Nightingales of the Future

Nurses being jobless… Nurses being unemployed…. Nurses being unpaid…Nurses paying thousands to hospitals for them to train without the compromise of employment… Nurses working overtime without compensations…Nurses with a ratio of 1: ward…Nurses abused…Nurses’ low income…They might say all the nasty words they can say about that profession. Blimey those who ridicule don’t have any idea about them. They are reckless in blurting out heinous statements, not knowing they’re important in the society. They don’t know a thing about what they’ve been through before they were handed the license they’re dying to have and what do they really do in this profession? The skills they are striving to master for 4 years or more? How delicate and cautious can their responsibilities be? They help people to be alive. (Ok, I know doctors have the same responsibilities as them, but it doesn’t mean they’re anything less.) They have responsibility in saving lives, they have the capacity to save lives, they care for people and that’s what they are entitled to do, to care for them, curing them maybe is beyond of their studies but I daresay, caring is one step closer to cure. Without their care, I doubt a diabetic foot can protect itself from harboring infection. This might sound much defensive, but that’s the truth, they have an important role in the society, they are key people here to help those who are sick to have better lives and the way they are being mocked right now, I tell you, no profession deserves such treatment. they work their hearts and minds out to act the best of what they have learned and gained from their experience and studies, they have risky jobs here, again I am proud to say they help people to be alive. Yet the One who handles life is not us but God. Life is the most precious gift God gave us. They help people live but it is not within our power to know what God’s plan is for a certain person.

Prior to entering college, some aren’t into nursing at all. Though they didn’t feel bad about it but maybe it’s not their thing or they were just influenced with their surroundings and other people. Experience says it all, before choosing this profession, one should realize that being a nurse is not only a job, it’s a vocation, one should do this with passion and art. I mean if you don’t love serving people, if you are not liking what you’re doing, that unfortunate patient of yours will receive a devastating treatment from you. And I cannot swallow the fact that maybe some of them are doing the job for $$$$$$$$$. (hundred thousandths of them), on the other hand, we cannot blame them, they have their reasons for that. Reality check, I quite did! When I was in my senior year in HS, everybody took it up for college, murmurs about how rich you can be in a flash if you’re a nurse were the buzz in our school. It’s like, after graduation you’ll get your diploma, pass your boards, get your license, voila! Start earning! After 2 years, you can go to any country you like and earn more! I was inspired by Queen Elizabeth then, I dream of going to London, to earn £, Pounds, plus, I might as well get the chance to meet and greet my long time crush then, Daniel Radcliffe (yes, I am that shallow). I thought it was easy as 1,2,3. Everybody chose it, so why not conform to them, majority wins they say, maybe what “majority wants” is a good thing and I trusted the statistics that depicts in 10 years time nursing will still be a fad. And I did choose to be one of them “Nurses of the Future”

During my first year, I adjusted well, almost the same as my high school days except for the experience is 3x harder. On my second year we started having our duty, I was excited, the moment I’ve longed been waiting for finally arrives, my first duty, I was assigned to a female 93 year old patient suffering from Acute Renal Failure, I had a wonderful time spending with her, I felt the fulfillment of seeing someone satisfied and grateful for your service. I bathe her, read her newspapers, told her stories, secured her, fed her, I tried my best to please her, and I know I succeeded. Alongside with our duty was a case study, this was not easy, I had a case study for myself, and I did another as a group. It became more nerve-racking when I entered third year and fourth year, I have my new classmates since we were reshuffled in class (though it meant new friends as well), adjustments, start of the sleepless nights, I just came from a one heck summer of pure duties and numerous case studies, and here we go again more of it, history always repeats itself, this time bigger and bolder, I just came from a lecture which ended at 8p and waking up the next day at 4a, making sure to arrive at school an hour before call time(which is then 30 minutes before the duty time) facing a terror instructor 3 times a day (asking you a pathophysiology while performing a procedure in the operating room, or asking you a rationale on your intervention in front of your patient, if she’s dissatisfied, better call your mom and exchange places with her.) handling 3-5 patients (the personality varies for each one of them of course, one of them can be depressed, moody, elated, angry, frustrated, obsessed, confused, or worst unconscious, you need to deal with all of them nicely, kindly, cheerfully and courteously, patience and understanding is a must!), you need to have a plan for your daily routine, and if there were any alterations with it be ready to make up for it, this includes, waiting for endorsements which you are itching to have but your endorse mate is still nowhere to be seen, knocking and introducing yourself (scripted: “Good morning, afternoon,evening ma’am/sir! I am insert name here I will be your student nurse from insert your duty time, If there’s anything you need, like assistance, please feel free to press the bedside button right there, and I’ll attend to you shortly. Thank you”), checking intravenous lines and other lines therein, medications (which must not be forgotten and must be taken at a right time or else it’ll be a serious issue between you, your senior, your instructor and most of all your conscience) vital signs and intake and output (frequency also varies from the conditions of the patients), hygiene (some of the patients’ significant others are incapable of replacing diapers and cleaning their poo-poos so they call us to do that for them), documenting accurately and neatly otherwise repeat the entire paper you destroyed, establishing rapport, interviewing the patient for a case study but don’t be too obvious about your real motive, pretending your confident in doing an unfamiliar procedure (though you have instructors at your side), you need to, if not, your patient will not trust you. Fix any minor problems you accidentally did before your instructor knew (the adrenaline!), for grave offenses better hide your head under the patient’s bed, though we were only student nurses then, we are trained to be responsible of our actions, and not to do anything that we are not knowledgeable about. Finishing the duty was a sigh, but at home, I still got loads to do, my drug study, mastering the case of my patients, remembering the skills I learned for the day, concept maps, teaching plans. I can’t even imagine did I really surpass those? I was sure I was on the right track (because looking back I think I dealt it quite good) not until now.

I am saddened by what we’re undergoing right now, experiencing the dark times for nurses, especially for fresh graduates. Yes. This is a big challenge for us which we cannot be nonchalant of. We are OVERFLOWING and SCREAMING. However on the brighter side it’s an honor to be chosen as one of the challengers if you can consider this defying event game of our lives. It is our strength that’s mightier, our minds wiser, our patience longer, our understanding wider, our horizons broader, our roads clearer, and our spiritual aspect stronger. It’s the hope that someday everything will fall in their perfect places. That somehow those who are depriving us of chances, those who are hoodwinkers, making money out of our desire to serve and support our families, those, cynical and false critics who throw us sarcasm, those who are reluctant in helping us to shine once more because maybe afraid we might outshine them all, and to those who are laughing at us of what we’ve become today, as tomorrow comes, they will laugh no more, that their conscience will surge them to wake from sleep, and most of all that somehow their good hearts will be the one to dominate their selfish materialistic interests. Nonetheless, we still keep on moving forward, that’s life, we shouldn’t stop, we yield hope in every adversity we experience, and most of all we yield trust to God in times like this or times we are grateful for.

Being a Nurse is a mixture of sacrifice and passion. I admit, I am not in love with nursing, I took it for the thought I might receive a good pay and other shallow reasons, but never for the benefit of those people who need me, I was selfish and I know that sucked! Maybe what’s happening right now, is an eye-opener, not only for me, but also for those who are in the same situation and who had the same thinking as me. Money is not all that matters. I realized that what you loved most will satisfy you, not focusing on how much and how many will you earn in return for that talent you’re passionate about and delivering to them.

I was on the verge to regret everything, maybe my life would be better if I chose this and that, maybe I’ll be happier if I chose what I love that time, maybe I’ll be more wonderful if I chose a different path, “MAYBE”, but there’s nothing to do, but to say “maybe”, because I already did my choice, and I can’t go back to the past and undo things. I am now a nurse and I know God placed me in this position for a reason, I believe He knows that this is the best for me, it’s the best for me to undergo such situation in order to realize and learn things I will not be able to realize if I haven’t be down as this, and actually negative as it seems, it did so much positivity in my life. I was humbled. I learned to see things on the brighter side, I learned to appreciate the Nursing profession more than just a plain “get rich fast” way (as they say 5 years ago). Honestly, I am still figuring out the passion for my profession, I am striving to be happy, so it can reflect with my actions to my patients. Be inspired of benevolence. I consistently pray to God, that He may lead me the “right way” not the other “materialistic way”. This experience offered me so much there is in life, maybe just maybe if ever I would be given a chance to go back and undo things, maybe, I won’t.

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  • karissa

    i thought i wrote this. grabe, you are completely speaking for the rest of us. thanks for sharing!

  • Susie K. Etter

    I read your entry and it sounds like you went through an ordeal. I was overwhelmed with the amount of words you used. I actually skipped parts of it and scanned for the conclusion of your story. You write very well, I think you could write the same story with less words and have a greater impact, and also more readers. Good luck with your future. Thanks for sharing this story!

  • marj tan

    Dude. You just spoke my mind. 🙂 kaya natin to RN’s. Haha!

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