Reality sucks…… big time!
After graduating from college, I ended up as a classroom instructor of the University I graduated from, and a trainer of caregiver students from other institutions which the other one requires me to follow up students in their on the job training. For a freshly graduated student who just got her nursing license, I can say I was lucky. I mean what else can I ask for? No experience aside from Related Learning Experience, and now I am standing in front of degree holders and different professionals who are taking this course to get additional points for their Canadian visa immigration application. I will say, wow! I’m damn lucky!
Being a 20-year-old professional is not easy, because government agencies don’t accept applicants who are below 21 years old upon application, and in short I got rejected the first time I applied for a staff nurse position at a general hospital. Think about that! I can´t even imagine why because based on the civil service, people at age 18 are ALLOWED TO WORK LEGALLY so what’s the point of not accepting a 20 years old fresh grad like me? Well whatever the reason is, at least I still got my two part time jobs.
Having two jobs is like racing with time. You have to finish early so you can run to the other job and arrive on time. I guess that’s the advantage of being paid hourly, you get to do what you’re being paid for. But what can you say? At twenty, It felt like I CAN DO ANYTHING! I can teach the whole day, and party the whole night. What a life! As the saying goes, work hard, party harder, and be a humble believer. So what more can you ask for?
A year after, a general hospital called me in to submit my requirements for employment because they were under staffed. It was that time when most nurses went abroad, and the people left in the area were those who don’t have a pending application, and those who don’t want to leave. I was 21 then, so being a good girl, I submitted my papers took the exam. Two months later, I was assigned to my area.
Having all the ideals of a graduate and the standards of a professor, I was placed in the area where everything is almost not available. Everything is recycled – from syringes, gloves to suction tip,. All are re-used because of budget constraints. And my idea of patient care was tested as to how to follow the standards of care using these re-used products without compromising my delivery of quality health care (those times, I wonder what it is). But what can we say, better innovate than do nothing.
At times, when I see my patient die because they can’t buy a certain drug, my heart is torn to pieces. If only I can extend my hand more, but my present salary is barely enough to pay the rent and have a meal for a day. As the saying says, if you can’t do something about it, then it’s reality. And reality sucks!
Watching your patient slowly die because of financial constraints will really make you think why poverty exists. What is our government doing about it? And why can’t professional like me help these people? My heart aches every time this happens. I hope I can do more… I wish I can find a way, and extend my helping hand to them. They are the people who are ostracized for having lot of children, and not able to take good care of them. If you only see them cry of desperation on what they will do next because they don’t know what to do, then your point of view will be changed. They are like that because they are not educated like us. They are victims of the harsh consequence of poverty, and it is the reality. And if you won’t help them, the last thing they need is your venomous words that can pierce bones and start strife.
Through that eye-opening event, I started asking if I am at the right career path. Though nursing is more of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation, procedures, medication treatment, doctor’s orders and documentation, I started to spend more time at the bedside. If I can’t extend my help financially, maybe I can help emotionally. I MEAN EXTENDING WORKING HOURS AT the bedside is hard if you’re handling 18 patients, with two of them intubated, but I have no hesitations. As a nurse, this is the least I can do to my brethren, to give time and attention, and I hope that it may lighten the burden they are carrying. Through simple thoughts.
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