The Room Nurse saga (Last part)-A A +A
Friday, March 15, 2013
(Writer’s note: This article has been conceived in response to the contentious remarks of Senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar about the nursing profession)
IN MY quest to solicit what the Philippine Nurses’ Association (PNA), the largest accredited professional organization of nurses by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) and the Board of Nurses (BON) in the country, has to say regarding the matter of Villar’s “room nurse” issue, a former classmate of mine in college and is currently among the PNA regional officers sent me a copy of their two-page official statement.
Quoting among PNA’s major points, it states: “With the myriad of new illness and health discomforts in our time, kailangan magagaling and mga nars natin para sa ating bansa at para sa mundo. We cannot simply say ‘ano lang parang mag-aalaga’. Nursing is science-based and a profession which is duly regulated.”
“While some of our countrymen equate nursing to patient/home care, we want to emphasize that it is only one aspect of our profession,” it adds.
I agree with the point raised by PNA. Nurses cannot be reduced to a mere caretaker doing solely domestic roles that are often equated to housekeeping.
While I was earning my bachelor’s degree in nursing at Xavier University few years ago, we were taught in class what make nursing a scientific discipline are the former’s paradigms that are anchored on the scientific process of inquiry that starts with observation, setting of hypothesis, testing of hypothesis, analysis and interpretation. As such, we nurses practice the nursing process of assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, intervention and evaluation. Therefore, all our actions require a certain level of professional competence and not just random interventions.
Secondly, nurses base their actions on evidence as proven by research.
Perhaps, one fact that Filipino nurses can take pride on is that the minimum academic preparation for nurses is a bachelor’s degree, unlike in the West like the USA that have two-year diploma and practical nursing courses that after certification or licensure at their respective levels may use the term ‘nurse’.
For PNA: “The Filipino nurses are most appreciated here and abroad because of their intelligence and industry.”
This statement alone would support the need for Filipino nurses to be above and beyond mediocrity. Filipino nurses are the most sought-after health care professionals overseas because of their sound clinical judgment and superb clinical skills.
Lastly, the PNA maintains that: “[We] support candidates who value the importance of the nursing profession.”
I think this is something that must be closely examined not only by political candidates but of professional nurses as well. With the staggering number of more than half a million nurses in the country, it is possible that with unified votes, those candidates who have the “heart” for nurses may actually have greater chances of winning.
Unfortunately, the downside of this scenario is that nurses may become the most susceptible victims of politicking tactics of candidates who care nothing more than advancing their selfish political ambitions.
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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 15, 2013.