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 away. It’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.
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