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Thats how nurses are perceived traditionally donning their unblemished, well-pressed white

uniforms as they nurse back to life the wounded of mind, body and soul. Such a noble
profession, who would not want to be one?
They went through a rigorous screening procedure just to be admitted to the school of nursing.
Upon admission, their parents have stretched their peso to the possible limits to sustain the
financial demands of a quality nursing education. Upon graduation, they had to squander
thousands of pesos again just to sit in a review class and then the licensure exams. Not to
mention the months-long of waiting for the results to be released. All these troubles just to
append the initials R.N. next to their names.
If youre a new RN or about to take the board exam this weekends, read along to catch a glimpse
of whats to happen next to your professional life.
One milestone to another and after earning their licenses, all they ever dream of is to practice
their craft. As professionals, these RNs are entitled to all the benefits at par to all other registered
professionals rendering their professional services to private and government institutions -hospitals, infirmaries, clinics, etc... More so, if the RN is government employed as stipulated in
RA 7305 or the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers. By benefits, we mean PhilHealth
insurance, entitlement to sick leaves, hazard allowances, overtime pays and night differential
pays.
Unfortunately, new RNs in the Philippines are caught in an inevitable web as they must render
their professional services for free as volunteers for a certain period of time before any
employment or job offer takes place.
Furthermore, only those with close family lineage in government hospitals are seemed to be
immune in this nepotistic recruitment policy like a disease that has corrupted the Philippine
health care system.
According to Webster dictionary, the term volunteer means to offer or bestow voluntarily, or in
the absence of solicitation or compulsion. What is ironic with the nurse volunteerism that is
being openly practiced in our country is that its a prerequisite to any RN wanting to be
employed in the hospital.
Forced volunteers, is the more appropriate term to use.
And volunteers of every government hospitals in Northern Mindanao alone have their horrid
stories to tell.
Alexis D. Ebajay, a 23-year-old volunteer nurse of a government-owned tertiary hospital, stood
up to tell his story.
Ebajay earned his bachelors degree and passed the licensure exam for nurses in 2007. His
wanting to practice his profession and earn clinical experiences to make him eligible to work
overseas in the future have brought him to apply in a government hospital in Cagayan de Oro
City.