Unsure About the Future

Almost all nurses are aware that fear of the unknown is the most feared of all fears known to man. We are just afraid of facing uncertainties especially when we are not assured of the details of the upcoming things or events. This is exactly what I am feeling right now: unsure, anxious, and full of fear. Just like how the 11th edition of Nursing Pocket Guide defined fear, “it is the person’s response to a perceived threat (real or imagined) that is consciously recognized as a danger.” And in my case, I perceive my employment here as an industrial/emergency nurse at a huge oil company in Saudi a real threat and danger to my profession as a critical care nurse. And now that I have seen the area where I am going to be assigned, I don’t think my assignment here will make me a competitive critical care nurse in 5 or 10 years from now.

Well, at least I am able to release what I am feeling right now through writing. I really need to vent out my feelings now by means of writing especially now that I can’t talk with my sister or my mother whom I usually consult things with when there are issues regarding uncertainties about the future. Now I am admitting that somehow I am missing my family.

Like what I disclosed in my previous entry, it is only when I landed here in Jeddah that I learned that I will be assigned in a petrochemical refinery to respond to traumatic and burn injuries. In my analysis of things, what my company did is to hire emergency room nurses to perform the job of a paramedic (probably it is because it is cheaper to hire nurses unlike the higher paying EMTs or paramedics). That is way so far from what I thought of my job description here in Jeddah when I was back there in the Philippines, now I am: away from chest pain patients, away from status asthmaticus patients, away from acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis cases, away from stat appendectomy cases, away from acute coronary syndrome patients, away from viral encephalitis clients, away from thyrotoxicosis cases, away from the city, away from the Philippine embassy, away from accessible areas for the city grown boy. I am now away from what I used to be or do.

Sometimes I think we were fooled by the employer by not disclosing our real area of assignment. Of course there is nothing I can do now because they already sent me here, paid for my tickets, arranged for my accommodation, and processed my iqama (residence certificate) and license as a nurse in the kingdom. I am pretty sure it will be quite difficult to transfer from here refinery back to the hospital setting since I will be a pioneer staff here. But I am still hoping. I’ll take the Director of Nursing’s word (that there will be a clinical rotation).

Since I am a nurse and I follow the nursing process too in dealing with life, I think it is just right to apply our 5-step process in my current situation.

  • I am in a new environment and will be exposed to almost a new job description, very different from my previous work.
  • I will be working within the refinery area where death is always inevitable since dangerous gases and chemicals are always present. This may be an inappropriate venue to mention this but I’ll stress this out anyway: I don’t want any life saving measures to prolong the agony just in case I get badly injured while at work. No special machines to be attached whatsoever to keep me breathing especially when the prognosis is poor.
  • Critical thinking skills is a must since I will be the first responder when accidents occur. I am away from a physician and I have to be really alert and focused at all times.
  • I need to learn basic Arabic and Japanese since we cater mostly to those nationalities. At the end of my contract I surely will be multilingual.
  • I am housed in a very nice place. The recreational areas are excellent. The housing is very good. The community is very peaceful. Less the worries about being mugged when walking around the community area since the crime rate is zero (probably because of the very strict security).
  • I currently have no internet connection. And I consider the World Wide Web my life.
  • I will be receiving an allowance for being assigned here apart from the allowance that the company will provide. So that supposedly will be some additional savings for me. However, the allowance that we’ll be getting will be used to pay for a broadband internet connection so that is tantamount to no additional savings at all.
  • I will not be able to continue and be active on my online masteral studies since I will not be able to have easy access to the main city where exams are taken (Philippine Embassy in Jeddah). I am now thinking of dropping a major subject which requires presence in the Philippine Embassy to take the exam, and clinical practicum at the Philippine General Hospital. So I will be left with a single subject that doesn’t require physical presence and clinical practicum. That means it will take so many years before I finish the post-graduate degree. Inshalla.
  • I will be independent. I am now living on my own like what I wanted to ever since I graduated. Now I am in full control of my life and my decisions. Of course, the Filipino value of consulting the adults, i.e., parents, will never be gone. I will still consult them for life changing decisions.
  • And many more… 

Planning and Intervention
  • I can’t back out on this anymore for obvious reasons. I signed a contract and I should serve their company for two years. Anyway, as the cliché says, “2 years is fast.” The plan is to make the most of my experience here, to learn from whatever, however, whomever, learning resources available remembering to seize the day.
  • I’ll think about the positive side of my job now. I will have experience as an EMT/Paramedic. I can be an ER Nurse/Paramedic someday which pays a lot in English speaking countries.
  • I will try to enjoy the world class recreational facilities in the community for free. We have a public beach, public parks, sports center, tennis courts, soccer courts, a diving center for snorkelling or deep water diving, etcetera.
  • I need to enjoy the privilege of having a hotel like flat with free appliances, a bathtub, hot and cold water, free cable television, very nice bed, etcetera.
  • Analyze my lifestyle. I am a home buddy and I really just stay at home either watching the television or using the internet, and I can tolerate not going to malls or public areas for weeks. My lifestyle would greatly fit my current job status. Plus inaccessibility of nearby malls could really make me save money for my future.

  • We’ll see. I guess I just have to learn to like things here and add extra optimism in me. In God’s will and His time.


Lyka said…
Hi! It's been quite a while since I last visited your site to ask something about the saudi council at nagulat ako, nasa Jeddah ka na pala! Congrats... Base on your blog, you have had some unsuccessful attempts in applying abroad right? Anyway, good luck 'cause I'd actually been there in Jeddah as a staff nurse and I'll hopefully be back on March. San ka ba sa Jeddah?
Anonymous said…
Hi! I think I may have known someone who is with you now. Just about the same arrival period as you have. also learned that few days after, will be transferred to the refinery. At first, was hesitant on the move however I told the person - Redirection is always not a bad thing... It sometimes take you to where you should really be, maybe, that's just a stepping stone towards a more advance career ahead. That's a very good company from what we've heard though. Hope everything will be fine for you. Take heart.

P.S. How did you get internet access btw?
Sa Akin Lang Po said…
@lyka, right.. i had one unsuccessful attempt.. i was hired by riyadh military hospital last february 2010 but up to now there's no availble visa for male nurses.. i waited for almost 9 months for the visa until i applied to another agency.. that agency sent me here in jeddah in just a month.. there are some issues about male visa availability as far as i know..
Sa Akin Lang Po said…
@anonymous (january 3), there are 14 nurses sent here and that includes me.. 8 are girls and the rest are boys.. most likely if you're pertaining to a boy (your friend) i must know him very well because we've already created a bond here.. also we get to mingle with the girls (and even stay in their accommodation as visitors) so the likelihood that i know your friend is high.. we live in an international community that is why it doesn't feel like we're in saudi.. anyway, don't you worry, we're all doing good here.. inshallah..
Anonymous said…
Hi! great to know that you are all doing good. I'll keep on checking your blog at least i know everything is okay. Please post updates too. been few days without talk. Not sure if there are no phones available in your accommodations.
Take Care!
Anonymous said…
Hi! Great to know you are all good! Been a while since we talked. Is there a phone line maybe? anyway, please continue to post updates. It'll be great to hear from you!
Sa Akin Lang Po said…
@anonymous (january 9), yup, we have a phone line here but i don't know how that works (if charges apply for local or international)..

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