On Working as a Care Aide and Saying Goodbye to Nursing

For two years, I took up Nursing. I knew the theories and the basic Nursing stuff. I had the different immunizations and experienced being a student nurse for a short time. I experienced taking care of people, giving the medications, take their vitals signs and all those stuffs student nurses do. However, these two years of my Nursing education were overshadowed by my two days of experience as a care aide.

Last Monday and Tuesday, I had my orientation as a care aide. It wasn’t just a mere sit-down orientation, it was a hands-on orientation. I followed a care aide as he/she takes care of people and also helps here in one way or another. Before I went in for my orientation, what I imagined that I would do was kind of the same thing as I would when I was an SN. However, what I did when I was an SN was mere child’s play. This was reality.

On my first day of orientation, it wasn’t easy but bearable.We helped older people with whatever they need. Prepped them for dinner and bed. Changed their clothes and bed sheets and all those necessary stuff. It was actually something that I could do except that you have to do these things to more than five old people, six times a week. Of course, you have someone with you for some of them but most of the time, you’re on your own.

On my second day, it was pretty tough for me. Most of the clients were males and heavy. They have this moving equipment that you can use so you don’t have to carry them from the bed to the washroom. During the whole shift, I realized that this is something that I don’t wanna do for the whole of my life. I’m not happy and not contented. I wanted to be anywhere except on that place.

Now, here I am blogging about this. I’m not saying that spending two years of my life in Nursing school was pointless. It was actually rewarding because I knew basic stuffs about first aide and taking care of people. However, Nursing is not for everyone… especially not for me. I don’t regret my decision of quitting that job after two days. Why should I?

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Dreams Change My Life

I was looking for some books and I came across this cellophane. I looked at its contents and was surprised to see some of my high school stuffs. I saw some pictures, test papers, handouts and many other random stuffs that made me reminisce about my high school life, especially 2nd year. I was also surprise to see something that I have already forgotten.

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So basically I wrote this when I was in second year of high school. Here’s what I wrote.

DREAMS CHANGE MY LIFE…

I will be a biologist, I will discover different species and name them after me. I will give pride to my family and to the country. I will be one of the immortals of science. I will be a legend.

I will discover ruins. I will be an archaeologist. I will unearth the hidden and lost civilizations. People will know me and my name will be on books, for I, myself will reveal the mysteries of earth’s ancient civilization.

Before those things would happen, I need to study harder to be an honor student. I need to prove to myself, my family, my friends and the people around me that I can do better than my best.

The people who gives me hope are those people whom I cared and loved. My family, my friends, and the special people around me. To the almighty God, the Father, the Son and all in heaven, I thank you all.

I am born for a purpose. My life has a purpose. So what I do could trigger my dreams. I may be smart, but it doesn’t mean I don’t need to study, I need to enhance it. I may be dull, but it doesn’t mean I can’t try, I just need to discover my strength and I need to use it.

As I live, I will try my best to be someone on the eyes of the people. I would be special and have awards. And most of all, have my friends intact because they usually gives me advices and  my family who, without them, would mean, no me.

Yep, I’m ambitious. This was written more or less four years ago. I’m now taking up Nursing, but I hope that I won’t let myself down. I’ll do my best to be on books as one hell of an awesome nurse.

Surviving 2nd Sem-2nd Year Rotations

Finally, second sem is (almost) over. As of writing, I still have my final NCM Lecture exam tomorrow. I have survived the strict call of BSN 2 Rotations. I have completed my 3 weeks of duty for OB ward, Pedia Ward and of course, DR.

Pediatric Ward Exposure (First Rotation) -German Doctors Hospital

(from left to right: Troy Saber, Faye Uy, Alyssa Tan, me, Sheena Ramos, Ma’am Jennifer Asio, RN, Maila Tejada, Jam Orcullo, Ayen Raagas, Anleanna Sambaan, Francis Rojas)

These are all my awesome groupmates whom I have been with for the whole sem. Seven of these people were also my groupmates ever since the first sem so there was already a preliminary bond that was forged. When two of our groupmates from the first sem were transferred to another group, another three women were added and thus making this Original Pedia Group :)

That lady in the middle is our Original CI, Ms. Jennifer O. Asio RN, MN. Our CI is also a ‘personalize CI’ because even a Nurses’ Notes can go on to atleast 30 minutes of private session. She is also the one who gives us the endorsements for each patient. So it wasn’t a problem for us to know if the client is for pre-lunch weighing or if there are things that should be especially done for the client. Since we did not have any PCI, every problem was addressed to our CI. It was during this rotation that I was able to experience removing a HepLock and do skin testing to a kid. Those were nerve-wracking moments but then the way she guided me through what to do is so motherly that I can’t help but feel a little bit tense … but still tense, though.

The Pedia rotation was pretty much chill and relaxed. Since it was the ward, we get to ask our groupmates if we have any problem and vice versa. Even though there were, uh, mishaps (e.g.”SUNOG!) and other minor problems, we were able to overcome it. We were even able to have a duty at the Medical ward because there wasn’t any patient at the Pedia Ward. But of course, we were partnered with the Third Year. Our only job at that time was to take vital signs and provide general care.

Delivery Room Exposure (2nd Rotation) – Maternity Hospital

This is like the CHILLEST rotation ever. I was able to have one case for cord care. Our shift for this rotation was 10pm to 6am. At arounf 12 midnight, all of us really feel sleepy. So what do you do? ‘TALK’ and ENJOY THE VIEW (if you know what I mean).

So what we do is that we wait for a case. But since it’s a private hospital, a mother giving birth is like food for us. :) So instead of just sitting down and doing nothing but talking, our CI, Ms. Crizelda Bagares, RN, MN, allowed us to have a duty at the NICU. There, we were able to experience how to take care of a newborn baby. We were able to change diaper, feed them and ‘uyog’ their crib when they cry. We also learned how to tighten and put their lampin when they cry nonstop. Some of us were able to experience the Manual Ventilation (‘AmbuBagging’) to a baby.

This rotation is also a pretty eventful rotation. We experienced death (Bless the souls of the babies), creepy experiences, the ‘full show’ at the Gaston Park and the sharing of stories. Too bad we did not have any photo with Ma’am Bagares.

OB Ward Exposure (3rd Rotation) – Maria Reyna-Xavier University Hospital

I don’t have picture for this rotation because our photos are with our PCIs.

So this is the first time that we have ever experienced being alone in a private room. All of us were nervous because you’ll never know what will happen when you’re all alone inside the room. Thankfully, we have our PCIs and they were able to guide us through this rotation.

This is a private hospital and as expected, uphold the ideals. So the actual IV level should be as close or the same as the ideal IV level, morning care should be done, no ‘tambay’ at The Table and other stuffs. We were lucky cause we only had our duty there for 2 weeks, the third week was CP week.

I think the awesomest thing that happened during this rotation was the fireworks during our last day of duty. We didn’t know why there was a firework but we just like to think that it was to celebrate our last day of duty for this sem.

2nd sem went away like a breeze. It’s like everything is so fast. During our last assessment, that was the time when we realized we’ll gonna be already proceeding to third year. It was like just yesterday when I was struggling with the enrollment process for the first year and it was just like moments ago when I felt very nervous for my first day of duty during the first sem.

Time flies real fast. The duty days are never boring. It’s only boring when you do nothing but sit around and make  your duty boring. When you have such fun groupmates, there never was a dull duty day :)

This was during our Case Presentation for Pedia. Those are all our names :)

Photos not mine :)

On Cynthia Villar’s View About the ‘Nursing Education’

I was browsing FB when I saw a repost of a teacher from my High School Alma Mater. It was about Cynthia Villar and her view about closing the nursing schools and the owners. So here’s the transcript of the video.

Winnie Monsod:
Nung kayo po ay nasa Kongreso, Kayo ay naging chaiman ng Committee on education, at noong panahon na iyon, 2005-2006, nagkaroon ng malaking kontrobersya, kasi yung Comission on highed education gustong isara ang 23 nursing schools sapagkat ang dami dami nilang walang kalidad, at tsaka nasasayang lang yung pera ng mga nursing students tapos hindi sila makapasa ng professional regulatory exam or yung tinatawag na NCLEX. Nung ginawa ito ng CHED, mukhang nag-intervene po ang kongreso, sa iyo, yung committee on education at humihingi kayo ng dialogue. Ang bottom line, is that walang nasara na eskwela. And as a result,nag-resign po si Chairman Fr. Rolando Dela Rosa, nag-resign ang buong technical committee on nursing education. Ngayon, ang question ko, it seems nag-side po kayo sa side ng business, sa mga owners ng school. At tsaka hindi niyo pinakinggan yung mga kailangan magawa para sa mga nursing students na nawalan na ng pera, hindi naman sila pwedeng pumasa. Now how, Cong.Villar, can you reconcile itong parang seeming disconnect between yung desire ninyo to help the poor at tsaka yung pagpanig niyo sa mga owners ng mga educational institutions na gustong isara ng technical nursing committee at tsaka yung CHED?

Cynthia Villar:
Maraming salamat mareng winnie i want to explain that situation to you, hindi naman ganoon ang istorya noon. Ang nangyari noon, binigyan nila ng permit yung mga schools to open, ng CHED. Tapos gusto nila ipasara, nakapag-invest na yung mga may-ari ng schools sa mga kanilang facilities. And then, sinasabi nila na kaya daw nila gustong ipasara dahil walang tertiary hospital, kasi sa mga nursing school to, na where they can train. Ang sinasabi namin noon, hindi naman po kami kumokontra sa CHED, ang sinasabi namain, kasi tinignan namin yung syllabus, yung mga courses na kunin nila, and then nakita namin na after lang, sa third year kailangan nila yung tertiary hospital so ni-request namin na hindi nalang ipasara yung pre-nursing, yung first two years. (end of timer)

Winnie Monsod:
Follow-up question nalang po ano, ha? Ay kung ganoon pala ang istorya, bakit bumaba pa ang mga nurses na-employ sa abroad, kasi hindi sila qualified? In other words, if it’s only a matter of investment, bakit po hindi sila ma-employ employ? At bakit po nag-resign ang technichal nursing education committee, at tsaka nag-resign after only 7 months in office? Do you think they just did not understand?

Cynthia Villar:
No, yung pag-reresign po ni father is a personal quarrel with the owner of a school. Medyo personal po yun. Pero yung amin po, ay sinasabi po namin sa kanila na actually, HINDI NAMAN KAILANGAN ANG NURSE AY MATAPOS NG BSN, kasi itong ating mga nurses, GUSTO LANG NILA MAGING “ROOM NURSE.” Sa America or sa other countries, ano lang sila, YUNG PARANG MANG-AALAGA. HINDI NAMAN SILA KAILANGAN GANOON KAGALING. kasi sa ibang country (end of timer)

“Pagsubok ng mga Kandidato-Part 2”
Airing Date: February 23, 2013
GMA News TV-11

(Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=568990759777759)

I actually did not understand if she has the proper view about Nursing education. First of all, to be a nurse, you need to be a BSN graduate. Kaya nga ginawa ang BSN curriculum diba, para makapag-produce ng Nursing graduates. The BSN curriculum must be finished so that a person can be formed and be well-educated about how Nursing works. Nursing is not just giving medication or gawin lang na maid ng mga patients, they are there to take care of the patient. To give a HOLISTIC CARE to the patient.

When she said that Nurses need not graduate Nursing, I FLIPPED OUT! Doesn’t she know the hardships that Nurses have undergone just for them to get to their current status? Doesn’t she know that four years is needed just for a nurse to give a holistic care? Hindi kailangang grumadweyt? Example, I’m currently in my second year of Nursing education and suppose that I would just drop out of school and just try to ‘work as a nurse’, will that make sense? All  I know are the concepts on Maternal and Child and basic things that ALL NURSES should know. I don’t even know how to cope up with ER yet or how to take care of a client in the surgical ward. Those things would be tackled on THIRD and FOURTH YEAR! Do you expect me to learn that all by myself?

“GUSTO LANG NILANG MAGING ROOM NURSE”. Double flip the table. Does she means PRIVATE NURSE? FYI, there are lots of things that Student Nurses and Nurses wants to attain and not just be a Private Nurse, or in Mrs. Villar’s words, ROOM NURSE! Many wants to be a NURSE ANESTHETIST, some wants to be a forensic nurse, some wants to be a nurse volunteer and yet some wants to be a NURSE RESEARCHER. Some take up Nursing as their premed course. There are lots of things that many SNs and Nurses wants and not just be a private nurse. Yes, you can gain lots of money from it because the pay is usually pretty good, but not all works that way. Some just want to serve, be paid, and be happy.

And to take care of a patient, I can really say that the four years is necessary. You can never take care of a patient effectively is you don’t even know how to. Kung ganyan lang pala eh, Nurse na tayong lahat. We can all give tepid sponge bath, we can all just clean wounds, but not all of us knows the science behind it and how to PROPERLY do it.

It’s an insult to the nursing community when she said  “Sa America or sa other countries, ano lang sila, YUNG PARANG MANG-AALAGA. HINDI NAMAN SILA KAILANGAN GANOON KAGALING. kasi sa ibang country…”. Anyone who have taken up nursing, a nursing graduate or a current SN can see my point why her words have hit a nerve. We take care of people. Hindi basta-basta mag-take care ng tao. If you don’t see my point, take up Nursing.

Nursing You Say?

Novemeber is near and that’s usually the time when my school is having the entrance exam. Maybe other schools will also start their entrance exams. A lot of high school seniors now may be undecided on what they want to take up for college. I know some would consider taking up Nursing. Maybe because they want to go abroad or be a doctor or really be a nurse. Well, this post will be about a Nursing Student.

My first thought about Nurses is that they’re just the doctor’s assistant. They just follow whatever the doctor said and orders. If the doctor wants them to bathe the client, they should follow. Like slaves. That’s what I always see. Superficial. That thought went out the door when I entered Nursing School.

You see, Nursing is not just caring. It’s an ART and SCIENCE of Caring. So Nurses are not the doctor’s assistant. They are professionals who doesn’t even have Professional Fee. They should be regarded with respect because taking care of someone in pain is not easy. Before you become a nurse, you’re a student nurse first. What should you expect?

(this is based on my experience)

The first thing that you should expect is SLEEPLESS NIGHTS. I rarely have this but many of classmates have sleepless nights. There are times when you have lots of exam for the next day. There was one time when for the whole week, everyday, we have a quiz, long test or return demonstration. It was really a hectic week. However, you can avoid this by managing your time well. Do whatever you can do during your free time so that in the evening, you have less things to do/study, more sleep.

Another is Return Demonstration. Our first RetDem was medical handwashing. It was kind of nerve-wracking considering that it was the first. No matter how simple it was, I still felt very nervous and kept on splashing water on the table. Thank goodness my CI understood. Return Demo should be taken seriously because you could learn a lot from this especially if the CI is the type of teacher who explains things and have lots of patience.

CADAVER. Yes, cadaver. I’ve met these cadavers when I was in first year, 2nd sem for our Anatomy and Physiology. It was not a good meeting. They smelled so bad, but that may because they’re dead already. Before handling a cadaver, you should offer a prayer first. Handle them with respect because these are still humans.  After handling them, pray again for their souls. For the first timers, it’s actually kind of  scary working with cadavers. But as time goes by, it becomes kind of comfy. Also, we usually have classes with cadavers at the back of our classroom covered in blanket. If they smell so bad, we just cover our noses. No big deal.

Blood and lots of it. I’m already exposed to the delivery room and I’ve seen normal deliveries. I actually thought that I would vomit but luckily I did not. Just be strong and think that it’s not that bad. A lot of people say that inside the delivery room, it’s smells bad. My groupmates say that whenever they brush the kelly pad, it was smelly. But I brush it, without my mask, and I don’t even smell anything. If you’re afraid of blood, try to conquer it now. Being splashed with blood is inevitable but you can kind of avoid it if you want to.

Lots of memorization. If you’re not good at memorizing, better be ready. I’m not really good at memorizing but I really tried hard to do it. Some stuffs that you should memorize are the bones, muscles, medications, equations and whatever.

Talking with Strangers. Your clients are people whom you have never met but you should take care of. If you have trust issues or stranger issues, you’ll gonna have a hard time having rapport with your client. You need to be able to have even a bit of connection to the client for the client to be able to follow you.

PAPERWORKS and requirements. I call it paperworks. Before duty, we have a Daily Plan of Activities and General Objective-Specific Objectives sheet that we need to fill up. After days’s duty for the clinical area, we still need to do Nursing Care Plan, drug study, Learning Feedback Diary, (for the  duty week) a Journal, summary and your reaction. For the community, a family care plan, scoring and genogram. So yeah, those are just some of the paperworks.

THOSE EXPENSES. You entered Nursing where tuition is expensive, the other requirements are expensive also. We have a CHN bag which we should bring during duty. Aside from that, there are still lots of things that you should pay for like classes, projects and whatever you should need to pay.

So those are just some of the things that you should know… for now. Just remember, you don’t need to be a genius to be a nurse. All you need is a strong will and willingness to care and learn. Do well! Good luck if you want to be a nursing student :)

In the Clinical Area: Ideal vs. Actual

(note: this is based on my experiences and observations at the PUBLIC HOSPITALS)

When I started to learn about concepts, our teacher kept on saying ‘ideal’, like ideal time, ideal place or anything ideal. When we were oriented for our clinical exposure, our CI’s would tell us “Always keep in mind the ideals”. And that’s what I try to do, go with the ideals. But do situations really go for ideal?

In the delivery room, there are times when a lot of pregnant woman would line up to give birth or times when only a few would give birth. During our discussions, we were told to ‘keep set sterile’-that means that we need to keep the materials needed be sterile as well as our sterile gloves. However, as I’ve observed, sterile gloving  is at times not followed. Some nurses would just wear the right glove in the sterile way while wear the other glove in an unsterile way. I find this unnerving considering that by doing this, they could put the client at risk.

Another thing is that when lots of people are giving birth, those mothers who have just given birth are already asked to stand-up, walk to the stretcher and go up to the ward. Maybe hard to imagine but this happens. You can just hear nurses saying, “Ma’am, tindog na kay naa pa’y manganak” (“Ma’am, stand now cause someone will still give birth). As what my teacher told us, giving birth is very painful. Imagine walking around in pain, can you? I guess the problem here is not on the nurses but on the hospital facility. I hope that there will be a separate birthing home to accommodate these pregnant mothers.

According to Florence Nightingale, environment plays a big role for the recovery of a client. This includes, ventilation, light and those stuffs. But seriously? Who wouldn’t want to recover faster if you’re placed in a crowded, stinky, warm, humid ward? I swear, if I would be put there, I’d pack up and go home. Our wards are not a nice place to accommodate a client. There would be a faster spread of bacteria because of the cramped space AND usually, 2 patients in one bed. Talk about rendering QUALITY CARE and COMFORT TO THE CLIENT. The exact opposite to what our textbooks are saying and to the ideals.

There’s lots of ideals that is not agreeing with what’s happening on the actual setting. The main problem is the hospital itself. It’s not really made to accommodate  a lot of people. The government could have foreseen this one. I don’t think promoting health is one of the government’s main focus because if it is, it could have improved over the years. But noooo, if it did, maybe a bit. Additional facilities, doctors, nurses, how about additional rooms and beds? and maybe electric fan if it’s not too much to ask?

Those Ill-Mannered Registered Nurses

So I’m actually currently a Nursing student and have already started to be exposed in the clinical area. One thing that the higher levels have warned us about are those ‘maldita nurses’. I actually thought that this is some kind of exageration because my mom is a nurse and is not maldita (when she’s not pissed) and even her fellow nurses are not maldita. So I casually just shrugged it away.

When I was exposed to the DR, I immediately understood what those higher-levels meant. Our CI’s kept on telling us to greet nurses and wards men and guards and everyone we meet at the hospital. So naturally,we do that, because of respect to them professional. A simple nod or smile may have been okay but even those are not given by some nurses. When we greet, many smiles back but some just snob us as if no one talked. And they wonder why no one tries to greet them?

At the Ward, that is the place where I experienced that nurse that’s ill-mannered. Before a shift ends, the nurses who will go home will endorse a patient to the upcoming nurses. So of course, since we’re going on duty, we need to be there during the endorsement for us to be able to know what would be the special things to do to render care for our client. But seriously? I have already been to an endorsement only once and the nurse that handled it wasn’t even that nice. There were 2 nurses, a male and female who were having the endorsement and the female kept on endorsing to the guy while we’re trying to catch up. She completely ignored us and that what rages us most. When we go on duty, it can mean that we’re actually helping them and lessen their job like vital signs taking, terminating IV and things that SN’s can do.

I really hate ill-mannered nurses. They just bring bad name to the profession. In this way, nurses can be viewed as terrors in the hospital rather than angels in the sickroom.