ER Nurse Bobby Jones-A A +A
Pots and Pans
Thursday, October 17, 2013
WE started with seven guys in our nursing class of about 130 or so and only three of us survived and eventually became nurses and were kind of “rare” breed in the late ‘70s.
One who became very successful became my ‘kumpare,’ being a godfather to his eldest son.
And I am pretty sure, almost everybody knows him, the funny and energetic Bobby Serina from Opol, Misamis Oriental.
Way back, we were carefree, taking a day at a time, busy with assignments, projects and other extra-curricular activities.
Bobby was into sports, especially basketball. He might not have the height of those players, but he was very good at it!
Born January 17 in the scenic Opol with a beautiful beach front, he was the third child of five siblings of Mr. Briccio Serina and Esther Vacalares, spent and finished his basic education there. A small town where everybody knows everyone.
By the time he went to high school, his parents enrolled him at Xavier University HS where he experienced some bullying in his first year.
Scared and totally out-casted, it was a great challenge for Bobby to “belong” to a new environment.
With a cheerful disposition and a friendly aura, he definitely persevered and finished high school in ’76 and made a lot of friends by the time he graduated whom he still are close to after all these years!
Initially, agriculture was what he wanted to take up, but his mom wanted him to take up nursing.
As an obedient kid, he enrolled at Liceo de Cagayan School of Nursing.
We were the pioneer in the three-year nursing program since a bachelor degree wasn’t offered yet at that time.
Needless to say, we (since I was one of the three male nurses, the other one being Cesar Ignacio who is also a very successful surgical nurse in San Antonio, Texas) had our capping/badging investiture/ceremony on our 2nd year and that was the start of our “nursing” life.
Confused but started to love nursing when he was exposed to his clinical internships at Doctor’s General Hospital & Northern Mindanao Provincial Hospital, Bobby hurdled the subjects, the clinical rotations, including the one in Cebu City for the Psychiatric affiliation.
From then on, Bobby knew his heart was on nursing, helping people, and to become a dedicated, caring nurse.
Most of our clinical instructors where graduates from Siliman University, considered of course as one of the best nursing colleges in the Philippines.
We have also a lot of seasoned CI’s that were strict but excellent educators.
Needless to say, they molded us pretty well to become what we are today.
According to Bobby, the highlight in his being a nursing student was when he took care of a prominent lawyer in the city with a diagnosis of bleeding peptic ulcer.
As part of the requirement, a case study was made on it.
Because of being a jolly and funny guy, he made the patient laugh so hard that the patient’s blood pressure skyrocketed.
It was an experience he will never forget.
Laughing is good and helpful but to a certain degree, he later realized.
After graduating, Bobby found employment at DGH in the ER/OR area until it closed six months later.
He decided then to take his BSN supplemental and graduated in ’82 at the same institution.
He also worked at Marsman company for a year but decided to try his luck in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1985 at Riyadh Central Hospital where his life was a big turn-around from a happy-go-lucky person to a more mature, responsible individual, realizing the big gap and different culture in that country.
As luck would have it, Bobby met his future wife, Menchi Zarco, also a nurse working in KSA.
Finally, he has to say goodbye to his “playboy” lifestyle, having met the girl of his dreams.
They got married in January 1987 and continued to work in the Middle East until Menchi left for the USA, while Bobby was lucky to work inside the palace of the King of KSA for a year until he flew to New York in ’97 to follow her.
They have three beautiful kids and a grand-daughter.
Next stop was Jamaica Hospital Center where he worked as an ER nurse.
It was hard and very demanding since it is a Trauma Level 1 hospital.
He thought he wouldn’t survive the rigors of the job since it was also a chest pain and stroke center, aside from being one of the busiest in the Queens area.
But he persevered, with God’s help and the rigid training during his student days and past experiences.
Being in the ER is no joke, Bobby has witnessed almost everything one can think of (imagine and visualize the TV series ER and others!), from gunshot wounds to car accidents, from cardiac cases to everything.
Indeed, it has made him tough and skillful in this field of nursing!
Recently, Bobby just received an award from the CEO and president of nursing of their hospital for being a GEM (going extra mile) and “I am so thankful to my instructors for molding me to become what I am today!”
Now, he is living his dreams, being a compassionate nurse with a love and zest for life, together with his family in a land away from home but considered to be their second home.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 17, 2013.