Nurse Talk: Why I Gave Up The Job I Love

Nurse Cap

“No pulse, no breathing, pupils are dilated”

Signs of irreversible termination of all living functions. The end of life – death.

The first time I (as nurse) lose a patient was  extremely difficult. In fact, I can still recall the circumstances surrounding my first patient’s death.

I heard those lines again while watching MMK (Maala-ala mo kaya) on a Saturday evening with my family. It’s about the  “Nurse Rapper” who raps for her dying cancer patient. Her name is Fatima Palma, one of the Staff Nurse at EAMC (East Avenue Medical Center)

I don’t usually watch a television when I’m home, or, most of the time, I am not at home.  So upon watching this MMK’s episode, at first, I am not interested. It just happened that we’re watching it while eating dinner, and even after meal, I am hooked with every scene. For a simple reason – I can relate.


Why Nursing?

First year college, we’re always asked, “Why did you choose Nursing” as part of our introduction. Unlike any other prevalent reasons why – to go to a different country – to give their family a financial breathing ground. But most of them, their parents chose the course for them.(Ugh! Nursing schools should adopt the culture of screening their students to avoid producing nurses who don’t want to be nurses anyway.)

As for me, it really is my dream to become a nurse – or a doctor. I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting, and makes a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. Plus the benefit of rendering health care to my own family – especially my Mom.


Almost Giving-up

I am well-motivated. All of the people around me including my family and friends, supports me. From moral to financial support – name it. I never thought of quitting in anything (even in Pharmacology that brings me tears in one summer class, and Thesis. Gaaaah!)

Acads was never a problem, by God’s grace. I didn’t fail any of my subjects and/or any exams required for graduation.

Completed the hours of duty. Enjoyed all of them! (all areas, all shifts). Priceless experience! Although I had a hard time in compiling all the cases I had for Board Exam application.

Anyway, to make a long story short, my journey continues after grad. Review, Board Exam, Intravenous Training, Red Cross, and other stuff needed before applying in a hospital.

It took lots of time, money, effort and yes, energy.

But it’s all worth it when I started working (as in working in a real world). Earning real money and not for good grades.

Everything seems perfect and I can say that I can really feel the fulfillment every time my patient is healed and may go home.

The hospital I am working is a bit far from our home. So 8 hours of duty plus an hour of endorsement (before and after shift), plus rounds, an hour or two for transportation. That’ll give you almost 12 hours. (socialization not included)

Shifting schedule started to become uncomfortable to me as it took my “Sunday” time in the ministry and attending church. I started to re-evaluate my priority so as my heart’s desire. I really wanted to help people in my job, but I also wanted to miniter and to be ministered as well.

A time of intense difficulty in my career as a Nurse came. I had a problem with my co-worker that led to improper endorsement of medicine (I will not go into details, but this can be a reason if things got worse – to lose my license). It took away my joy. I lose my purpose why I was there. Discontentment follows.

After experiencing a 3-month delay in salary, and “alone” duty on pediatric ward handling 6 patients. I cried. Feel like giving up. But seeing the kids in the ward encouraged me to love the profession all the more. To just care. The TLC (tender loving care).

To help without asking anything in return.

Regardless how you feel. Painstaking.

That’s why they say,

Nursing is more than just a career – it’s a calling

Calling is a deep desire to devote oneself to serving people according to the high values of the task or profession.

Why I Gave Up The Job I Love

I realize it’s not the profession I’m tired of, but rather my nursing shift, some people, and  perhaps, the area of practice.

And obviously, there’s really something wrong with the system, compensation and the hiring process. (The number of nurses and the number of patient being served)

It’s not enough to sugar coat the nursing career in the Philippines. Passion and compassion is not enough – let’s face it! Not enough motivation. Nurses are so busy and totally disillusioned trying to hold their heads above water and survive until the end of the shift.

I gave up the job I love, the job (I think) I am extremely good at… who knows if I shall return. If I do, I imagine it will only be if enormous improvements are made in the support and resources available to nurses.

I regret nothing becoming a Nurse

I am not encouraging  Nurses to quit, rather, love wherever they are right now.

Going back to MMK episode…

Fatima is a brave young woman willing to fight for what is right no matter how hard it was. Kudos for her wholehearted service. If you weren’t able to watch it, watch it here.  I hope that after that episode, our government will do something about the rotting Health Care Delivery System here in the Philippines.


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