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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
IF I had any second thoughts, Team PNoy (or Team Buhay if you will) Cynthia Villar’s statement on “room nurses” was the clincher for where my votes for senators are going. She is certainly not on my list.
And judging from comments on social media, so too do thousands of Filipino voters. A check on Villar’s Facebook post on her apology to nurses tallied, as of this writing, 4,534 threads. That is a count most Facebookers would die for—except most if not all (I never got to read even half, but the trend was obvious) expressed outraged with her saying that “hindi naman kailangan ang nurse ay matapos ng BSN kasi itong ating mga nurses, gusto lang nila maging Room Nurse.”
What took the goat was her statement that “Sa America or sa other countries, ano lang sila, ‘yung parang mang-aalaga. Hindi naman sila kailangan ganoon kagaling kasi sa ibang country,” implying that mediocrity is acceptable among registered nurses. What a putdown on our health professionals!
Here is a sample response from Yannie Lace of Cebu on Villar’s apology thread: “Dearest Cynthia Villar, Please stop talking about nursing because everything that comes out of your mouth is absolutely horrible and disgusting! What’s even more embarrassing is that you have positively no idea of what nurses are or what they do! You don’t know how noble and thankless this job can be.
“You know nothing about how exhausting it can be to take care of the sick. You can’t fathom what it’s like to bathe, dress or even feed a 300 lb. bedridden patient or facing a patient’s family after you’ve just wrapped his dead body. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! You can never understand how nurses always extend that one extra mile and lend that hand to the point of lending their spine just to help that one unmanageable patient. And sometimes, a nurse is all that stands between you and death! Bet you didn’t know that either!”
And then the plea from Ms. Lace: “Please don’t run for office. You bring nothing but disgrace to this country! God forbid you should win! I can only shudder as I imagine the state of this country’s healthcare when it happens! You don’t deserve to even be addressed with honor! One thing though, I sure as hell am NOT VOTING FOR YOU!”
As another poster on Facebook said, she finds it unacceptable that Villar treated her profession as “just-just,” or in the vernacular, “nila-lang” (belittled) their profession.
For someone who insists she is pro-life, I find Villar’s statement on nurses contradictory. What patient would entrust her life to amateur, mediocre “room nurses?” And what sane government would allow less than professional health care personnel to people our hospitals?
No, I felt the pain of our nurses. Their pain is mine as well. In 2009, I was confined at the Intensive Care Unit of the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center for a life-threatening aneurysm. My family, relatives, friends, and colleagues raised funds so I can get quality care.
It has been nearly four years since I spent nine days in the hospital, with student and professional nurses on watch. I thank the Lord that I’m still alive. I also thank the professional health givers for taking care of me.
Moreover, I live in a home where US-based Negrense nurses provided the means for their construction. The hospitals where they worked before their retirement have the highest regards for their professionalism. Their hard-earned incomes were plowed and invested back in the home countries.
In the subdivision where I live, the better-off houses were also built from the backs of many of health professionals, largely our registered nurses who studied and trained on-the-job in our nursing schools in Bacolod.
No, Ms. Villar. Like many of our registered nurses, you can expect our acceptance of your apologies. But acceptance would qualify for a taste of our votes this coming May. May you show your public service in another form, but don’t expect that as a senator of the land.
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 06, 2013.