Reality over Functionality

An oil lamp, the symbol of nursing in many cou...

An oil lamp, the symbol of nursing in many countries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An organization is like a big chain. And as chains go, it’s as strong as its weakest link. I look around me and all I see are really rusty ones.
I know that there’s no use in complaining, and you’re wondering why I shouldn’t just leave. But here’s how I see it — If they’re using us, then I might as well use them. If  they weren’t grapevining, disrespecting, bullying or downright power tripping I might actually have some remorse. And I might really get in trouble for running my mouth like this but wtf, I’m not dropping any names. So, If you think I’m out of my mind, please, by all means, cast the first stone.

I don’t really know whose at the top of the food chain, but I’m pretty sure there’s someone behind a table not doing their job.
SO,  I made a compilation of stupid things I’ve heard so far. If any of you know the rationale behind any of these, please tell me because I am dying to hear it.

  1. Nurses must not clip their ID’s on their pockets. They must use ID laces. — Okay, I know that you must look really legit sitting there taking calls or roaming around the halls with your official looking ID’s but have you ever done CPR on top of dying patient with those laces on? Try it and tell me how it goes okay? To tell you the truth sisters of faith, some (more respectable) hospitals rule against it for the very same reason I have. I think you must re-think your priorities.
  2. White crisp uniforms. — Okay, okay, I get it. In fact, I love the idea of looking spankin’ clean and spotless because it represents purity, cleanliness and health. But to tell you the truth, the hustle and bustle inside a hospital, in addition to an accident with your IV catheter insertion really hits the spot in cleanliness. If you like white, alright it’s cool with me (forget those muddy streets on the way to work under the storm), but to forbid wearing loosely fit pants is really unreasonable. Please see my rationale on #1. And also, need to work! And for me to work and function properly, I must move. Why, for the love of gods, can we not wear scrubs at work? Operating Room nurses wear it. ICU nurses wear it. Why can’t every nurse wear it? What’s the big fugging deal about it? 
    If nobody  ever said anything, I bet we’d still be wearing nightingale’s long sleeved gown at work. Gods.
  3. Two words — rubber shoes. Why can’t we wear one at work? Some hospitals allow it, some don’t. Tell me why? I know we must be calm and under control at all times but I don’t think you can keep yourself from running for a basin when your patient starts vomiting blood (AND running for the emergency cart after that.). Read this: We need comfortable shoes for walking and standing the whole 6 hours of our 8-hour shift; we need stable and anti-skid soles which we can trust; we DON’T need, white shiny shoes. Those are for students. 
    Do. You. Get. Me?
  4. This one is my favorite: We owe you two thousand a month for this program, but since we don’t have financial funds for that we’ll just compensate by giving you seminars. But, oops, you must pay for it. — Enough said.
  5. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think my economics teacher taught me four basic principles of supply and demand. Nobody told me the 5th one:  If demand increases and supply increases, shortage still occurs, still, leading to a lower equilibrium price. – Welcome to the logic of Philippine nursing. 
  6. In relation to number 5, government hospitals in one given medical ward  can have an average of 50 patients a day. They have  at least 3 nurses for that. — Explain to me quality vs. quantity in 8 hours. We have overproduction of nurses! Haven’t you heard?
    But fug, why pay them if you can get them to pay you right? Why employ them if they would pay to be “volunteers” and do the same work as the overworked, underpaid staff? 
  7. This one’s for the nurses too: You aren’t helping by doing laboratory requests and prescriptions for your doctors. You are just training them to be irresponsible and you are just obliging to malpractice. — Yes, we are almost friends and we do like you and we do love to help you and as you fit every patient in your time table, but we do have a time table too and we aren’t asking you to regulate our IV’s or feed our patient’s via NGT or gods forbid, carry out your own damned orders, aren’t we ? I love this ignored memo on our bulletin board: “No prescriptions, no medications. No laboratory requests, no laboratory results.”
    Listen, you have your job and we have mine. And for the love of gods, please return the charts on time! We have 8 hours to do everything, don’t let us cramp all your orders for all your patients in two hours. 

Nursing is gold. I would like to think I’m here for the service of the sick, but I am here equally for the service of my family and future kids who might want food and education someday.

There’s this common path I think most of us have in mind.
Become a nurse, train for years and get out of the country as fast as you can. How I wish this isn’t the formula. If only I could choose, I’d never want to leave. I want to take care of my fellow countrymen. But in this rate, when I’m 40, I’d be smacking Salonpas on my flank and grit my teeth on how I’d pay my child’s ballet lessons

Quick question though, why not quit?
It’s because of this patient’s relative who told me that she’s glad to have me as their nurse for the day.
It’s because of this patient who genuinely felt relieved for the sponge bath I gave him.
It’s because of the “thank you nurse” I hear all the time.
It’s because of this joyful old man who’s finally wheeled out and discharged waving enthusiastically at us.
It’s because I need to suction the secretions of this teary old man staring at me with a tube on his mouth while a machine runs his body.
It’s because every time somebody dies, I have to be there, like a stone, cleaning after the expired patient and cover them in a shroud,  learning new ways on how to stay strong while all the while a wife, a husband, a mother, a father or a child mourns beside me.
It’s because I can’t, for the life of me, imagine doing the same boring job all day everyday if it isn’t nursing.

And that’s how I get to wake up everyday even if I hate how they run nurses (to the ground) here in my beloved country.

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