Nursing Career Seminars

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Friday, April 16, 2010


I WAS invited to talk on two different disciplines on two different nursing schools last February. Every time I get an invitation like this, I get really excited because I am again in touch with my "nursing" career. And not only that, I get to share my knowledge and experiences to my "future" colleagues.

For the past several years or so, I have been a guest speaker to various topics, ranging from entrepreneurships, and staff hiring, packaging, product-development to diverse topics in nursing.

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In my nursing vocation, I have done countless lectures, talks and seminars in various parts of Mindanao. But one topic that I really enjoyed is Psychiatry. Fortunately, I got my extensive training in the field of mental health as a staff nurse and traveling nurse in New York, Connecticut, US Virgin Islands, California and Arizona.

It was really an eye-opener for a neophyte like me when I went to New York way back in 1987. My very first assignment was at Bronx Municipal Health Center, which is made up of 2 hospitals: Jacobi and Van Etten. It was a good exposure for me because being in New York is tough, but being in the Bronx is another story!

There I got the necessary skills I needed as a Psychiatric Nurse. It was in the Bronx where I got to do all the "first" both in my nursing profession and as an "employee" in the land of "honey". First Snow, first Spring, first Autumn, First Summer. First "shopping" with my "first" salary, and so many other firsts.

Guess the first "Christmas" being away from home was indeed terrible. I was ambivalent. I was happy because it was so exciting to see, feel and touch the snowfall. The scenery was picture perfect. Yet there was something missing, my family. But as the days, months and years passed, I get more "at home" because of new found friends which eventually became my adopted "relatives". (More stories about my unforgettable "experiences" in my future articles).

I was made to talk on "Professional Adjustment" and "Career Planning" for the Xavier University College of Nursing and "Psychiatric Nursing" for Mindanao State University (MSU) College of Nursing in the Islamic City of Marawi.

The talk on the first topic was more on how to adjust, regulate and fine-tune oneself when expose to new environment, new job, new employees, new culture, and many other "new". It is not easy adjusting oneself when expose to a new environment. Some need a lot, some does not.

One thing I have no problem with was probably my "American English" accent because even before I went to the US of A, I have a lot of American friends which kind of helped me attain the pronunciation needed to be understood. Plus the fact, that I also watch a lot of American movies & sit-coms. Difficulty in expressing and speaking is a major hindrance in the job because there should be proper communication.

Some people work fast, some slow. Some people are not that friendly. Some are sarcastic, some are nice. One gets to meet different kind of people, different culture and idiosyncrasies. Some are very sensitive while some take it with a grain of salt. That is why one has to be assertive in many ways when exposed to a new setting.

Having gained all the necessary basic training as a professional, I should say one is already equipped to work. Good thing is, a new staff undergoes a month or so of training before being left alone. And it is perfectly alright to ask questions, but making mistakes is perfectly not acceptable! It is not only wrong but can land you in jail!
There are full of opportunities in the nursing field. Be it in the hospital, academe, home health, travel, etc. One can choose to stay and work here or go abroad. I have numerous colleagues working in the different areas of nursing. In fact, some of my students have become Deans of nursing schools, Associate Directors of Nursing, Certified Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and many others. Some opted to be bedside nurses, which is actually what we need here most.

As a Psychiatric Nurse, I was able to discuss and talk about my years of familiarity and know-how to the future nurses. It was really stimulating and exhilarating to see nursing students listening intently and asking relevant questions regarding their future career!

As a professional, I extremely believe that "experience" is the BEST teacher after all! It is easier and more convincing to get across to other people and to relate to. After all, I have been a nurse for more than 30 years!

To the future nurses, Good luck and may you take this as a challenge and be the best you can be! (potsnpans1976@yahoo.com)

Nursing career seminars

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