It’s Time to Glorify Another Healthcare Hero: NURSES


The above photo shows a Philippine politician named Cynthia Villar and her thoughts about nurses and the nursing profession. For those who do not understand the Filipino language, here’s a loose translation of her statement: “Actually, nurses do not need to complete a BSN ( Bachelor of Science In Nursing ) degree. These nurses just want to become room nurses. In other countries like America they are just caretakers. They do not need to be that skilled.” This was part of her defense when she was asked about why she did not closed down nursing schools that were not performing within standards during her tenure on a government commission overseeing these schools.

Mind blowing isn’t it. If you are a nurse or know one, it is easy to be emotional and attack. I do have an entire clan of nurses and therapists, but sometimes, we have to take a step back to be effective. I am a therapist and believe me, we therapists have gone through this as well. We hear statements such as “therapists are only glorified masseuse”; or “Do you go to school to learn to do this?” If we are going to be effective in changing our reputations in front of the world then we should tackle the most important aspects of the problem: MISINFORMATION, LACK OF PUBLIC EDUCATION and LAZY, UNPROFESSIONAL, INCOMPETENT COLLEAGUES.

First and foremost, nurses are professionals. And at this point, we (me talking as one of the healthcare professionals with the same problems) are only to say why? well because we have let other colleagues of ours destroy our profession. We let them slide. We let them get away with it. We let them take shortcuts. We actually enable them. We need to start calling them out. We need to start making them accountable. We need to start making them take responsibility. We need them to be the professional that they wanted to be in the first place. Nurses are professionals..they have PROFESSIONALISM. As I have written on my other blog: ” So, what do these RIGHT people have? It’s called PROFESSIONALISM!!! They understand that in order to succeed and move forward, you need to demonstrate this. They know that they need to conduct themselves with the sense of responsibility, have high ethical standards, fanatical levels of integrity, are very accountable for their actions and be the best they can be at any given situation. They communicate effectively and appropriately, ( I can’t listen to someone who says one thing in front of me and one thing behind me.). They have to be team oriented, have good interpersonal skills (That’s how you deal with the right and wrong people at the same time.). They have good problem solving skills which usually translates to the ability to be productive at all times. Professionalism is a skill and behavior set. It is not defined by just one skills or behavior, it is a combination of the above qualities.” They are NOT JUST NURSES (Nurses LANG).

Nurses have to be skilled. Do you really want a person that needs to give you medication, poke you with needles and whatever other tools they have to poke to be less skilled? If you do, then you are just creating incompetent nurses. Something that we do not need in this day and age. We have nurses that have climbed up the corporate ladder because of their skills and professionalism. I even know a Filipino nurse that became a vice-president of a hospital. Apparently, they do not just stay in patient rooms. Nurses have to take courses to keep their licenses. Heck, they have to keep licenses, if they want to keep working. Nurses have a dynamic profession. They can not stay stagnant. The medical world keeps on evolving and they have to keep abreast or else fail to deliver their services.

Nurses have other real problems: Understaffed, overworked, underpaid, unemployed, underemployed, hostile work environments, unfair labor practices, under equipped for the job at hand, harassment, and low morale. There are probably lots more but they are real problems that, especially in the Philippines, the politicians can help create change.

They are not NURSES LANG. They are part of the world’s greatest workforce. A great asset for the country. And for that sick person that they just left in the room, a HERO.


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