After I filed an online petition to President Duterte, I received a letter from Marites, who asked me if her story can be featured in my blog. I was hesitant. How can I give justice to a non-fiction story, more especially if it is about her– being a nurse and a mother.
But, as an advocate for nurses. I devoted myself to continuously talk about the inequalities of the nursing profession in my own country. I told her, yes. I sent her, some guide questions which she can answer so that I can make a story out of it.
I’m a nurse but I opted not to continue working in the hospital now. Despite my passion to serve and care for the welfare of my patients, I chose to go out, put off the lamp of Florence Nightingale and venture to another path, where I can get enough, for my only baby girl.
Hindi ko mapapakain ang mga anak ko sa sahod bilang nurse.
(I can’t afford to feed my family with my salary as a nurse.)
With the meager 3,000 per two weeks (15 days) (sometimes even smaller depending on the duty hours (kasi nga Reliever pa kami bago maging Regular Staff).
I served the public hospital for 3 years, again 3 long years without any reservations. I gave my life and time (pati overtime) na unpaid with the hope that one day, I will be promoted in a regular post.
However, one day, I felt like, they are not serious in promoting me. A new nursing graduate was assigned the vacant posts, very easily. Then I learned that, she was the daughter of the assistant chief nurse of the hospital. It crushed my heart. It was injustice.
I pay the BIR, SSS, PAG-IBIG, and PhilHealth and other applicable state taxes, hoping that the government will be nicer to us me—as a nurse. But, I was very stupid to believe that the government is passionate and caring.
While working in the hospital, I have no choice but to leave my own child under the care of a babysitter. I have no choice. Then, one day, I realized that;
Naku! mas malaki pa sweldo ni yaya kesa sa akin! parang nag-nurse ako para may pasweldo at pang SSS and Philhealth ang yaya.
Nurses na yata ang susunod na martyr sa Pilipinas! Seeing that I could not even feed my self three times a day, and my baby with the right amount of milk, I decided to say,
“Enough is enough! It must stop!”
In the Philippines, nurses are disregarded. Nurses are not the priority despite the hardships and sacrifices that we give. We care but no one is caring for us. Before I resigned, I went to the office of our Chief Nurse, I looked at her in the eye, and I delivered the arrow that pierced her heart.
Where is the government?
Where is your conscience?
For nurses to triumph, one should not be afraid to speak. Nurses should throw the appropriate arrows, right to the heart, especially if you are facing the beasts that kill the essence of the nursing profession, even though he/she is also a nurse.
(Story of Maritess, a nurse and a loving mother)
Share your own story to firstname.lastname@example.org.