Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Goodbye 2010, Welcome 2011!

When I welcomed 2010 a year ago the only thing that I promised myself is that I wouldn’t be ending the year on Philippine soils. Well that really happened, I left the Philippines to work abroad a few days before Christmas and 11 days before the end of 2010. So how was my 2010? I must say that the past year became a big turning point in my life. Working abroad probably is my biggest leap so far, but other than that I realized a lot of things about myself on the last year of the first decade after Y2K.


By December 2009, I was already feeling tired and unhappy with how things were going in my previous hospital. Either I was overworked, stressed, or simply lazy to work. That can be attributed most likely to low staff morale as an employee. Aside from the very low salary I really hated doing Triage Nursing. I really find hospital triaging boring and a position (triage nurse) that doesn’t add to ones knowledge. Of course that is just my opinion. For others they find triaging challenging because they develop critical thinking and assessment skills. But for me, the short patient encounter makes triaging a non-rewarding experience. I always want to be with patients, deal with them, and provide them a nurse’s TLC. I just know I am very good with that, my numerous patient and CEO’s commendations must be the perfect proof for that. 

Another issue in my old workplace before was doctor-triage nurse conflict. I had no doubt on our ER consultants’ knowledge and skills in Emergency Medicine but undeniably SOME of them had work ethics and attitude problems. There were physicians who would yell at you in front of patients, others would intentionally trip you and a miss on a step could make you land on the floor, some would throw ball pens or charts at you. That’s morbid, right?! I am not exaggerating here, I have witnessed and even experienced some of those.

My dissatisfaction and low morale has led me to think of escaping that hospital and fly abroad. But by that time I still lack a few months of experience as an ER nurse to at least work in the Middle East. And since Qatar and UAE requires at least 3 years, Saudi became the only option (NZ, OZ, and UK does not need ER nurses. Too bad for me.) So I worked until I completed exactly 2 years of paid ER experience. That was the time that I applied for a post abroad. Good thing I immediately got accepted to work in Riyadh Military Hospital. So I processed the documents, I did my medical, and I resigned from work. 

I waited a week, which became a month, which became half a year. Just imagine the agony of waiting. I did have some depression episodes from being unemployed for months. A few things that I experienced were: Inability to concentrate, lack of appetite, and inability to get a good sleep. I felt helpless and hopeless. But my coping mechanisms were successful. Thank God.

My decision to resign immediately made a great impact in my life. I realized that I decided based on emotions and less of using my brain. I never thought that my decision could be a traumatic experience as a whole. Lesson learned: never decide impulsively. Think not just twice, nor thrice, instead think about it for a hundred times so you wouldn’t regret things in the future.

2010 is also the year when I got accepted at University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). Actually, being admitted at UPOU is not really that hard. You just have to have a GWA of 2.0 or above in college, a year of clinical experience, two recommendation letters from your manager/supervisor or a senior nurse, and a 500-word essay stating your reason, why you should be accepted, and your future plans after the post-graduate degree. The post graduate courses were just fine, time management is greatly needed, plus good essay-writing skills. I did gain friends from different nursing fields and I must say they are worth a treasure.

June 17, 2010 was the time when our nuclear family finally became complete after a year of absence of our youngest who had his on-the-job training as a marine engineer abroad. Well, for me that’s an event to be remembered as I really am the happiest when my family gets to go somewhere to bond, all five of us.

My first airplane experience was in August 2010, bow. Poor me, while others have tried riding the airplane for the nth time, it was just a few months back when I experienced flying. There’s nothing really that memorable or unusual with the experience, except for the ear pressure congestion. Otherwise, it felt like I was just riding a bus from Alabang to Lawton.

November 22, 2010 was my sister’s departure date from the Philippines to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She works as a medical-surgical nurse in the kingdom. Again, the family became incomplete. A few days before that I was really aiming for a family dinner/bonding since I sensed that that could be the last in long years before the family gets to be complete again. FYI my brother is graduating this May 2011 and once he passes the board exam he already has a waiting job from his company and he’s ready to leave the moment the company orders him to go aboard and travel the world. But a simple misunderstanding among some family members just made that final dinner-bonding moment in long years impossible. I was really annoyed that time. The question goes, when will be the family complete again especially when all of my siblings are OFWs?

November 29, 2010 was the date when I got a position as a staff nurse in Jeddah. I accepted the position to finally end my long-wait for an employment opportunity after some long months of sharing a spot with the others who are unemployed in the country’s unemployment rate. I departed the Philippines last December 20 which finally completed my 2010; My first time to spend Christmas and celebrate the New Year away from the exact place where I was literally born and raised.

2010 has been a tough year for me in terms of life-changing decisions and events. And now that another year is here, I welcome it with positivity and enthusiasm. I should have a ready welcome for opportunities and think think think before making decisions.

Happy New Year guys!

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