Don’t ruin our nurses’ reputationBy Philip Dominguez Mercurio
Last week I was watching TV Patrol when the nursing board exam scandal came up. I initially thought, “Not a big deal. Just another one of those stories. Chatter over here; a resignation over there. All blown out of proportion.” This is commonplace when watching our news programming.
Until… Bam! As I was on the plane over to Nashville, this headline made it to page four of Monday’s New York Times: “Scandal Over Nurses’ Exam Stirs Unease in Philippines.” O Jesus!
You know, in this age of frightening times, why on earth are we adding to the flames. Do those in the Philippines know how scary such news reads to Americans? Look what the paper had in bold print: “A credibility crisis for the top supplier of nurses to Americans.”
Just a few months ago, local news in the Bay Area kept tabs on nurses working in the San Francisco Bay Area hospitals due to a number of deaths at some of the local hospitals, specifically those under Kaiser Permanente. Reputations were on the line as the news went on about each death that occurred during that month.
It was scary. Who wants to go to a hospital where there is more harm than good?
Yes, some incidents were caused by the incompetence of those staff at the time but Jesus Christ, don’t let them find some other excuse – like the hiring of foreign nurses as a reason. We’ll be an easy scapegoat.
Now, what I still don’t comprehend from this fiasco in Manila is the logic behind it? If what some of the students said is true, that someone high up at the Philippine Nursing Association leaked the answers of the exams. I really don’t see the purpose behind doing so? So you let a few others cheat to pass the exam so now the turnover rate at nursing schools could increase? Yea! A few more nurses.
Really? Wouldn’t a leak cause more damage to not just the nurses’ reputation aboard but the institutions themselves who would be seeing numbers of nursing enrollees plummet. You only need one whistleblower and the whole system goes kaput.
Of course, if the Philippine Nurses Association was right all along and this was caused by a few disgruntled students, the question is: why? Turning your back and saying, “We’ll screw you all” while holding up two middle fingers in the air, that isn’t the way to go. Instead of retaking the exam again another time, you’d rather take down the whole system with you. Not only have you ruined the chances for your fellow classmates to find satisfying jobs around the country, you also ruined your own chance of even being able to get a good job if you ever retake the test again.
But whoever the culprit/s, I hope they realize the implications they have set into motion. Our economy basically rests on the caring shoulders of our nurses and now it’s our own nurses who have been stricken with a potentially damaging disease.
We can only hope that this just blows over and doesn’t spread to other professional schools in the country. The best we Filipinos could do now to prove our credibility. The many decades of experience our foreign nurses have caring for the sick around the world should bear this out. - PDM
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