Monday, July 26, 2010

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 depressing 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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Maria said...

Clariscent, I added you at Twitter. Saw your post. re unclaimed checks. Can you tell me whats needed to get my unclaimed checks? Thanks!

Clarriscent said...

I'm not sure about the exact details but I do know that my mother submitted financial assessments of my 8 semesters in college a long time before we finally got the checks. She says they have a list of requirements in their office. Sorry I have limited information.

Anonymous said...


Clarriscent said...

@Anonymous: Thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

@the author.. i admire your writings, notes, essays , and comments especially made for us nurses. thank you.. let us continue the legacy in nursing people heartily and bounded with the love of God.. God bless us R.N.'s really good!

Clarriscent said...

@Anonymous: Wow, thank you so much for that heartwarming comment. Yes, let us further uphold the integrity of our profession. God bless colleague!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

really really touching. :)

Clarriscent said...

@DIORGN: Thanks for that, uh, enthusiastic comment. :)) I'm also thrilled. Thank you!

@narmanang: Thank you. I wrote this with you, my colleagues, in mind. I dedicate this post to all the RNs out there who can relate to the things discussed in this article. I salute you all!

Anonymous said...

thank God (and you!) for this blog. it really made me cry. pls continue writing blogs like ths. ♥

Clarriscent said...

@Anonymous: Aww, thanks! :) One of my goals as a nurse/writer is to open the eyes of the blissfully ignorant to the real situation of nurses, like us, in the country. Hopefully, more and more people will be enlightened as well. Thank you so much for reading!

Anonymous said...

you are such a passionate nurse. you have enlighten and inspired me, thank you :))

Clarriscent said...


No, thank YOU! I appreciate all the kind words. :) Wishing you all the best.

Airina April said...

You had me here darling! Very touching post, I am an RN and I know how it feels :(

You might also want to read my blog! I'm just starting but I would also like the world to know about nurses, we should be appreciated and loved.

Clarriscent said...

@Airina April:

Thank you! It's always a great thing to receive compliments and messages from co-nurses because you guys are really the reason why I write these articles.

I just visited your blog btw, and, like you, I share the same sentiments that the world should know about us nurses and the circumstances that we are living in esp. here in our country. More power to your career and blog! :)

Cha Kuris said...

Thank you sa post na to. The nursing profession has been stripped of redeeming qualities na talaga. We need to be regarded as professionals, and with the current state of our practice, that's quite next to almost impossible. =/

Anonymous said...

Made me teary-eyed. Struck my heart. Do you have a wordpress blog? How can I follow your via reader?

Clarriscent said...

I attempted to move my blog before in Wordpress but then decided to stick with Blogger because of the widget freedom so if you google orchestroscopy you may find a half-finishedwordpress version of it. Sorry, I really dont know anything about wordpress readers. :) again, thank you for the comment. You have been a wonderful reader for this blog. :))

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