NURSES: It’s Forbidden!

I never thought na may nag eexist pa pala na ganitong lugar!(whewww!). Isang lugar na napaka layo sa ating bansa. Ni hindi sumagi sa isip ko na mapunta dito sa Middle East and worst dito sa Saudi Arabia(others may not agree,they were those fortunate ones who happen to enjoy their stay here).

I’m working as a dental nurse. Gaya ng ilan na napeke ng agency sa Pilipinas(hmpf), nurse sa hospital ang pinirmahan naming contract. Woaahhhh, what happen?? pag dating namin dito, sa napaka layong lugar kami dinala, as in from Riyadh airport, which is a city, parang province na ito. Bukod sa talaga namang disyerto ang paligid ay mahahalata mong konti lang ang census ng nakatira. Worse, to our surprise, dito sa isang dental clinic kami dinala!(so, frustrating!). Of course, mega reklamo kami sa agents namin sa Pinas. We even called the Philippine Embassy and POLO pero pinag pasa-pasahan lang kami. We’ve talked to different people, may abogado pa nga na nakipag usap sa employer namin pero pinaasa lang kami sa wala. After about 4 months ng pakikidigma sa employer namin dito(as in walang katapusang usapan!ahahha), we got tired and decided to think of other ways on how we can get out of here. We are not proud naman na alam naman naten na mahirap makahanap ng work ang nurses sa atin, kami pang nandito ang gusto namang umuwi.

Anyway, going back sa kwento ng lola mo, kinulang ang mga inosenteng first timer sa pagreresearch and pagtatanong about life and culture here(it’s a bit our fault..hihih), basta kasi gora na lang ng gora e(ahahhaha). Napabilis and nabigla din aku sa pag aapply dito, nadala na din ng pressure kasi parang wala pang nangyayari sa career ku. Basta ang goal ku lang kasi nun ay makaalis na ng Pinas so, here’s what I got! I remember sa airport pa lang dito iba na kagad ang amoy(as in eewww!). Halos bumaliktad yung tyan namin pero syempre pretend-pretend ka lang na normal lang ang lahat..aharhar nakakatakot kasi ang itsura ng mga arabong pulis e..(ahihih).

O, balik tayo dito sa “the hell’ naming workplace. Tatlo lang kaming nurse dito and luckily we are all Pinay of the same age. We have 2 Egyptian dentists, so yung work namin super carrybells lang. Rotation lang kaming 3 sa pag assist sa 2 dentists and sa sterilization area. Good things here, walang hassle, wala masyadong liabilities and responsibilities, and hindi toxic(and wala ka nga din palang nursing skills na mapapala!huhuh). If sa clinic ka naka rotate, you just need to assist the dentist. You have to call the next patient and during procedure taga prepare and taga abot ka ng gamit nya. If sa sterilization area ka naman taga hugas, pack and then autoclave ka naman ng instruments. Sounds good anu?? masasabi mo na “anu pang reklamo nyu??”. PERO..PERO..but! Here’s the “BAWAL”– BAWAL TUMAWA (dapat smile lang o yung tawang walang tunog!..naman!! kabaliw!ahahha). We were suprised nung bago pa lang kami dito napagalitan na kami ng bongga ng mataray naming manager because we are laughing.. yung normal na tawanan sa atin, na hindi naman scandalous! Next one, pahirap talga to sa amin, BAWAL LUMABAS!(as in from the door ng clinic, kahit sa katapat na tindahan lang!). For our personal needs and foods we need to ask the janitor a.k.a worker na bumili for us! Wat do you expect? the price surely will be higher! BAWAL MAGTAAS NG PAA!(yun bang ipatong sa mababang mesa, even when there’s no patient naman just to relax your feet man lang!wheeeww!). They said when we’re doing that it seems like we are seducing the Arabs (ang sabbeeee??? naman???). BAWAL ANG CELLPHONE!(as in daig pa namin ang students!). We are working for 10 hrs and may patient o wala, bear it, maggupit-gupit ka ng papel o magsulat ng kung anu-anu para may magawa ka(labasan ba ng art talent!ahihih). E, sa 10 hrs na duty parang 4 hrs ka lang mag kakapatient. BAWAL ANG MAKE UP!(To think na makapal sila mag make up dito huh!, pag kami kahit eye liner is not allowed). You are trying to get the attention of the patients daw kasi pag ganun(duhhh???..). BAWAL KUMAIN!(I mean no definite time for breaks). You need to wait for their prayer time kung magpray sila kain ka, kung hindi naman sorry ka! BAWAL ANG INTERNET!(That’s the rule of the former manager, so, thank GOD at nag end of contract na siya!ahahha). It took us almost 8 months bago nagkapag pakabit ng Internet. Before we were using the prepaid sa cellphone but it’s so expensive, so, for the news we were buying newspaper pa nun! (gosh…!huhuh). Eto pa, BAWAL MAGREKLAMO!(kaya puro cut salary ang inaabot namin dito!). Knowing Pinoy naman mahilig tayo magreklamo if may hindi tayo gusto o hindi tama! Pag napupuno na kami sa kanila sa pagka mega abusado nila, ipagawa sa ‘yo pati hindi mo work and pag hindi mo ginawa kaw pa ang kakaltasan nila, ayun nasasagot namin. Dagdag stress pa talaga ang pakikipag away sa kanila na mahirap maiwasan. So, can you picture us now here? When we are at work and no patient, we are just sitting in our station chatting quietly with each other we don’t have social life and even on our off it’s still so boring(wheewww!). Ni hindi pa nga kami naka apak sa mall ng Saudi!(huhuh).

Now, things are still hard to accept. Kaya kung may reklamo ka sa work mo think of our situation here. Take note! Lahat ng benefits and privileges ay hindi naibigay!(as in lahat). Salary?? ahahha! Malaki pa ang basic pay ng isang bagong call center agent na provincial rate pa kamo! So, ang masasabi ko lang…KAMALAS(Ahhaha) and better luck next time!

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  • animax..kataw-anan man ka oi! jaahahhahaha

    • hunny1619

      thanks.. it sounds funny but it is really happening..still, glad u enjoyed it..^_^

    • millet caparas esguerra

      jUST kEEP oN pRAYING tHAT yOU cAN bEAR tHE sITUATION wHERE yOU iN rIGHT nOW aNF hOPEFULLY cAN fIND a bETTER oNE lATER oN… GODBLESSYOU ALL…nOTHINGS iMPOSSIBLE wITH GOD, lALU nA pA tHAT yOU wERE sACRIFICING tO hELP yOUR fAMILY, i’M sURE yOU’LL gET a bETTER oNE nEXT tYM…GUDLUCK!!!

  • winz

    cultural competency darling…

    • hunny1619

      thanks for the reminder, now we really understand wat it means..^_^

  • danica

    we have the same situation, nag apply sa pinas as a nurse pinakitaan ng magandang hospital then pagdating mo dito sa saudi hndi pala totoo na sa hospital ang work mo, kundi sa clinic..buti sana kung sa medical polyclinic ka napunta kaso hndi eh, I am a dental nurse na hndi naman masasabing nurse kasi hndi naman nagagamit ang nursing skills at mga pinag aralan natin sa apat na taon, but unlike you, we are fortunate kasi hndi naman mahigpit ang manager namin, we can go outside basta my request letter..kaya lang nakaka depressed, we study hard para lang maka graduate at makapasa ng board exam then all of a sudden ganito lang ang magiging kapalaran natin, walang benefits, low salary and worst malayo sa
    career natin, pero kung iisipin mo may pampalubag loob din naman pagdating ng sweldo kasi kahit papano nakakatulong sa family.

    • hunny1619

      yup! that’s one of the benefits, being able to help our families give us strength to fight here.. gudluck to u as well, i hope we can find a better opportunity next time..:)

  • regie

    Goodness, I wouldn’t work there. Let this serve as a warning for others.

    • hunny1619

      Yes, u’r ryt it could serve as a gud warning to everyone but i hope it won’t give them the impression of not going in this country anymore. Better be more cautious on ur agency and application..:)

  • walid

    buti kayu atleast naka clinical uniform at related sa medical,eh ako pinangaku-an dn na nurse trabaho,taga bilang ako ng mga materials..hahahaha…3 years working experience pa namn ako sa hospital..oh anu?ma dedepress paba kayu ky sa akin?hahaha

    • hunny1619

      awts! sad to hear that. all i can say is i understand how u feel and i hope things will get better next time.. god bless u^_^

  • mariaxtina

    same situation here.. polyclinic naman tong napuntahan ko dito sa saudi.. province na rin ng riyadh. bawal tumawa ng malakas, bawal kahit sumilip man lang sa labas ng clinic, di pa rin ako naka-apak sa kahit anong mall dito sa saudi. hindi mo trabaho pero ipapatrabaho sayo. mga kasama sa trabaho mga utak ipis lalo na ang lahi ng mga ehipto! stressful sila sobra! ang daming bawal!!! hehe..

    • hunny1619

      wew! yup. they are super stressful! yang mga ipis n yan.. they do not know wat’s the meaning of life and wat it means to live!! sometimes, nakakatawa n nga lang din ang logic and reasoning nila sa mga bagay-bagay.. fighting lang!!

      • Mango

        Haha..naku hunny,sobra kasing selosa ng mga yan.kc nga ikaw b naman,bwal lumabas tap0s ung mga asawa nila alam mu makakita lng ng babae,kht ganu pa kapanget eh chumuchuva agad.experience yan ng mga shagala na ind0nesian d2.kya ung mga babae,sobrang inggetera.maluluka k tlaga sa knila.haha

  • susan

    Yan! kasi akala ninyo lahat nang bansa parang Us malaya kang gawin ang gusto. Sad, to say our Govt. don’t ever had any seminar,about other country’s cultural belief.Nag kakaroon kayo nang culture shock.Alam natin lahat pag sinabing Saudi Arabis madaming bawal. i lived there for 2 years sa Bahrain medyo modern depression ang nangyari sa akin…

    • hunny1619

      thanks for reading.. but still, the gud thing is we learned and we will be very careful for the next ventures of our lives.. hope u’r doing fine now..^_^

  • Try to finish ur contract or even a year before u decide to go home,ur a nurse @ mas maganda kong hospital ang mapuntahan mo,i was been in ur situation before,keep on praying,remember saudi is only an option,dapat inalam mo muna ang culture & beliefs just like me,so mistakes makes u wise,make u think next time or no more,console urself by watching movies,videos internet etc.& if u had chance to cross country,much better for u,good luck God Bless!

    • hunny1619

      thank u for the advice.. that’s really how our lives survive here as well, movies, vids, net, etc..hopefully we’ll finish the contract in 6 months if there’s no delay. God bless u too.

  • mj calvo

    Oh? Kawawa naman talaga kayo. Galing din ako sa saudi pero I can say na okay naman naging experience ko. Next time try to apply sa mga trusted agencies. Ingat na lang dyan!

    • hunny1619

      thanks mj..

  • millet caparas esguerra

    jUST kEEP oN pRAYING tHAT yOU cAN bEAR tHE sITUATION yOU’rE iNTO rIGHT nOW, nOTHING’S iMPOSSIBLE wITH GOD…i wISH yOU cAN fIND a bETTER oNE sOON aS yOU gET tHE cHANCE, pEOPLE wHO sACRIFICE fOR tHEIR fAMILY aRE lUCKY eNOUGH cO’Z GOD hAS sOMETHING bEST fOR yOU…jUST hA hANG oN…gUDLUCK!!!

  • hunny1619

    thank u.. now we really understand how hard it is to become an ofw.. not everyone is lucky, gud thing at least we are in a safe place after all. ^_^

  • alvinism

    saudi arabia is one of the worst working place for nurses esp. to female nurses. dami talaga bawal because its their culture influenced by islam. From ur story, i guess, nakaka cope up naman kayo in ur current situation. well, just bear all those things and maybe after your 2/3 yrs contract there you may apply to more open countries like UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. There u could do whatever you want and u could go wherever you want to go. magsasawa ka malls after receiving ur salaries LOL

    • hunny1619

      ahahha.. thank u po, we will check kuwait or canada next time. God bless:)

  • Lei

    i know how you feel girls, bawal ngumiti, bawal tumawa, bawal makipag kamay, bawal kumaway, bawal din makipag usap sa lalake, and to think im not in saudi but im in m.east also sa clinic. i learned how to fend for myself here kasi tama kayo utak ipis nga sila. kala nila pede nila tayo idominate kasi nasa country nila tayo but as long na nasa tama tayo wag papa under sakanila 😉 and one thing in their mind, feeling nila pag ngumiti ka pede nang manligaw (OMG)… lets be strong ang just finish our contracts dito sa disyerto 😛 God bless us all 😀

    • hunny1619

      yup! God bless us all..^_^

  • Gloria Asistido

    Its sad I been there Riyadh KSA after Desertstorm for 10 long yrs. when my 3 kids were in college at ok nman benefits & privilege that time it really helps.Try Europe as stepping stone, Ive been there & its perfect for me compare to US, my son work there & my other kid in Dubai.Iam now in my senior yrs. just retired recently. Hunny try again & you will be smart nxt time, we RN never surrender 4 all the trials. God bless.

    • hunny1619

      thank u po for the encouragement.. it helps..:)

  • Mango

    Hai naku,same here kapatid!mga agency ntn mga naku tlaga.haha. .buti nga kau sa dental,haha. .aq s private nurse dinala.as in,i live with this people!let’s just h0ld on and trust the Lord.ü

  • patrickthestar

    hay naku! pareho tayo fwen! dito rin samin ganyan ang eksena parate..pag walang sahod…hindi kami pumapasok ng duty..3 months pa nga kaming delay eh!uber ang mga walang utak na arabo! pero masasanay ka rin pag tagal.haha..after ng contract go!
    go na talga ayoko na mag renew hehe…goodluck satin!

  • dyahklin

    hunny, thanks for your advice. good thing that i’ve read this kasi im also applying as a nurse din there at saudi. can i ask your agency? hospital din kasi ang sabi nila sa akin. if you cant post it here, maybe you can email it to me @ [email protected] i’d really appreciate it. thanks and hoping to hear from you soon. 🙂

  • yLeC

    San po ba mga agency nyo? Para po di na kami mag-aapply dun.kasi plan ko din po pumunta dyan sa Saudi… Thanks po

  • flobhie

    Nakuuu.. After reading ur article.. Prang ngddalawang icp n tuloy aq kng itu2loy q pa mgapply s nga agencies…huhu.. Anu po b agency nio n ngbgay ng false assurance senio working as a sraff nurse that supposedly s hospital…? 🙁 san b mgang afency…

  • nina

    think of it as a stepping stone..your there,keep on walking….dont stop…your lucky. And you got to learn the world has different cultures and work ethics. Deal with it

    • flobhie

      Thnx sis… Oo nga po.. Stepping stone tlg… Kc pag d2 s pinas wla tlgng mangyyri buti pa s saudi..uae… Dumadami ang hospitals… D2 hnd… Malls ang pinapadami… Hai naku nmn.. Tpos based s mga research ko bout diff. Affiliated hosp. Ng mga agencies… Ang gaganda p ng hospitals nila compare d2 s pinas… Hosp. Nila parang mall na or condo typ d2… :-/

  • maria irene neri

    ano ba name ng agency na nag recruit sa inyo para ma alarm din ang mga bagong bibiktimahin nila…..try mo abba sa pasig,kumukuha sila bound for uae.dito modern ang lugar, malaya ang tao,no need towear abaya,shellah,etc.basta behave ka din and follow legal rules….goodluck in ur next venture….be careful on your next agency.magtanongtanong kung ano reputation nila…..

  • Joseph

    Nakakasirang isipin na may mga agency pang ganun ang ginagawa sa gaya nating mga nurses. I don’t blame you for what you have been. Isa pa wala namang magagawa ang mga Philippine officials natin dahil basta kumikita at nagpapadala sa atin ng remittances ay okey na sa kanila un. Anyway, wala naman silang magagawa dahil batas pa rin ng saudi masusunod jan. I was in Saudi Arabiua for 16 years at worst walla pang mga communications noon except letters na kung minsa aabutin pa ng months bago dumating sa akin. Iba ang treatment nila sa mag females nurses. Lahat “forbidden” ika nga bawal ito, bawal iyon hindi pwede ang ganito at ganyan virtual prisoner kayo jan. Wag lang kayong lumapit sa mga taong “kuno” ay tutulong sa inyo pero may hidden agenda din ang mga iyan. Ingat na lang kayo lagi at dasal ang best defense ninyo jan. sariling kayod. Kasi yung mga supposed to be na tutulong sa inyo ay siya pa ang magpapahamak sa inyo. Walang sisihan dahil nanjan na kayo wala kayong gawin kundi trabaho at wag magpapasok na kahit sino sa quarters ninyo. Ingat kayo ng doble. Mga badu ang tao jan sa mga liblib na pook jan sa saudi mas matapang at mas papanigan sila kaysa sa mga edukadong tao.

  • Gloria

    To all aspiring RN to become OFW try PHHS stand for Phil,Hospital & Health Services,I dont know now the exact address sa Buendia sa me SOGO apartelle they are my agency ng 90′ pa nagpunta ko KSA also IPAMS Hall of Famer ng mga agency yan.Wish you all good luck.

  • hunny1619

    salamat po sa lahat ng nagsympathy at nagbigay ng advice. maybe it’s a part of culture shock na rin po but we still stay positive. it’s still hard but we are moving forward. Tama nga din po ung wag basta basta magti2wala. I appreciate those who share their trusted agencies. thank u..

  • aj

    i enjoy reading this,iba talga pinoy mgdala ng problema.. nyway im here also sa riyadh.OR nurse,sanayan lang s mga scent nila na ewan kung ano..:)..yah totoo un n khit next building lng ung hospital hindi pwedemglakad.kelngan sumakay ka talga s hospital service.and hndi basta pwede lumabas.may schedule day lang ang pag mamall.ganun talga dto,so ung mga 1st time p lng pupunta dto dapat alamin muna ung buhay dto kc nakakulong ka lng talga sa villa kung wala work..atleast may idea wat is life here..mabobored talga kung mahilig ka s life outside..gudluck sa mga gusto mgwork sa saudi…

    • hunny1619

      tama ka po aj.. nde na dapat reason ang pagiging first timer.. we shud be really prepared.. ingat ka din jan..^_^

  • baby_elmo

    Naku sister magkapalad tyo! Ganyan din ang nangyari skin sbi polyclinic pagdating dto DENTAL CENTER pla ang binagsakan ko.ang dami png bawal nla lock kmi buksan lng ng driver pag susunduin n kmi papuntang center.at pag day off 2hours lng after nun dpat nkabalik kn s van,kundi cutsalary agad pag nahuli ka.at s center nagkaka varicose vein nko s kaka asist ng doctor mya2x mag sterilize n tpos pag nwala i kakaltas syo…hindi ka lng nurse,x ray technician,auditor,receptionist at huli kaw pa mag i impression s pasyente? dental technician bko? eh s 4yrs ntin s NURSING COLLEGE hindi tyo nagawi s DENTAL eh…isama mo png mga pasyenteng may TIGER BOMB.mapa babae man o lalake.Hindi ako nasusuka s mga lamang loob ng tao.Pero ng bumuka n ang bunganga ng pasyente talagang bumabaliktad ang sikmura ko! nakakahiya man sabihin pero it’s real!Di nga cla naliligo mag toothbrush p kya? Kya eto bentang benta ang negosyo ng lolo ko.dami kcng sirang ngipin n halos mula pagkabata ata hanggang nag tanda di man lng cla nag meet ng toothbrush at toothpaste!

    • hunny1619

      naku sister.. madame tau n ganito ang situation talo talo lang sa pasamaan ng ugali ng employer.. anu pa man., mag ingat din kau jan lagi.. in time matatapos din natin ang contract at uwi na tau..^_^

      • baby_elmo

        sna nga matapos n ang kalbaryo ntin s disyerto

        • hunny1619

          tama ka.. kalbaryo talga e..! but still we should continue to fight..!! aja!..^^

  • Joseph

    matatapos lang ang paghihirap natin sa disyerto kung mag create ng mga jobs ang ating government para sa ating mga nurses na pedeng ipagmalaki at comparable ang sahod na bigay dito sa ibayong dagat bagong bayani ang tawag sa atin pero ito ang katotohanan tayo ang bago sila sa pinas ang nagpakakasarap at nagpapakabayani sa padala nating datong na wala namang bigay o dulot na kaligayahan man lang bagkus puro pahirap pa rin ang kapalit. Ang bayan kong Pilipinas dayuhan pa rin ang namumuhunan! Mga Pinoy sa bangketa nakatira!!!

  • Joseph

    for a change, i have a recommended for you who plan to take the NCLEX. I Hope it will will you in one way or the other. http://www.caring4you.net. try it. Good Luck!

    • hunny1619

      thank you..:)

  • Chery Mortiz

    mas maluwag sila dito sa UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi); the hospital i am working for recruits nurses from the Phils thru ABBA (although di ako dito nag apply – same old story visit visa then fortunately nakahanap agad ng trabaho but not recommended to everyone – marami na rin akong batchmates na nag-try for the same but di sila pinalad and had to go back to the Phils. after 2 months). try http://www.sainternational.us/hospitals/hospitals.htm#tawam – semi government hospital. Good luck and God Bless us all!

  • Mr. RNdisyerto

    dito rin ako sa saudi nagwowork, company nurse naman ang work ko. Ka2lad nyo rn, hndi ko rin nagagamit ang nursing skills ko. Nakakafrustrate nga eh. Pero mgPasalamat nlng tau at least my work tau here in saudi, tiis-tiis lang muna cguro for the meantime.balang araw mkkpgwork dn tau sa bansang gs2 ntin…