Why you should never be a filipino nurse
Reading Time: 7 mins. (same time it takes to eat a few pan de sal)
In a typical Filipino family, we all know that everyone’s mother, auntie and sister is either a nurse or is studying to be one (lets not forget all the Tito Nurses out there too). Filipinos literally are bred from birth to become a Nurse. In the Philippines, a Nursing degree is deemed to be the most practical ticket to Paradise or what we call “America.” There are more than 200,000 Filipino nurses spread out all over the United States. And in California alone, Pinoy Nurses make up close to a quarter or 25% of the total Nurses within the state (now that’s amazing). So what has been the main reason of this influx of Nurses ? Many would say that a simple answer would be of course the state of the economy and poverty in the motherland. Yet, the Economy of the Philippines has been on a steady upbeat, and was considered to have the best “annual” returns in the World Market in the last few years. Well, I personally believe that the ability to leverage dollar for the pesos exchange is still the biggest bait to work as a nurse in the United States. Bringing back dollar$ to the Philippines, and living like a (King) is always the biggest incentive and is a dream for every Pinoy.
So do you think Filipinos make a great nurse ?
It has been researched and proven that the nursing graduates from the Philippines has more hands on knowledge than the students in the Western World, since they were given more time and opportunity to have hands on experience during their clinical experiences. This is due to the fact that here in the West (US), there are so much litigation which can be a big liability issue. Therefore, Nursing schools are much less likely to allow the students to be more hands on during Clinical procedures in the fear of causing any harm to the patient.
But does every Filipino really want to be a Nurse ?
As a Bachelors of Nursing graduate myself, I knew that nursing was not the perfect fit for me. It has always been embedded in a young Filipinos mind that nursing is the answer to everything. How many times have we heard Filipino parents say that nursing is practical and that it’s the only perfect job in today’s economy. That is partially true but not always a fact. I always believed that passion is one of the most important keys to achieving a happy and a meaningful career in life. This blog itself is a product of of my passion in writing and building something of value to share with the community. After graduating high school, my parents and all of my relatives already set me up to become a “male” Nurse. They’ve decided this base on personal experiences and conforming to the Pinoy society’s definition of “normal, profitable and “successful.”
But, one of the most important part of living a life filled with happiness and purpose is the ability to do something that you love and something that you are passionate about. After working within the Health care field for a few years, I realized that it wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being given the chance to take care of people but the stress from work and co-workers wasn’t for me. I chose to live a life filled with passion, autonomy and purpose. I wanted to do something that I LOVE. I wanted to be able to wake up in the morning excited and happy to tackle the days work ahead. To simply put it, I didn’t want to be miserable and do something that I did not LOVE/LIKE.
I wrote this article, not to insinuate any negativity towards the Nursing Field but instead, to tell others that’s its okay to search for something that you love. A lot of my Filipino friends who are unable to speak out their mind for the sake of disrupting the relationship that they have with their families are stuck in a limbo they are unable to get out. One of the hardest thing to do is to be able to relay the message to (your) parents that Nursing is NOT for you. It is difficult to explain that nursing is not something that you are interested in pursuing. Therefore, it’s important to have a heartfelt talk with your family and communicate to them that you want to follow your heart’s desire and PASSION. This is something important that has to be done for your future happiness and well-being. For others, it might seem too late, but trust me it is never too late to follow your dreams. It is better to embrace the uncertainty knowing that there is a chance of happiness, than to live a complacent life knowing that you could have done something to “change” it.