Filipino Nurse: No Choice

Per PRC there are 187,000 unemployed nurses today and there are more numbers to add on this once the July Nursing Board Exam results will be out. The predicament of: No choice. As I posted my comment on ABS-CBN article The nursing profession under siege.

The predicament: No Choice. Most of these nurses would tend to jump over the catch of these Hospitals and private businesses that would take advantage of these nurses that would rather believe: “Kesa naman walang trabaho.”.

These are professional nurses that have studied so hard to earn this degree and it is only right and just that the new Aquino government will help uplift the nursing profession of the country.

P-Noy must also remember that most of these young nurses were born during the mid to late 80’s which means that we are the product of his parent’s fight for democracy. I myself was born 1985, and I have enjoyed the rest of the democracy and freedom that the Aquinos have started years back. And again, we are hoping that another Aquino will help us one more time.

True, it’s not only the hospitals that take advantage to Nurses like me. Also, other businesses can just easily create a trap for these professionals to work and get underpaid if not, be  underemployed on the notion of being medically related. I have posted in my previous blog posts (click here) that there are still few good reasons to continue our parent’s dream in becoming a pinoy nurse in the land of milk and honey. But then again, the there is the reality of how to start achieving that american dream. We need experience to hone our nursing skills. It’s either we work without compensation volunteer or spend at least Php 3,000 up to Php 20,000 to get a certification on specialized skills training.

Moreover, I wanted to  discuss the vulnerability of these nurses from exploitation. Back in 2008, I along with fellow volunteer nurse friends applied in an agency for a placement in KSA. Since at that time, we only had less than 6 months of post-grad clinical experience the manager of the agency have offered that they can fabricate documents for us to get a 2 year hospital-work certification so long we will accept the job offer which was around Php 22,000 a month in a military hospital in KSA. No one from us accepted the offer even after the final interview with an Arab national and have personally offered the jobs.

I continued getting hospital experiences and pursued becoming volunteer. I must also say that up to now,  AFP Medical Center and PNP General Hospital offers 6 months nurse residency program and 3 month OJT RN program for FREE respectively for new nurses. Which I have attended both programs last 2007 and 2008. I of course have tried attending “Skills Training” in a private hospital in Quezon City where I had to pay about Php 3,000 for a month of training.

Now, I am working in a BPO/KPO company that is “somehow” medically related field. It’s teleradiology business but the job is more concentrated on customer service. And let me just simply say, a nurse like me, who after 4 years since graduating from nursing school, at the age of 25, married with one child – cannot simply make the best career move. But, I truly believe that like those 187,000 unemployed nurses, I am bigger than this. The uncanny situation of Filipino nurses now can [should] simply not stop me to be successful.

But at the age of 25, young nurses should be wiser and make the best career move. Volunteer in a hospital or BPO/Call center job? It depends on the need (on the personal level). State-wise, the profession is under attack by opportunists and money-centered institution but we should help not to let this happen. It’s high time that the media is helping us to move the issue in the center of everyone’s attention especially the new government.

OJTRN 02-07 the batch of Volunteer Nurses I attended last 2007-2008

0 thoughts on “Filipino Nurse: No Choice

  1. Volunteerism in Philippine hospitals is not something you can put in your resume these days. In around 2008, a few months after I got my license, it was all over in the news how nurses were “hired” by hospitals without pay. And PNA cried “Foul!” and some politicians threatened to expose and close hospitals who continued to practiced that.

    Many of my classmates were smug enough to tell me, “It’s easy to get in a hospital in the Philippines,” but forgetting to say the most important part: as long as you know someone with clout there. And so what if we get in a hospital? How much is the pay? Can it support anyone without having to resort to still depending on one’s parents for allowance? Why do we have to leave the country? Why can’t we be compensated fairly based on our education and work? Every single move we do in the hospital, we could be sued. One mistake and our patient/client could die. And call center agents are paid more than us? Now I feel so unwanted as a nurse in my own country.

    Oh by the way, when I reviewed for NCLEX last 2009 in Chicago, my reviewer/teacher said that an entire generation baby boomer nurses (born from the 1950s) are beginning to retire. More than half of the nurses in the States are retiring in the next 5 years. And they will all require nursing care. The demand for nurses will be crazy since fewer and fewer students are studying nursing in the US each year because it is traditionally viewed as a woman’s job and the women wanted to explore other fields. Plus there are waiting lists for nursing schools because nobody wanted to teach nursing anymore. When the US opens its arms again to us nurses in the next few years, will we hesitate in accepting job offers?

  2. Exactly. The nurses here in our country are veru much vulnerable to exploitation. And worse of it, kapwa pinoy pa and even government hospitals do these to nurses. So sad. I am hopeful though, that something good or even better might happen.

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