22

I turned 22 last Tuesday, nothing special. I didn’t even tell anyone at work. I don’t know, for me it’s just a regular day. I did try to be excited about it but nothing.

It’s my 5th month on the job, I’m tolerating it, I guess. I still think nursing is not my thing. The whole soothe your patients, take care of them gig, not really my forte. 

Patients die on my shift and I ceased feeling  anything, just blank apathy, and relief because it’s one less patient to mind. Maybe because it’s a really common thing  our ward that I got used to it. I don’t know. 

I just don’t feel anything right now. So much for 22  

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Third

Job hunting was hell.

Especially if you’re in a third world country where the profession is considered as a commodity for export. Competition is hard; you need a good ranking, a good education, and the right connections (which she thankfully all have). But before you have an actual job at your chosen institution, you would need to go on training for certain skills and other licenses, which means money, in addition to that you would need to pay the hospital, who would (hopefully) employ you, to train you at their institution.
It’s more money down the drain really, especially if you consider the abysmal paycheck in proportion to your investment and insane work load.

It pisses her off that nurses in her country are undercompensated. She blames it on capitalism and globalization. Nurses from her country usually just work there for a minimum of 2 years before moving on to another country with better financial compensation.  That causes a fast turnover in the work force, which should be good. But the case is, there are many nursing graduates in the country, because parents (and relatives from countries with greener pastures) want their children to take up nursing so they can work abroad. So the selection process is quite bloody (not literally), although it produces top notch nurses for first world countries.

Some nurses end up working in BPOs and other non-course related fields. Which sometimes pay better than hospitals, but is probably a waste of 4 years of hellish nursing school. Some get stuck there, but some only work there temporarily just to get funding for the hospital training, and probably for a ticket to the first world.

She finds it quite sad really, the irony. That the nurses from her country are probably one of the best in the world, yet health care there (especially for the less fortunate and far-flung areas ) is not really up to par with some better parts of the world. It is not due to the lack of skill of the health professionals, rather it is due to the lack of funding and unequal distribution of health care.

Second

It wasn’t all that bad, her profession. Aside from feeling that she is not a useless human being, she feels a bit happy when patients thank her. As in genuine gratitude, and not a lukewarm robotic thanks we mete out in the name of propriety.

There was this one patient that she had, she cannot remember the particulars of the patient’s case, nor is she at a liberty to divulge it either– nurse-patient confidentiality and all that jazz. Anyways, she accompanied this patient to and fro the hospital to fix some papers (the patient don’t have a relative with them and they have vertigo) and the patient was thanking her relentlessly, even offering her lunch money as compensation. Of course, she did not accept it (reluctantly. Money is money), it was against the institution’s policy. She did feel nice though, as if she was really a genuinely nice person (aside from the popular view that she’s a sarcastic bitch with a heart [debatable] of gold). She did tell the patient that she is only doing this out of duty, but still, that patient thanked her continuously, even telling her that they wouldn’t have survived the whole afternoon without her (exaggerations applied) . It is quite touching really.

Then there is this one family, who gave her food — actually they insisted her to take it, sort of shoved it in her hand then walked away, nicely– it was from their mother, and the patient would be offended if refused. It was nicer than she made it out to be, really. It was really nice, and timely, she haven’t ate for half a day. 

Of course aside from feeling like an angel sent from heaven and all the food and gift perks, nursing can also make her feel human, in a good way of course.

She often see how families fight together; how they are united and supportive of each other, even though everything is going down the drain. There are children who are still happy, or at least calm even though they are aware that they are… for lack of better term, dying. They make her heart figuratively shatter into billion  little pieces with their bravery. Then there are elderlies who accepted their fate, as if dying is an old friend that they are patiently waiting for. They are the ones with most stories, and she loved listening to them.

Of course, not all patients are nice, there are some that she feels vindictive about. Of course, she’s not doing anything on purspose (or even accidentally, just in case you misconstrue) to hurt the patient, although she feels a bit better for watching them suffer, as if the deities are punishing them for their past transgressions.

Still, the patients all make her feel human, and she is thankful for them.