Watch this first. Then I'll talk.
I saw this video over at my sister's blog and I strongly agree with Dr. Leah Paquiz is talking about: nurses are exploited.
This is one of the reasons why I went unemployed for 6 months after passing the June 2007 Nurses' Licensure exam. Almost of all of the hospitals I've applied to are not open for hiring or have preposterous board rating requirements that only the topnotcher can cook up. Instead, they give me this option to "volunteer" so that if a staff nurse resigns, they can have me as the replacement.
There was this instance at a local hospital I was applying to that I tried to find out what the heck this volunteer thing is. After submitting my resume and getting the same reply that I got from the rest of the hospitals, I asked:
"Hanggang kailan naman po iyang volunteer period?"
"Basta hanggang may mag-resign", the HR personnel replied. I nod my head, signifying that I understood.
Mistaking my nod for a yes, the woman immediately followed it up with "Kaso wala kang sweldo. Tapos magbabayad ka ng 4,000 para sa modules."
I just stared at her in aghast, almost saying "what the hell?" out loud. Four fucking thousand? Are you kidding me? That was the last straw. Considering the immigration status of nurses, there is no freaking way that someone will resign ASAP. And if I do volunteer, how long would I wait to be a regular employee? I bet it'd take me forever. Forever waiting, forever unpaid.
"Ano, isa-sign up na ba kita?" The HR employee cut into my rebellious mental rampage.
I said, "no" and smiled. A I'm-not-a-dumbass-so-I-won't-take-your-stupid-offer kind of smile, that is. Then I left.
I'd rather wallow in self-pity in being unemployed rather than get myself exploited. Four years of rigorous training in nursing school and a professional nurse's license and that's what I'm going to get!? I won't allow myself to participate in this con trick, thank you very much.
I don't deserve this kind of treatment. Actually EVERY professional nurse doesn't deserve this.
Almost everyone had the same problem that I encountered. This was already brought to the attention of the government and they provided us with an assurance that they will do everything they can to stop this.
But that assurance is still stuck at the shithole of their motor cortex. There are still a whole lot of nurses shelling out their own money and is working without salary just for the sake of experience. More nursing graduates are produced annually. A few thousand become registered nurses but only a handful of them get decent paying jobs at hospitals and clinics.
Don't get me started with the poor working conditions and poor compensation once they get employed. It's like instant death from fatigue and hunger. Aside from the contribution to humanity, nurses have to make a living too, you know.
I am mad that this is happening, so to speak. Even if I blogged about this the whole day and invite everyone to march around Mendiola in a rally in the past, there's no one in the administration who provided us with a solution. And then they are bragging that we are the number one exporter of nurses. WTH. It seems to me that nurses flee the sorry condition that they are in.
So to the next batch of politicians, PLEASE LANG. Help the Philippine health care profession to be free of the rut that it is stuck in.