As good as it gets

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

About half of all Filipinos in a recent survey are in favor of hiring as nursing aids all Nursing graduates who did not pass their respective board examinations. I must admit I was aghast at the suggestion when it was first made many months ago. In fact I was angry at how seemingly helpless we have become in dealing with a crisis that has the hands of government written all over it.

But that was many months ago. And this crisis has festered on for many years. What if this is as good as it gets? Then maybe I might just as well go along with it, you know, try to salvage what you can out of a seemingly impossible situation. Nursing non-passers working as nursing aides may not be ideal but will do under the circumstances.

Here is what happens if we do not salvage the situation. Many of those who failed to pass will be compelled to try again. Some of them may pass this time and become full-fledged licensed nurses. Good for them. Those who fail again may just decide to call it quits and vanish from the nursing field forever. Those who still have enough gumption in them may try again.

What this country needs to do in the face of a severe shortage of nurses is to keep as many as we can who are already afield. Keeping them within this particular field of interest, even in their varying degrees of expertise, be it as students, graduates, board passers, non-passers, ensures that a pool of skills is always available for the country in its continuing need for healthcare professionals.

Let's face it, the biggest lure of successful passers is the prospect of higher-paying jobs overseas. With the right to travel guaranteed them under the constitution there is no way anyone can stop their leaving. And why stop them? The personal choices of everybody in trying to make a better life for themselves and their families not only need to be respected but must even be encouraged.

With the channel for the outward flow of talent virtually impossible to stem, we need to dig in, dig deep, and dig merely everywhere to find our own local springs of talent. Hiring non-board-passers as nursing aids can be one such kind of a spring. Hiring them does so much for their dignity as they prepare for whatever comes next in their lives.

A Nursing school graduate without a license still as much of a nurse as anybody else who went to school. They still went through the same number of years, went through the same programs, and learned the ropes through the same hands-on experiences they underwent through internship in hospitals. But for the plastic card, they can handle any case just as well as those who have the license.

I do not want to see a Nursing school graduate lose her entire four to five years of schooling just because in the end she failed to obtain a license. I do not want to see wasted the hard-earned money her parents invested in her schooling. I do not want to see unrequited a sibling's own time at schooling for the long wait until kuya or ate graduates from Nursing.

But for all the time that we try to address the situation involving non-board passers let us not lose sight of the bigger problem which has driven the crisis we face to the critical levels they have risen. So long as better opportunities await abroad there is no stopping the hemorrhaging.

There should be a national nursing summit to involve the three branches of government, all the relevant sectors in nursing, health, labor, business, etc. It should run not just for three weeks, a month, two months, or whatever. It should run more than a year or even two years to produce something everybody can respect if we have to do something right.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with