Filipino nurses sought in Bahrain

MANILA, Philippines –  Bahrain is hopeful to fill up its urgent need for nurses with Filipino medical professionals —this is the good news that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced recently.
Meanwhile, Bahraini Social Development Minister and Acting Health Minister Dr. Fatima Al Balooshi will communicate with the Embassy the Kingdom's health manpower requirements as soon as possible.
The Bahraini government expressed that Filipino medical professionals are highly regarded in Bahrain because of their professional competence.
In a recent meeting with Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain Ma. Corazon Yap-Bahjin, Dr. Balooshi , in addition,  promised to look into the possibility of facilitating the recognition of the Filipino doctors' credentials as medical specialists .
The Philippine government is optimistic that Filipino doctors will also be able to practice their profession as such and receive remuneration corresponding to their professional and educational qualifications.

6 Filipinos back from Libya

MANILA, Philippines—Six more Filipinos trapped in the violence-racked Libyan city of Misurata arrived in Manila on Thursday night, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.
The DFA also said seven Filipino nurses earlier reported missing in Libya have been accounted for, with five of them returning home with other Filipinos from the strife-torn north African country.
The six Filipinos, five of them nurses and an engineer, were fetched and rescued in Zitlin by Philippine officials led by Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario after being trapped in Misurata for 23 days.
Zitlin is the town closest to Misurata, Libya's third largest city. From Zitlin, the group traveled to the capital of Tripoli, then crossed the country's border with Tunisia.
With the six were three other Filipinos who were earlier brought out of Tripoli through the Tunisian border and flew out of Djerba on Tuesday, the DFA said.
The Filipinos were welcomed on their arrival by DFA officials and by a representative from the International Organization for Migration.
The six Filipinos were identified as Evangeline Garcia, Evjoalyn Calam, Catherine Galue, Valerie Joy Ventura, Celeste Canbangay, and Vincent Sanchez.
The nurses also confirmed that two other nurses, Bernadette Pavurada and Lilian Rosales, had sent them an e-mail saying they are safe and are now in Benghazi. They were part of the group of nurses working at the National Oncology Institute in Misrata who were earlier reported missing.
In the morning of March 18, Libyan government forces stormed the area where the six Filipinos were residing and camped beside their residence, just across the street where opposition forces were stationed, they told the DFA.
“What followed were days of non-stop fighting,” the DFA said of their ordeal.
“The Filipino workers were unable to leave because snipers from either side readily shot anyone seen on the street,” the DFA said.
“The nurses tended the wounds of the soldiers. Two of them said that they had to break into an abandoned pharmacy across the street to get medicines and tools to treat and even perform surgical procedures on the casualties,” the DFA said.
Their service prompted Libyan government troops to transfer the Filipinos to a safer place. “Twenty-three days later they found themselves in Zitlin, the town closest to west of Misrata where they were rescued by embassy officials,” the DFA sai

Why Do Nurses Eat Their Young?

More and more Nurses are getting involved and looking for solutions that will end the scourge that has persisted for so many years and tarnished the good work and dedication of all Nurses everywhere.
Have you heard that phrase before? I graduated my Nursing Program way, way, back in 1955 and it was around even then. The perpetrator is usually a senior nurse with longevity but could be a new graduate bursting with new knowledge and techniques and anxious to give them a workout or it could be a Supervisor or someone with a higher or lower rank than the victim. Regardless who is creating the problem it is interesting that old cliché is still around in this the 21st Century.

I first encountered it when as an eighteen-year-old nursing student who had never been in a hospital had no idea what a hospital ward looked like. I was born at home, and my tonsils were removed on my Grandmother’s kitchen table when I was five. That was way, way, way, back, in 1935. So imagine my surprise to learn the "Ward" my Mother talked about when she had my brothers and sister, was not a long hallway with beds on either side, as I had envisioned, but a long hallway with rooms on both sides and it even had a kitchen. Yes, I remember it well.

We spent the first three months of our training in the classroom learning the basics of bedside nursing-bed making, vital signs, bed baths, enemas, along with medical terminology, anatomy, and other basic preparations for our initiation to "The Ward". We never got further than the lobby of the Hospital and the Cafeteria until the end of those first three months. Finally, the day came with the notification our schedules were changed. Starting immediately, we would spend four hours in the classroom every morning and four hours on the Ward in the afternoon. After class, we reported to our assigned Ward, and introduced ourselves to our R.N., Supervisor.

Miss G. was about four feet, ten inches, tall and weighed about ninety-eight pounds. She looked impressive in her starched, white uniform, white stockings, white, polished, shoes with clean, white, shoelaces, and perched on top of her head a starched, white, crinoline cap with a ruffled edge, with a black band around it. She wore her accessories with authority. Her school pin perfectly placed on her right chest, her nurses’ watch with its black, leather band and her black, winged, glasses, which she wore at the end of her nose so she could look directly into your eyes when she spoke. She was a retired Army, Staff Sergeant, probably in her middle thirties, and Single. Yes, I remember her well.

It was the first day of my first four- hour shift. Everyone gathered in the kitchen while the R.N. Supervisor dished out the diets on to a tray, from a warming cart, which we took to the bedside. I was assigned to feed a very ill young man, hooked up to an I.V. and too ill to feed himself. My patient had a bowl of Pea Soup, a glass of water, a cup of hot tea, a packet of sugar, and a glass straw. This was my first patient and the first time I would feed someone. I was scared to death.

I rolled his bed up, placed a napkin on his chest, told him my name, what I was about to do and asked him if he was comfortable. He nodded his head. I placed the glass straw into the bowl of pea soup and brought it to his lips. He was too weak to draw the soup up through the straw so I told him I would get a spoon and I would be right back.

Once in the hallway I forgot which way to the kitchen. I started back toward the Nurse’s Station and ran into Miss G. "Where do you think you’re going?" she said. "I’m looking for the kitchen." I said. "You mean to tell me you’ve been here an hour and a half and you don’t know where the kitchen is?" I looked at her with total surprise. "Yes.", I replied. She gave me directions and I was on my way.

There were lots of cupboards and drawers in the kitchen and I had no idea where they hid the tableware. I started opening drawers when I heard a sound behind me. Miss G. was standing in the doorway watching me. "Can you tell me where they keep the spoons?" I asked. "Don’t they teach you anything in that classroom? You were just in this kitchen. You don't remember where the spoons are. What kind of nurse do you think you will be if you can’t remember from fifteen minutes ago?" That was my intro to Miss G. and it was just the beginning. I finally got back to my patient but by that time, the soup was cold. I went back to the kitchen to get some warm soup. I’ll give you three guesses who was there and what happened next. The first two don’t count.

That was fifty-eight years ago. Do nurses still eat their young? Yes, they do and there is plenty of evidence to support its existence right here on the internet. Just go to any Nurse Blog or Forum and you will find page after page of comments from nurses, young and old, male and female, R.N.’s, L.P.N.’s, C.N.A;s, all venting their frustrations about the treatment they endure from NURSES WHO EAT THEIR YOUNG. Why do they do it? They do it because they can.

Fortunately, there is hope for the future. Due to Nursing Forums like this one, more and more Nurses are getting involved and looking for solutions that will end the scourge that has persisted for so many years and tarnished the good work and dedication of Nurses everywhere. Now if only someone would start teaching "How to build a team" or "Teamwork is the answer" that would be a place to start.

I Want to be a Nurse, I Want to Make a Difference

My inspirational patient
During my clinical rotation in the nursing home, I was assigned a gentleman in his 70's (we'll call Mr. Smith), as my patient. Mr. Smith had severe Alzheimer's disease, which had progressed very quickly. He had gone from sailing solo from the coast of Maine to the coast of Florida, to not being able to remember his name or that he could no longer walk, in just a few short years. This was even more depressing when I learned that he was a retired geologist, who had implemented clean drinking water systems in third world countries.

Today, he just sits in his chair, day in and day out. He can no longer care for himself, and due to what the Alzheimer's has done to his mind, neither can his wife. She visits every couple of days, but he doesn't recognize her. In his room, are a few pictures of he and his wife and of his sailboat. Although these pictures were only taken a few years ago, his looks have totally changed. Mr. Smith has a history of being combative and gets nervous when around a lot of people. Mr. Smith doesn't get a lot of attention from the staff for these reasons. I made up my mind that I was going to spend as much time interacting with Mr. Smith as I could and hopefully make a difference to him.

This was going to be difficult because Mr. Smith has trouble communicating, he is hard to understand because he mumbles and stutters. Even when you can understand him, he answers inappropriately or get tripped up on his words, get frustrated and shut down. Four days of reading his magazines to him, pointing out pictures and making small talk, had left me feeling pretty useless. He almost seemed to look right through me and I never felt like I was making a connection.

On our fifth day together, the day went like all the rest. I took him outside to sit in the courtyard, smell the fresh air and flowers and listen to the birds chirping. I helped him eat his lunch and complete his ADLs. We sat in his room, looking at his magazines and talking, of course talking meant that I was doing all the talking and he was just looking off into the distance.

When it was almost time for us to leave for the day, my instructor came into the room and spoke to us for a moment, kneeling down in front of Mr. Smith. When he left the room, Mr. Smith surprised me by saying, "He's a nice man, isn't he?" He said it so clearly and with so much meaning, it caught me off gaurd. I told him that I thought he was a nice man too. Then Mr. Smith did something I never expected and will never forget. He turned and looked me in the eyes, touched my chin and said, "And you're just the sweetest thing."

That was such a heartwarming and sentimental moment, I had to choke back a tear. I'll never forget Mr. Smith and our time together. He confirmed my desire to be a nurse so that I can help someone. To help that someone, who so many have given up on.

I really got through to him, I really made a difference.

The Ethics of Managing Your Personal Time

Ethics involves more than how we treat our patients; it involves how we treat our coworkers as well.
There’s a lot said about ethics in nursing, and much of it -- most of it, probably -- pertains toward the ethical treatment of patients. Not charting meds you haven’t given or procedures you haven’t done, admitting your med errors and setting about to mitigate the damage just as soon as you realize you’ve made an error, truth and honor in communicating with other members of the health care team. Those are all examples of nursing ethics and I won’t denigrate their value. But it seems to me that managing your personal time is as much about ethics as any of those other topics.

Nursing, especially hospital nursing, is a job that must be covered 24/7/365. Nights, weekends, holidays and the night of the biggest blizzard or biggest tornado of the year notwithstanding, our patients must be cared for. If your nurse manager is getting married and everyone wants to be there, someone still has to work. If a valued colleague is being buried and everyone wants to be there, someone still has to work.

I will never forget the day a popular night nurse was being married and 7 of the 13 nurses scheduled for the night shift developed sudden cases of the flu. Six of them were front and center trying to catch the bouquet when the manager snapped a picture . . . and all of them were sitting in her office on Monday morning signing letters of reprimand.

Most of us have so many hours of sick time. We’re supposed to use it to cover actual illnesses, although many have extended that to cover mental health days as well. That’s great if you can manage it. Our hospital’s attendance policy is so strict and so unreasonable that it mandates coming to work sick even while the written policy explicitly forbids it. If you’re disciplined for using more than three sick days a year and you’ve already had food poisoning, an abcessed tooth with a fever of 104 and a child who broke their arm jumping off the roof just as you were leaving for work, you’re either going to come to work with the flu or risk being disciplined. You’ll probably base your decision less upon how contagious you might be and more upon how many occurences you’ve already had, where you are in the disciplinary continuum and how much of a rule-follower you are.

It seems to me that ethics ought to be about managing our personal time off -- and I’m mostly talking about sick calls here -- in such a manner that you’d be happy to explain your decision making process on “Sixty Minutes” , to your priest in the confessional or to St. Peter. If you’re not sick on Christmas Day, please don’t call in sick and force the rest of us to work short. None of us want to be there on Christmas, either, and we’d appreciate a chance to sit down for lunch to enjoy the potluck we’ve all contributed to. If you’re not scheduled off the day of the unit picnic, and you can’t arrange to trade shifts with someone who isn’t interested in going, please show up for work. Calling in sick that day is just not cool. Nor is it ethical.

If your water heater explodes giving you second degree burns, by all means, call in sick. That’s what sick time is for. But most people never have that experience and I find it difficult to believe you’ve had it happen three times so far this year. Ditto with the death in the family excuse. How many grandmothers did you have, anyway? Even if we counted step-grandparents and great grandparents, eight seems to be a bit excessive.

It ought to go without saying that we treat our co-workers with honor and integrity. Unfortunately, it needs to be said.

Don’t blow off your call shifts. Saying “I forgot” just does not fly -- especially the second and third time it happens. If you’re not in the ER or the funeral home, come to work on your scheduled Christmas and Thanksgiving and if your grandmother isn’t dying, don’t say she is so you can avoid work. There are times it sucks to be a hospital nurse and come to work when everyone else is having a good time. That’s what we signed up for, though, so that’s what we ought to do.