The worsening ‘toxic’ work condition of Filipino nurses

By Anne Marxe D. Umil/ – When Jose (not his real name), a registered nurse, started to work in a public hospital in Manila, he didn’t think that he would be on-duty for 16 straight hours. It went on for a week and he thought of quitting his job. But for the sake of gaining experience, he stayed.

Health professionals and students commonly use the word “toxic” – not to mean poisonous, but might be just as hazardous – to describe a difficult situation, which could mean an overload of patients, multiple serious cases, and prolonged working hours.

Jose has been enduring his “toxic” work condition for six months. He said he would only finish his two-year contract with the hospital and would pursue his plan to work abroad.

Of course, he said, he’d love to serve his countrymen but the work of nurses in the Philippines, especially in the public sector, is no longer a source of dignity. For P18,000 ($418) a month, he said he is on-duty for 16 hours to a maximum of 24 hours. He handles one ward or at least 30 patients.

Jose’s working condition is only one of the many “toxic” stories told by nurses in the National Nurses’ Conference held last March 19 and 20. Nurses from the private and the public sectors and those who are serving in the community gathered in the two-day conference held in Manila.

Jose and others who agreed to be interviewed by asked not to be named and the hospital they are working out of fear of losing their job or being reprimanded by their supervisors.


Find more like this: Nursing Stories

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