Secret Lives Of Nurses

Do you notice them? The ones in all white uniforms. The ones you call whenever there are problems in the IV line, with the medications, the hospital bed, rationed food, in house TV. Leaky faucet? Flickering lights? They are the ones you come running to.

Because they’re there. They are always there. To answer every call, every need, even though most of it are still little things that are way beyond their duties.

Irritated at the laboratory because it’s taking forever for the patient you are looking after to be scheduled for an ultrasound? It’s okay, there are always nurses at the station for you to get mad at. Furious at your doctor for being out of reach and unavailable at the moment to take care of pressing concerns? All is well, here are the nurses to absorb your unspecified anger.

Do you notice them? Do you really notice them?

Do you notice that most of them are taking care of you for free? Yes, without compensation. Would you work for a company without a salary? Of course, not. But they would. They are, in fact, working for minimum wage or no wage at all.

Do you notice that they are professionals? In every sense and definition of the word, they are professionals. Like CPAs, teachers, engineers, architects, lawyers and doctors. (Yes, like doctors. The ones you can’t even raise an eyebrow at because they look so darn respectable in those white coats.)They all have licenses and certificates to prove how far they’ve come and how much they’ve accomplished. Don’t they deserve something for their time and effort?

Their services might be free now but be assured that their education wasn’t.The books, uniforms, bags and other equipments were definitely not. Not to mention four years worth of daily food allowance and transportation expenses.

Did you also know that they have to undergo a myriad of trainings and seminars to get to where they are now? Apparently, their college diploma, PRC license, board certificate aren’t enough to meet the standards.

Are you aware that in government hospitals, the nurse-patient ratio can get up to 1 nurse to 30 patients? In fact, in some institutions, it is considered a norm.Even waiters cannot serve 20 tables efficiently all at the same time. How much more can they?

So please don’t blame them if their primary goal in life is to get out of the Philippines and support their families from thousands of miles awayIt’s not their fault that it’s pretty much impossible to live on nothing. Entry level nurses can volunteer all they want but doing so doesn’t put food on the table.

How’s that? Feeling a little respect for them now? You should. Just imagine a world without them and maybe you’ll somehow get a gist on how it’s really like for nurses. Because it’s obvious that not a lot of people are aware of the current state of our health care system. All everybody can see and concentrate on are the patients (and Reproductive Health like pregnancy is the new AIDS and H1N1 virus combined).  

It’s ironic how nobody remembers to take care of these people whose primary job is to take care of others.

So next time you or your relative is in the hospital, try to notice them, understand them. And maybe, hopefully, you’ll appreciate them a little better.

© 2012, Filipino Nurses. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: The accuracy of all articles contained in this website are the responsibility of their respective authors. All articles are for informational purposes only and are NOT intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The owner of this site disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on these information. If you have any health-related questions, please consult your physician. If you feel ill, please seek medical attention immediately.

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About Clarrise E. 9 Articles
RN. Pianist. Aspiring Novelist. Dreams of changing the world one sentence at a time.
  • Jo

    Very well said.

  • Erwin Barney

    It’s true that each of us humans has no the same characteristics, same as true with the nurses or any professions. But there is one thing I’m sure, every nurse has the prime duty to take care of every patient he/she has, regardless of the patient’s economic status.
    Just like teachers, we cannot choose who will be our students.. Our prime duty is to teach and make each learner, the best we could, a responsible citizen of the land.

    I believe nurses, like all other professions, shall be given due appreciation because of their commitment and dedication to our sick brethren.

  • Prince Charles in Toronto

    Am sending dozen of red, red roses for you all dear nurses at your stations and …to a home to someone I know. Take good care of yourselves too.
    This is your prince charming. 🙂

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  • Tomoe Shang

    We feel..we are not hypocrites but sometimes,wanting to be acknowledged as the* nurse or complaining of the nurse’s sorry state due to poor working environment defies the core of nursing-selfless,compassionate,non-bias.there’s a thin line between fighting for what we deserve and fighting for what we want(usually coated by our pride).We should’ve known what’s instore for us before filling in those entrance exams,before filing for licensure exams..if we are not happy,we can always leave-maybe it is not for’s never too late:-).

    Never forget your principles good nurse and you will do oh so fine:-)-just a thought

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