takr note in this contact No.Jeddah DXN Office +966-2-6426272, Al Hasa +966-3-5841188,Al Khobar +966-3-8976657, Damam +966-3-8321178,Jizan +966-7-3224020,Jubail +966-3-3635008,Khamis Mushayt +966-7-2237908,Reyadh Batha +966-1-4022125,Riyadh-Olaya +966-1-2150888,Onaizah +966-6-3637733,Yanbu +966-4-3221697, Pag day off kayo at makapasyal sa Jeddah pontahan mo ang DXN Office ang products nito food suplement pure organics base in Malaysia maraming branch office sa Saudi dahil malaki itong maitulong sa may mga karamdaman products available in 156 Countries
    Magmember ka ang halaga 300 reyal at may products kang makuha worth sa pira mo, maging wise consumers ka ang lahat na ginagamit mo araw araw na sa supermarkit mo benili doon mona bebilhin dahil may puntos papasok sa account mo, in every Month may bunos ka, magregenerate ng income, halimbawa maging member kana ipamigay molang ang ID No. sa mga kaibigan mo diyan, ibigay molang ang contact No. sa office sila ang magpunta.
    Ang system hindi sila makabili sa products kapag walang nagrefer na tao dahil hanapin nila ang Membership No.
    Kapag bumibili sila discounted sila ng 25% but ang points pasok sa account mo at ikaw ang makakuha sa bunos.
    Gamitin mo ang oras mo dito sa Business na ito, at dito malibang at mapadali mo ma achieve ang iyong pangarap, at ang mga tao na natulongan mo na napagaling ang karamdaman hindi na titigil sa pagbili at sila pa ang mamalita sa iba na hindi mona effort.
    Halimbawa kumita kanang 4,000 reyal per Month powedi kana magdesesion sa buhay kong tutoloy kapa magtrabaho, dahil ang 4,000 reyal e multifly mo sa pesso magkano nayan, dahil ang membership mo powedi mo e trasfer sa Pinas kong saan na malapit ang DXN office sa lugar mo.
    Ito ang gagamitin mo na sponsor Name: Roseller Balaod ID No. 141013329, at kapag nagmember kana ang membership number mona ang iyong ipamigay para ang points doon papasuk sa account mo.
    Ang Company Legal yan sa Saudi at kila la yan na ang products malaking tulong sa mga maykaramdaman na matindi.
    Ito ang isang paraan na dapat natin gagawin na mga OFW na gagamitin natin ang free time natin na magenerate na xtra income sa ganong pamaraan na tayo gumagamit sa products, mayroon tayong prevention ma maintain natin ang ating kalusogan na always healthy, now a days sa ating life style ang mga pagkain halos may mga chemicals dita sa bansa desirto walang mga puno,polution sa mga refinery ang hangin poluted + stress kaya makita natin dito paramihan sila dito ng Hospital at mga malaki at iba pang mga Private Clinec.
    As of now I’m here in Dubai ang mga group ko mga katulong lang sila sa bahay every friday lang sila makalabas but ginamit nila ang uras nila sa ganitong hanap buhay for 5 years kumikita na sila ng 4,000 dirhams ang pagtiyaga nila sa maleit na sahod nalampasan pa nila ang sahod nila sa kita sa DXN oowi man sila powedi na hindi na sila mamasukan.
    Isang problima sa ating mga OFW dito sa Midle East wala tayong preparation in case of Emergincy, According to our presint Ambassador here in U.A.E Gace Princesa she Ambasador before in Iraq,Egypt and other part in US.
    Sabi niya during Iraq war may mga kababayan natin maski magulo na ayaw parin umalis dahil walang maowian at hidi pa handa umowi at sa ayaw man nila dahil war na pelit silang umowi na hindi natupag ang mga pangarap sa buhay.
    The strong evedince of love that is sacrifice kapag makuha pa natin sa Pinas ang sahod natin dito walang magties dito sa pagtrabaho, iba talaga ang bansa natin.
    Dito hindi tayo malaya susonod tayo sa batas nila dito katulad sa mga babae malaki ang risk, hindi sila powedi lumalakad magisa at sa gabi, iba ang kultora nila dito kaya dapat ang lahat alamin ang batas dito para walang mapahamak sa serkustansiya.
    At ang isa pa na kulang natin na mga Filipino OFW compare sa ibang mga Nationality ang minset natin is to earned income and spend.
    Ang ibang lahi kapag kumita sila dito eni isip nila ang kita nila dito dadalhin nila sa bansa nila.
    Kailangan natin para maka ahon sa kahirapan at magkaroon nga halaga ang pagpamasukan dito na malayo sa piling ng bawat isa sa pamilya kailangan to work together para mapadali ang pag stay natin dito.
    To do something na may pakigkitaan sa pinas na magenerate na income at kong sapat na makuha na ang Monthly and daily needs na ang source na nangaling na sa Pinas powedi na tumigil sa pagtrabaho.
    Sabi sa ambasador namin dito sa UAE ang nakita niya sa suffirings sa mga OFW ang kakulangan lock of knowledge kong paano gamitin ang piera, tinatawag financial leteracy, kong ano ang dimand sa pamilya sa Pinas, halos lahat nakita ipadala natin kulang parin.
    Karamihan sa atin Income minus Expenses equals savings kong may matira, kapag wala obos sa padala walang savings.
    Ang tama na pamaraan para maka save tayo income minos 10% of your income konin mona ipasok mo sa Bank. another 10% for the Lord who is the giver of everything, sa lakas natin sa hangin,tubig, nakagising naman tayo sa umaga sa panibagong buhay natin.
    Sa atin kapag dumating na ang bell sa tubig at kuryinte nagmamadali tayo sa pagbayad sa Meralko dahil ayaw natin mapotulan ng tubig at kuryinte, sa palagay natin bibigyan tayo ng Dios ng meter bawat hinga natin sa isang araw kong magkano kaya ang mabayaran natin, at marami sa ating mga kapatid bomebili ng hangin sa hospital para lang makahinga, ito divine command ito ibigay mo sa Emperador para sa kanya at ibigay mo sa Dios ang para sa Dios.
    I hope that this message that can help to all OFW we are working here in this place as a survival kapag maykaramdaman tayo hangang sa pagtawag lang tayo at ibalita ang ating setuation gostohin man natin na makapiling ang mahal natin sa buhay hindi manyari.
    As for me eniwanan ko ang aking anak he is 3 Month year old dahil gustong maka ahon sa kahirapan sa buhay.
    Base on my experience I have the courage to share this experince to all OFW as one of your guide the reality it’s up to endevedual on how you manage your life may kanya kanya tayong pananaw sa buhay ibat ibang vission and we resfect the freedom that God is given to each one of us.
    And we need to live according to our time that is reality,and the time is moving.
    We back to Agricultural age, and then Industrial age and today Information age. maraming pakigkitaan natin ngayon even though hindi kailangan na magresigned ka sa trabaho mo, gamitin lang natin ang opportunity that God is given us equal opportunity 24 hrs a day devided into three 8,8,8 otso oras trabaho, otso oras tulog. ang the remaining 8 hrs. dito nakasalalay ang ating kinabukasan.
    Ang iba ginamit sa panood ng TV, inom,sugal at iba pa that is our free time, kapag araw araw gumamit lang tayo ng 1 hr or two hrs na magenerate ng income to add of your sallary, tinatawag extra income out of your present resourcess malaking bagay na mapadali na maabot natin ang ating mga pangarap sa buhay.
    Tinatawag natin we need to come out from the comfort zone, hindi pa ang tamang panahon to stay in the comport dahil hindi pa natin naabot ang financial freedom,wala pa tayong time freedom, wala pa ang freedom to travel, kapag gumawa ka ng pakigkitaan pandagdag sa income mo maging discompork dahil maghanap ng tao na mabintahan mo.
    No matter kong descomport ka ngayon nagtiyaga ka for 5 years after 5 years kumita kanaman for the rest of your life 5 years kalang nagsakrapisyo and then ilang taon na save sa buhay, na dapat tuloy ang pagpamasokan mo hangang pagtanda mo.
    May kasabihan It’s beter to work hard as long as you are young than to work hard na matanda kana.
    Employment we are working for the money, no work no pay, magkasakit tayo walang kita. ang tanong hangan kailan tayo titigil sa pagtrabaho, and we are growing older not younger.
    Everyone we are seeking the happiness and the perfect cycle in life you have to live healthy,wealthy and happy.
    Maypira kaman kapag may karamdaman ka at sabihin sa Doctor pagkain mo sa umaga crakers,tanghali crakers,haponan crakers dahil mag kontradicks na sa sakit mo hindi ka maligaya even though may pira ka.
    May kasabihan ang buhay ay mahalaga, ito too kapag ikaw maging cancer patient powedi mo ebenta ang lahat mong arearian to save life.
    With regards to the company that I introduce DXN 19 years na sa Markit and available in 156 Countries hinde kayo nagsayang sa pira maging wise consumers lang kayo at kikita kayo, ganon din araw araw gumamit din kayo araw araw,sabon,shampoo,tothpaste kapag sa supermarkit ito bebilhin that is regular consumers that is expensiss kapag sa DXN dahil sa puntos magregenerate siya ng income.
    You live healthy dahil ang products organics at you liave wealthy dahil every products benili mo may point values mag regenerate ng income dumating ang panahon dahil sa accumolating points maging lebri kana sa daily needs mo na dapat every month bebelhin mo ito sa supermarket. at dito ma injoy mo ang happiness.
    Pagtanda mo you are Healthy, at my pira kapa makapagtravel kapa ng lebri.
    Try to vesit this http://www.dxn2u.com or sa YouTube: dxn tistemony or dxn presentation.
    Your reference Name: Roseller Balaod DXN ID: 141013329 and my Email:[email protected]
    God Bless us all.

  • Jose

    well… for a positive thought..

    mas malaki naman ang halaga ng $100 ng mga taga Saudi kumpara sa mga OFWs na nasa Western States.

    kaya nga ang iba di na nagbabalak pumunta ng Canada, US, Uk, Ireland.

    Welcome to the harsh realities of coming in Saudi Arabia.

    Life. It is what we make of it.

    author hindi ka din isa sa mga aplikanteng basta maka alis lang ng pinas kahit 6 months experience ano?.. dami kasing ganyan. mentality nasa pinas basta maka saudi, basta cheap ang placement fee Go lang ng Go. Hindi nila alam kung anong klaseng buhay meron dito. Hindi naman sinasabi sa PDoS yan, malalaman yan sa mga Ex-Saudi Nurses.

    • Lyka Lorraine Miranda

      hmmmnn, cheap? ndi ah ang laki ng gastos nmen ndi na normal.. feeling nga nmen naperahan lng kmi.. pero ayus lng din nman, we will just make the most out of it.. 🙂

      • jose

        may mga remnants pa ng mga “domestic helper”-turned nurses dito sa Saudi..

        1. tipong caregiver tapos nurse

        o kaya naman mga..

        2. commerce/non medical related course ang tinapos
        3. underboard
        4. “recto” nurses
        5. midwives
        6. physical therapist
        7. secretary

        madalas sa ibang mga nurses may mga jowang Saudi, Syrian, Lebanese, Western.

        kaya advise sa mga bagong OFW or mga nagbabalak na mag Saudi.. alamin nyo, pigaiin nyo mabuti sa mga galing ng Saudi kung ano talaga ang inaaplayan nyong Hospital. It’s either uuwi kang luhaan o nakangiti dito.

        Mahirap ang buhay sa saudi lalo kung bagohan ka pa lang.

        Alamin muna bago makipagsapalaran.

        • Lyka Lorraine Miranda

          yeah right but we are licensed nurses indeed.. anyway is just a matter of experience, and this is only our stepping stone in pursuing our career.. but then we believed that there are greater opportunities that awaits us carrying this hospital experience of ours.. 🙂

  • tony acuna

    the hospital where you are working is near Haram,i’m curios,are you a muslim? as i understand,only muslims are allowed to enter the area.take care and God Bless

    • apple

      sir ask ko lang po.kasi my offer sa akin work sa jizan university hospital ok po ba ang place dun, i will work as a med tech there soon…

  • I’ve been an OFW nurse for almost 2 years now. Working abroad is not easy, but eventually self-fulfillment comes when you realized that your dreams are becoming a reality.. you can stand on your own, you are not “tambay” in the philippines.. You are doing a great job of serving others at the same time earning.. I have created a website that will inspire and motivate you..(http://www.ofwnurse.net/)..this is dedicated to my fellow OFWnurses..

    • Lyka Lorraine Miranda

      nice.. :))

      • thanx lyka! feel free to visit and make comment on my site..=)

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  • We’ll all be lying to ourselves and others if we claim that we practice Nursing outside of our country with a sole purpose of helping others. Nurses go overseas in search for a greener pasture — the sole purpose is to earn a decent income for us and our family, period. I started my nursing career in the Phils. back in 1990. Graduated 1988, briefly worked as a Med Rep then took the licensure exam in 89 and found a job at a Chinese Hospital in Masangkay Manila (Metropolitan) then transferred to Veterans Memorial in Quezon City. I finished my college in Davao City. Schools at that time are already producing hordes of graduates without enough hospitals and clinics to absorb all the license nurses. In 1988 Davao City has 3 schools in Nursing, with a combined successful graduates and board passers of upwards to 300’s. A great number that practically left a huge surplus of unemployed nurses. Nowadays I’m not sure how many surplus they might have in Davao City alone. I hope that the Phil. government instead of just allowing schools to enroll as many nurses as they could, would initiate an effective system/facilities to provide adequate training for nurses to become competitive outside the Philippines. Everybody knows that nursing curriculum is designed for international competitiveness — I know that for sure, because Filipino nurses are very well embraced at least in US and UK — I’m sure the same respect is afforded to our fellows in the middle east. We all know that every nurse’s goal is to work abroad and that the government believes that nurses one way or the other brings back revenue to the country. Currently US has immigration issues they’re trying to resolve — a limit on VISA issues for all immigrants including nurses is holding up a 10 year backlog for all Filipino not only nurses. Not to mention that there nurses from other countries who are also competing to enter the US. There are other countries such as in the middle east, UK and some places in Asia who still prefers Filipino Nurses. But unless our government initiates a strong standard and advocate for building a professional image for our nurses — instead of labeling us as a Room Nurse (RN) only, they/we must, I must include the we part, work together to build a better image. Filipino’s are stereotyped as nice and yet seemingly mediocre in standards because others including our own kababayans are exposed to information and are part of the one’s spreading sad information demonizing our health care system. We know that our systems sucks, that our school and hospital trainings are somehow outdated. But instead of focusing on these weaknesses that we already know — we must instead — availing of the vast information and technology available within our reach, learn, practice and be proud to tell the world that we are not only catching up, we are actively participating and are becoming the prime movers. Believed me, we are extremely competitive. We have the advantage because we are the only English speaking country in the entire Asia and even other countries outside of Asia. Instead of wasting time on useless stuff, tsismis, soft opera, insulting each other, belittling our own — we must begin by uplifting everyone. STOP the negative branding of Filipinos. Let’s be patriotic! We are a great nation. WE are good intelligent people. Enough with the negative mindset. I’ve been a nurse for the past 17 years in New York. I’m part of the 9-11 first responders here, I’m the go to guy for troubleshooting, and IV sticks and I’m proud of it. I don’t mean to brag about all of these abilities, but I’m compelled to share that I learned to be competitive not from school nor from my experience alone, I attributed these skills and techniques that I learned quickly and easily because of my upbringing as a Filipino — the creativity, resourcefulness and innovative abilities that are inherent to us Filipino’s because we grew up creating something out from almost nothing —- because of limited resources. If we want change then let’s start with a change in our mindset. You want to succeed then be a proud Filipino. There are so many informations available to improve our lives but we must begin from within ourselves. Quit looking at the outside and others. Quit thinking that it’s hard, that’s it’s impossible, that it is what is, that we are destined to be like this. That’s a bunch of crap. You, me and every human — Filipino or not as along as you have a conscious thinking mind — you are gifted with the ability to choose what you want, have or do. All these will only happen when you begin to focus your thoughts ONLY on things and events that you want to occur. Read about the story of successful people and you’ll learn that the only difference between success and failure is the mindset. DO NOT focus your thoughts and energy of not having — instead focus your thoughts and energy on what it would be like to have what you want, do or become. Do it everyday until it becomes a second nature just as you are effortlessly breathing and soon you’ll find yourself blessed with good vibes and getting everything that you want. You’ll probably think of this as about law of attraction and some other metaphysical stuff created by motivational guru’s. Those are practically true but you don’t have to pattern everything to what they tell you. Bottom line is believed in yourself, build that self confidence and work on it in your mind everyday — of course taking action will affirm your belief so don’t just sit down and think that things will magically appear. You have to constantly learn so that ideas will get attracted to your thinking. I could fill an entire book on this subject but the bottom line is learn how the power of your subconscious mind works. In psychology we only learn of it as the storage of memory. We’ll our subconscious mind works, if compared to the speed of computer — at 40 million bits per second — that’s how we function everyday 95% on autopilot while our conscious mind only process information at 40 bits per second. That’s why they only let our phones have 7 numbers because our conscious mind can only effectively retain 7 numbers most of the time. We can only multi-task about 3-4 task effectively. Listen to your internal dialogue — be attentive — if your mind drifts and starts thinking about anything negative — pull yourself back and discard that thought just like your spitting out a saliva. It’s simple — that’s attuning yourself to the power of now. Your a Filipino, you are gifted with brilliance, creativity, innovation (don’t believed them when they say — nang-ga-ga ya lang tayo) that’s foolishness — we are not copycats — we are innovative thinkers. A lot of stuff starts from our innovation and creativity. When the GI soldiers left they’re 3 gear jeep to us, we turned them into what we now call passenger jeep — that’s only one. There’s many more. So from here on think, believed and be confident that things we’ll get better quickly as we adapt a good way of thinking. Begin now. You don’t have to spend money. If your able to read this then you have access to tons of life chaning information on the internet. Begin with the website I created to share the inner secrets of changing our mindsets. Mabuhay ka Pilipino!