Monday, May 03, 2010

Interns and Student Nurses

Note: this is my last article on my running thoughts on health care in our country. Read the previous posts for the past articles.

Ahh….interns and student nurses. They are always eager to help, eager to reach out and eager to make a difference. While the intern doctors are taught on how to be the best, they are not really the best yet. This actually creates a problem because the life of an individual is placed on someone inexperienced or someone who might crack under pressure.

Now, don’t bash me for hating interns. I have seen some of the most impressive interns here in Iloilo City and they can easily beat some of the experienced doctors they know. As I’ve said, they’re feisty in terms of helping people – your questions are always answered and your requests will always be considered. The tools are not yet there though in some situations. But thank God, the older ones are still there when trouble or very difficult cases arrives. I guess, we have to work with and thank the interns because they are willing to help and reach out the older ones when worst comes to worst.

This also goes the same with the student nurses. They are willing to help for a piece of knowledge they will use in the future.

But what made me tick is when I try to think about what they have to go through to become professional doctors and nurses. These are two professions you don’t want to get in if you don’t have any serious cash. There are too many things to buy, too many people to pay off (in form of “fees”) and the school is just too expensive – even in a public school. If you’re a parent who struggles to pay for a student studying AB English or any Education related course, count yourself lucky because nurses would cost twice as much.

And for what? Go Abroad? Now that’s a dandy idea. The kid studies for 4 years, passes the board exam the next year, studies for NCLEX and passes the exam the next year, gets some experience for two years and BOOM! Your nurse is already somewhere but not in the Philippines. You and your relatives up to the nth degree are now enjoying your kid’s hardship. What does your kid get’s in return? A weekly chat and messages on Facebook. Yep. Life is good when I can see someone I know in the computer and some Facebook requests to fertilize my farm.

The problem is that our kids are pushed to the school for all the wrong reasons. I know there are still kids who wanted to be a nurse because they want to help the sick. But many will answer “I’ll help my family”, “I want to get out of this country” or “I want to visit Disneyland!” could be the answer. Where’s the caring of the sick? Where’s the idea of helping other people dying? Yes, yes, I may be cruel about this but I always thought that a degree is chosen because of a desire. Not to go out and earn money but a desire to do what you really like to do.

What’s worst is that not everyone can go through the plan of going out of the country. After college, some can’t pass the board exams immediately. Out of those passers, only a few are able to pass another exam. Some would end up unemployed, others in a call center while others simply go to another industry. All the millions spent on one kid will all be for nothing.

If a kid would like to be a nurse because he or she wants to be abroad, they don’t have to be in a hospital trying to help the sick. They should be in a travel agency looking at pictures of the countries they want to visit. This is the reason why I’m not really comfortable facing student nurses in the hospital because at the back of my mind, many of them are there just to get out of the country.

I just hope I am sooooo wrong about this idea.