Filipino Nurses - page 2

I'm new to this bulletin board and I hope I can post some interesting thoughts for our nursing discussions. Something I've been thinking about recently is Filipino nurses. I've recently been the only... Read More

  1. by   RNPD
    I have worked with many Filipino nurses and found them to be excellent. A baccalaureate degree is required in the Phillipines to be a nurse, and so they are well educated and well trained, and work hard. They have difficulties like anyone else adjusting to American culture, but for the most part, they speak English well as it is taught in school. My only negative comments are that they can be too reticent and accepting of poor treatment; I would prefer them to become more assertive, but this often happens as they assimilate our culture. The only thing i dislike is when they speak Tagalog in front of me. I find it rude, as I would with any people speaking a different language that they knew I didn't understand. Of course I am referring to people who speak English well, but choose to speak another language in front of others. They may not mean it to be exclusionary, but I find it so. But as far as nursing-we need all the nurses we can get and I wouldn't begrudge anyone who comes to America for a better life. Afterall, my grandfather did-why shouldn't they?

    About referring to people as "Oriental", Stargazer is correct. My best friend's husband is Japanese and he ALWAYS refers to people of his race as Asian. I learned in my cultural diversity course that "Oriental" is an outmoded term that has become associated with ignorance. "Asian" is now politically correct, and is the preferred address. For anyone interested, I highly recommend a course in CD. There are many lessons to learn, and it has really helped me to learn how people of different races and cultures think. And it is so important that we don't inadvertantly offend someone with our language or assumptions.
  2. by   mario_ragucci
    You don't need to watch TV to learn people are different than inanimate objects. However, folks refer to Asians as Orientals to assert bias. It's not like it was with African Americans, but folks still like to objectify whenever possible. Oriental and Asian is just a smidge example of that in America. I ain't complianing because, to me, its very interesting.
  3. by   RNPD
    I became curious and decided to look this up. It is indeed offensive to refer to a person of the Asian race as "Oriental". Here is what I found, from the American Heritage dictionary. Note its usage as a noun, as well as the usage note.

    oriental
    SYLLABICATION: o-ri-en-tal
    PRONUNCIATION: r-ntl, r-
    ADJECTIVE: 1. often Oriental Of or relating to the countries of the Orient or their peoples or cultures; eastern.
    2. Oriental Of or designating the biogeographic region that includes Asia south of the Himalaya Mountains and the islands of the Malay Archipelago.
    3. Lustrous and valuable: oriental pearls.
    4a. Of or relating to a genuine or superior gem: an oriental ruby. b. Relating to or designating corundum that resembles another stone in color.
    NOUN: Oriental-Often Offensive, An Asian.
    OTHER FORMS: ori-ental-ly --ADVERB

    USAGE NOTE: Asian is now strongly preferred in place of Oriental for persons native to Asia or descended from an Asian people. The usual objection to Oriental--meaning "eastern"--is that it identifies Asian countries and peoples in terms of their location relative to Europe. However, this objection is not generally made of other Eurocentric terms such as Near and Middle Eastern. The real problem with Oriental is more likely its connotations stemming from an earlier era when Europeans viewed the regions east of the Mediterranean as exotic lands full of romance and intrigue, the home of despotic empires and inscrutable customs. At the least these associations can give Oriental a dated feel, and as a noun in contemporary contexts (as in the first Oriental to be elected from the district) it is now widely taken to be offensive. However, Oriental should not be thought of as an ethnic slur to be avoided in all situations. As with Asiatic, its use other than as an ethnonym, in phrases such as Oriental cuisine or Oriental medicine, is not usually considered objectionable.
    Last edit by RNPD on Mar 8, '02
  4. by   sharann
    "My only negative comments are that they can be too reticent and accepting of poor treatment; I would prefer them to become more assertive, but this often happens as they assimilate our culture. The only thing i dislike is when they speak Tagalog in front of me. I find it rude, as I would with any people speaking a different language that they knew I didn't understand. Of course I am referring to people who speak English well, but choose to speak another language in front of others. They may not mean it to be exclusionary, but I find it so. But as far as nursing-we need all the nurses we can get and I wouldn't begrudge anyone who comes to America for a better life. Afterall, my grandfather did-why shouldn't they? "


    RNPD, I completely agree with your above statements. The only thing I have trouble dealing with at work is when our nurses speak Tagalog in front of us that do not. We have people who speak Spanish as well, and thy don't enjoy feeling excluded from the conversation. If any of you out there reading this speak Tagalog or any language other than the national language, please let me say that this behavior is most likely NOT meant to be mean, but it is very hurtful and rude. I personally feel like crap when our staff do this which is not too often thankfully.
    I respect ANY nurse from ANY culture as long as they respect their patients, do their work, and are compassionate.
  5. by   mario_ragucci
    And then if I slip and speak my native New Yorkese, and people understand too well what I'm saying, they object to that too !

    Some Asian folks do this at school too. Can't diss them for it, because it is their language. I'd speak english to an American if I was in Vietnam, for example. Body language, and inflection of voice sounds are universal. You can usually pick up what a conversation is about by looking at a person when they talk whatever language. Unless they are talking like a furby or something. Then you hafta brush up on your Furbish :-)
  6. by   semstr
    Agree with the Tagalog and problem here is, a lot of Philipinnes nurses have a hard time learning German. I know nurses who have been here since the 70 and still can't talk the language very well.
    One of the reasons is that the community here is very big (Phillipines I mean) and they talk Tagolog and Spanish together, English is much spoken too.
    I know German is very hard to learn, but after 30 years it must be possible!

    and about being more assertive, the only thing I can say to that: Yes, I would wish that too!
    a lot of these nurses are being played with and put around where ever they are needed.
  7. by   live4today
    Here's a big thank you to those of you who took the time to address my question regarding the respectable title to use when addressing our Asian brothers and sisters!

    In my own family, many of my male relatives are married to Asian women, only I often hear the Asian women refer to their own people or culture as "Oriental", so that's why I was curious about the usage of the word. If there are any Asians on board here, would you care to share from your own cultural perspective on this? Thanks!

    My stepmom is Filipino, and when she gets mad, she speaks in her native language, but no one knows what she is saying...of course, my father claims he can understand what she is saying.

    When I worked with Filipino nurses in Hawaii, they often spoke Tagalog in the presence of the traveling nures which we found to be quite irritating as well.

    As for them not being assertive enough, I did notice that about them as well as the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean nurses too. The "Island Doctors" there in Hawaii openly voiced their dislike for the "aggressiveness of The Mainland Nurses" who came to Hawaii to work. Those docs prefer their women and nurses to be on the "meek side". It has more to do with the way they were raised....males being dominant and the females being more subdued in their demeanor (submissive, if you will). But, once they learn the "western way of life", those very same nurses eventually learn that it's okay for them to be "assertive" in their dealings with the opposite sex.

    _________________________________________


    "Just when you think you've graduated from the school of experience, someone thinks up a new course." -- Mary H. Waldrip
  8. by   ohbet
    Their are lots of philipino staff where I work and I have no problem with them,I even married one,unless they are radical muslims from the southern philipines who want to kill Americans.

    Some western staff get miffed when they cant understand what they are saying on their breaks,they fill left out,and out hospital tries to make them speak english at all times,except on their breaks,another impossible rule to enforce.

    Try to pick up a few words and phrases from them,your interest will endear you to them.
  9. by   RNPD
    Renee, You're very welcome! As for your Asian relatives, it is OK to refer to the culture as Oriental and maybe this is what you are thinking of. Remember, things can be Oriental, but people are Asian. So you may still hear references to Oriental cuisine or decor, but even in these cases, I believe Asian is preferred, from my own observations. The only things I see referred to as Oriental lately are rugs!
  10. by   RNPD
    ohbet, I don't care if they speak Tagalog on their breaks-although if I am the only non-Tagalog speaker in the break room with them, it is still rude and exclusionary! But this happens sometimes even at the nurses' station, and that is wrong. Many times I overhear people speaking of a patient's condition and I find I have something to add, even though they weren't actually speaking to me. That can't happen if I don't understand the language. Or maybe I'm just paranoid!
  11. by   live4today
    RNPD, thank you so much! I understand this so much better now. It's great to come to this BB, and read so much "brainpower"! It's so educationally satisfying, and helps me to grow in ways I couldn't on my own.

    __________________________________________

    "I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." -- Woodrow Wilson
  12. by   All41
    Tiara, you hit the nail on the head. The ONLY thing wrong with the effect of importing nurses is the cause. For some reason, of which I have several theories, the administrative powers do not value its employees at the grassroots level. This is an oversimplified but the ugly truth none the less. The first cuts seem to come within support services. I say it is the penny-wise and pound foolish mentality. It is always the bottom line but that number as statisitcs prove can be skewed by myopic reporting methods. Not only should we embrace any foreign nurse, we should embrace our new nurses who routinely become victims to older impatient nurses. I was a foreign nurse practicing in Ireland and I was treated very well for the most part.
  13. by   ohbet
    RNPD,
    YOUR PARANOID.

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