Etiquette question for Filipino nurses--use of Tagalog terms of address?

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    I'm a new nurse, looked for a hospital job for almost a year, and then found work at an LTC in the sub-acute unit. I love my patients, and while I'm still planning to move into Med-Surg in a hospital, I'm grateful for this job. I'm learning a lot, and my co-workers are extremely supportive.

    It's been an interesting cultural immersion, because I'm an Anglo girl and literally 99% of the rest of the staff are Filipino. I've been treated very warmly, and am enjoying the experience--lots of laughter, kindness, and a fantastic work ethic.

    So I have a question for the Filipino nurses out there--I've noticed that there's a lot of polite forms of address in use--"Ate" for a female colleague, "Kuya" for a man--and I'm starting to feel as though I'm being rude when I address someone by just their bare name! Would it be considered weird or pretentious if I were to adopt these terms? I want to show respect.

    Thanks for any insights you might be able to offer!
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  3. 2 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I think there's nothing wrong if you call them Ate or Kuya but if your'e not comfortable in doing so, try to explain to them and ask them if it's ok for you to call them with their bare names. I think they will understand you By the way, I am Filipino. I usually call someone Ate or Kuya if they are Filipino too but if not, I call them with their bare names.
  5. 0
    You could ask them directly what they prefer. Usually Ate and Kuya are used to convey respect to an older colleague and usually only if the two people are close.


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