Philippine RNs: Angels in Jeopardy

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Nurses are the paragons of philanthropy.

They are like angels that went down on Earth to heed ailing hearts and make patients feel healthy and sound. Their warm hands often show unconditional care and compassion. But although they are very generous on giving their loving care, they also have the right to be recognized and gain respect from the authorities and the people that surrounds them. Through this article, their rights can be showcased and their small voices in this huge society can be heard at last. Their freedom from abuse is what they are begging for, and living for.
Nowadays, our queer minds always wonder why Philippine RNs’ main goal after passing the local board exams is taking up the NCLEX and go abroad to earn piles of dollars. Through the news that we have seen and heard in the television and the World Wide Web, it became clear to us that the main culprit of this ordeal is our country’s lack of attention for our own nurses, fallow nursing opportunities and low income of nurses here in the Philippines. The salary, for instance, is not even a mere reflection of the expensive nursing education that the nurses have spent during their college years. Also the training programs in various hospitals here in the Philippines make fresh registered nurses faze-away because they still have to pay for them to have training. They have allowance for food and other necessities but it is really not acceptable that they should pay for the said training. They took up nursing to have a stable work and to have proper compensation and support from authorities. The expenses are too heavy for fresh RNs to bear. Even the hired nurses are confused with their salaries. It is very ironic why salary grade 15 went down to salary grade 10 (10,000 pesos), this is from R.A. no. 6758. These rights were slashed from them.

In abroad, nurses love the fact that they will earn more money for their kin, but what they didn’t much expect is the lack of respect of some foreigners to them and to their profession. Unexpectedly, the “abroad dream” starts with our own domain, in the Philippines. It starts with the recruitment agencies that put nurses’ dreams at risk. Some RNs that were applying to go abroad were not as lucky as the others who have chosen the decent recruitment agencies for RNs. These agencies take advantage of our nurses’ dreams of white Christmas and a load of dollars abroad. Unlucky nurses who were trapped with the shackles of these money-collecting recruitment agencies were financially squeezed, taking away all their hopes and aspirations.

Overseas, our RNs also experience discrimination. Racist countries look at our nurses as “helpers” rather than “Registered Nurses”. They are even asked to sweep floors and take care of the hospital rubbish in some foreign institutions. Philippine RNs are also abused financially and were deprived of their own freedom.

How can this ordeal be stopped?

We, student nurses of the new generation has the key for us to be free from cruelty. These stories of abuse and exploitation can be ceased right away if we are willing to start to fight against exploitation. Our dignity will never be kinked by any unlawful and unjust authorities or individual if we can stand for our own rights and if we can lift ourselves away from the outskirts of oppression.

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  • pinoyRN

    I agree with the not having to pay for training part; what I don’t get is the discriminated upon part in the sense that RN’s are treated as helpers and asked to sweep floors. For one, there are no manongs abroad. Yes, there’s housekeeping but even if you’re a nurse you try to clean up your pts room. You mop the floor if there’s a spill. You empty out the bin if its full. You do your part. Everyone does. Its not necessarily discrimination. For another, were those nurses you mentioned working as RNs? Maybethey worked in a care home? Irregardless though, just because someone makes you clean up it does not necessarily mean you’re discriminated upon. My manager is white and she cleans out abedpan when our service aide is absent

  • Rachel Acuzar

    I agree with that Sir/ Ma’am..Thanks for the comment..I just read that from a source in the internet about nurses’ exploitation. But I’m sorry I forgot the source.:) wrote that a year ago.

  • pinoyRN

    No prob. I just wanted to clarify things about discrimination in the workplace. I work overseas and though it isn’t an easy thing to do, not every place discriminate against a Nurse based on color or nationality. Granted that at first they are rather leery of you and feel that you’ve taken work away from them, once you prove that you are a hardworking and skilled individual who is ever willing to learn then you do get their respect. You stop being ‘that foreign nurse’ and start being ‘my co-worker/colleague’. Also, hinde lang sa abroad nag-didiscriminate, kahit sa atin din. Sad to say, na we ourselves often discriminate against one another based on what school we came from or hospital we trained at, what ward or special area we work in. I won’t even say anything about how doctors back home treat nurses as.

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