Exasperated in Manila...Vent

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    The Title pretty much sums it up...I am an LPN/LVN who was pressured by family into pursuing a BSN degree abroad in the Philippines. I will have been here a full Year in May. I have finally reached my point today...lost a grip on my professionalism as my sanity waned a bit...and made two comments which although feels really good to say has now made my relationship here with my "superiors" more strained...

    The Statements: "nursing doesn't have a gender, race, or ethnicity. So wipe the drool dangling from your mouth doll." which I told to my proctor that always degrades and harasses me after she made an extremely ignorant comment. AND "Your ego is really slowing down my genius. check that **** at the door please. I came here to work." to My proctor after he pulled me aside from my duties in order to quiz me for 15 minutes on several different topics which we are not even covering yet along with his colleagues just to simply find something I didn't know. The final incident which caused me to act so irrationally was due to me being unfairly graded which has continued throughout my entire enrollment at this school. I have received 95% or higher on every single written nursing exam, however only 80%-88% on practical demonstrations of skills. It should be noted that it is so easy to forget that these professors are in fact professors because of their behavior...they act like high school students...Due to the Philippines not recognizing LPN/LVN's, none of my nursing subjects transferred. Because I have an Associate of Science degree however which I obtained through my local Community College, several of my science subjects were credited such as A&P, Microbiology, Health Edu, Chemistry, Pharm, English etc. Which shortened my time. In addition to my A.S degree which was earned separate from my LPN/LVN program, I also completed 7 months of a Paramedic program but withdrew upon acceptance into my LPN/LVN program, as well as a Medical Assisting program during High school through ROP.The reason why I state my educational background is to emphasize that although I have much to learn, which is why I came here in the first place, I am not incompetent. I also have experience in several different areas of nursing, and because of the length of time I spent in a Paramedic program I have additional assessment skills acquired through this training. The teachers here have really showed resentment towards me because of this and thus made it a point to exercise their superiority over me daily. I am disregarded routinely and can never seem to win. If I raise my hand and answer a question the teachers roll their eyes, if I don't know something they make it a point to state and emphasize it to the entire class. Because I have worked in a Hospital, I have a familiarity with U.S nursing practices, and therefore am accustomed to standards of care which to be honest is severely lacking here. I state this routinely as I refuse to jeopardize my integrity when providing nursing care and I stand up for myself whenever necessary, always ensuring to remain objective however and explain my rationale. This causes the teachers to state things like "you are not a nurse here", "you are not in the U.S", "this is the Philippines", "This is how we do things here", and today I received "if you think you deserve a grade above a 90% based on your demonstration than you should already be a nurse." and "not even god could change the grade i gave you because I am your professor and decide what grade you deserve."I am a confident nurse, but I am not cocky whatsoever. For this professor to give me an 82% however which is the same grade she has issued others who have not even taken health assessment yet is absolutely absurd and demonstrates her bias. We were suppose to simply demonstrate how to administer oxygen via nasal cannula, mask, tent mask etc. and articulate the importance and procedures of oxygen therapy. This is extremely basic. During my demonstration, since I have actually worked as a nurse I simply conveyed what I would normally do, ensuring I covered all the key points but also going in depth instead of simply stating like most students who do not yet possess these skills "I would listen to lung sounds". etc. I stated I would check the patients MAR before entering the room to identify if their was an order, look for the DX of the patient including history and existing conditions such as COPD etc., RX such as respiratory depressants, if labs were drawn and available such as ABG's/HGB etc, diagnostic tests such as PFT etc, baseline vitals and assessment, etc etc etc. I even gave here the normal lab values for ABG's! such as PH 7.35-7.45, Pa02 80-100mm Hg, PaCO2 34-45 Hg, HC03 etc. I talked her through an entire respiratory assessment, auscultating lungs, listening for rhonchi, rales, etc. checking mucous membranes and skin during assessment to identify signs of cyanosis and to rule out hypercarbia, hypoxemia. Retrieving vitals P, R, BP, O2 Sat, etc. administering the oxygen, all the way down to how I would document and then return in 15-30 minutes to recheck the patient. She than said "perfect" very sarcastically before handing me my eval paper which stated 82%. I asked her why I received that and she literally said that no one in my batch deserved higher than an 88% because that is the highest she will ever give one of us since we still have much experience and things to learn and we don't deserve a perfect score. I attempted to explain my case but was rebuffed by everyone including the dean being told absurdly rude irrelevant things such as "Lpn's are not real nurses Mr. Lucky(intentionally long pause on her part)...at least here in the Philippines.

    "My family is pressuring me to remain here and complete my education. Not only do I not want to because of how negative, unprofessional, and biased the nurses are here, but also because I can identify how severely lacking the education is as well as how the overall practice of nurses in the hospitals are. I don't want a subpar education...I want to be the best nurse I can be...my family I feel is just looking at the cost effectiveness of things. Words of wisdom of any kind would be appreciated...even if its not encouraging...as long as I can grow from it...I welcome it. #HELP
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Jan 28, '13 : Reason: added paragraphs to make reading easier
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

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    They must be a lot more forgiving of nursing students in the Philippines. Speaking for my program, just one of those remarks would have gotten you tossed. Your attitude would have earned you some serious "Come to Jesus" meetings.

    If you do not learn humility and how to behave in a professional manner, you won't succeed in a school here, let alone in a career as a nurse. No one is going to be impressed that you've memorized labs or ABGs if you can't function as part of a team. To be honest, your post screamed anger-management issues. You simply cannot talk to your faculty, future co-workers and future supervisors so disrespectfully, no matter how "right" you think you are. You get a much better hearing if you state your case in a calm, professional manner.

    I don't understand why you went to the Philippines to get your BSN when there are a wealth of LVN-BSN bridge programs in this country. Is your family Filipino? Even if you do graduate there, you'll have to go through the same hoops as any other foreign grad.

    I get the feeling there is a backstory to this situation.
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    Couldn't wade through that paragraph...sorry.
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    roser13 your attempt was appreciated
    Last edit by NrsLucky on Jan 28, '13
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    HI OCNRN63,

    Thank you for your insight. i absolutely am not proud of my response. I listed my response knowing that I would sound pretentious and rude, because I felt it was relevant. I literally just reached my limit at the time I blurted them out due to my professors acting like a bunch of mean girl high school students. I have never witnessed something like this truly since I was in high school. I am half Filipino, my dad is filipino and my mother is english/british. I do not however really speak tagalog.

    There is a back story which I did not list because it would have made my initial post even longer. This incident(s) which prompted the aggression from my instructors is why I am so exasperated and frustrated with their lack of professionalism and objectiveness. I have not liked a great deal of people in my working career but never purposefully went out of my way like they are. Essentially what occurred which resulted in this was an initial complaint I made to the Dean regarding an instructor's inappropriate conduct with a classmate of mine as well as several comments and questions he directed towards me. Since students here are brought up to be really passive and not speak out against their superiors, my classmates never spoke out despite them complaining behind clothes door. This student in particular was a 16 year old male who was very shy. During a lecture this professor who is also male would inappropriately stroke him whilst talking and make comments about how he smelled to make the class laugh etc. I complained to the dean about that to no avail because of course all of the nursing department likes him and none of my classmates wanted to speak out for fear of retaliation including the student who verbally told me that he disliked the teacher and was uncomfortable. Another incident eventually transpired where this professor directed questions towards me in front of the class regarding my sexual orientation and if I had a boyfriend here etc etc. Please note I am male. I walked out of the class and complained to the nursing department and dean but was literally disregarded the entire time. nothing was done by them, but a professor of mine who knew i had a legit complaint forwarded my case to the HR department head since the dean had officially "closed" this case despite nothing being done. The HR head after hearing my story investigated everything and sided with me which resulted in his termination.

    Now the nursing department in its entirety dislikes me. There was this big spectacle made by this professor when he was leaving and apparently he was crying and blatantly blaming me to the students who liked him as well to the teachers. I never asked him to be fired in the first place I simply wanted him to be reprimanded and told he was wrong but the dean refused to have a documented complaint in his file so they all tried to simply not do anything about it. This caused me to continue to escalate it because I know I was right and she was being deceitful.
    Now despite the fact that I have always been well like everywhere I went I am hated for no reason aside from the fact that I said something when someone was abusing his authority. I have tried to apologize to everyone and explain my actions as to why I didn't let it go. I brought snacks for the nursing dept. etc. The majority of the students do not want to associate with me because they are scared what the professors will do if they speak with me.

    I am beside myself because of this type of behavior. It seems so surreal to me. The comments these teachers have made that my friends translate and tell me are literally on the verge of harassment. I have already complained to the dean who does nothing and even made a statement "Have you learned anything from this Mr. Lucky? Are you proud of your actions?". I have already taken additional action and issued a complaint to CHED. Just pending action now. The thing is my family simply wants me to let it go and move on when this year finishes and go to a different school. But this school which is a very small rather new school, is so unprofessional and literally corrupt that I don't want any other student to have to go through that. Because had I laughed it off, and allowed this teacher to continue to disregard professor-student-conduct, I would still be liked.
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    To the OP: sorry, you're going thru this fiasco. But maybe you're better off and cutting your losses short by leaving the PH college system, if there's any thoughts of returning with a BSN from the Phils and planning to take the NCLEX in CA or 13-14 States, where the BSN degrees due to some courses are not meeting the CA (or other States minimum educational standards) is not being accepted at this present time (started around Nov. 2011 to now) due to concurrency issues, lack of clinical hours, etc. There have been a handful out of 1,000's granted to get their ATT in CA since Nov. 2011 (not 2012).

    Check out the "Nurses Registration" forum topics, whereby anyone coming from a PH school of recent years have to repeat near impossible classes to comply with those States enforcing the concurrency rules. These are courses that must be completed in the States or must have been compliance PRIOR to graduating from a PH school, not after, big difference.
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    I give you kudos for standing up for what you believe in. The culture and school system in the Philippines is different compare to the United States. It maybe "subpar" in U.S. standards, but it is what it is.

    You are there to accomplish one thing: finish school and get your BSN degree. You were not there to study law but somehow you became the defender of your classmates.

    I am not saying you did not do the right thing but sometimes you have to let things go especially the student does not want to pursue it further. Was the other student really being abused? Couldn't he talk to the professor himself and tell the professor he was feeling uncomfortable with the inappropriate behavior?

    You are already getting more than enough attention there due to being an American so please don't add unnecessary attention on yourself. Do not tell your next school that you are an LPN and have nursing experience. Do not challenge the teacher. The teacher is always right. I learned that from my LPN school here in New Jersey. Learn the "Philippines way" and practice the Philippines way while you are there then practice the American way when you come back to the states. Of course, I would not let somebody treat me like I'm not a human being but I will definitely pick my battles where I know I can win and concurrently accomplish my goals-finish school.

    Good luck to you and I hope your next school would be a better fit for you. Try the big popular Universities there like University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, Santo Thomas University, Far East University, Centro Escolar University, etc....Please take my advice with a grain of salt as I have not experienced college/university life there in the Philippines. I was only there from Elementary school up to 3rd year high school. But I do have lots of family members who finished nursing in the Philippines.
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    I received my BSN in the Philippines 8 years ago and I feel for you. The above poster is right. The culture is completely different from the US, and certain things like harassment and abusive practices from the faculty are not uncommon. They are authority figures and their word is law, so I'm not surprised at how your classmates reacted. While your actions certainly were noble and your heart was in the right place, be aware that the power structure is completely different there and calling any more attention to yourself (intentionally or unintentionally) isn't the best course of action. It's also not uncommon for teachers to take your knowledge as an affront to their authority and will be taken personally, and retaliation in the form of harassment might be pretty much expected as of this point. Hopefully they don't take it out on your grades. From what you've posted, it sounds like they view you as a Know-It-All and resent you for showing them up. I'm not saying it's right, but it is what it is. I've experienced this abuse of power for myself when I was a student (very outspoken), and it was very hard for me to swallow the words I was dying to say, keep my mouth shut, and stick to studying. I suggest you keep your eyes on your goal (which is to graduate), pick your battles, and stay focused. Nursing school in the Philippines has a whole other set of challenges, and yours are just beginning. In fact, be prepared to pay exorbitant fees, unreasonable processing charges, miles and miles of red tape, and painfully slow handling of your certificates and documents when you graduate (I'm currently processing papers from the PRC because apparently I have to renew my Philippine Nursing Licensure even if I have no plans nor have I ever practiced there for them to mail verification of licensure to Texas, but that's another story). My parents who live there had to "grease the wheels" and pull a few strings to rush my documents to the US, because if left to their own devices, it will take half a year for something that will only take a week here in the US. Good luck to you and I hope you survive nursing school and reach your goals.
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    Steppybay is right. There are a lot of people I've come across that obtained BSN degrees in the Philipines and had to test for LVN licensure in California because of concurrency issues. Check to make sure you can transfer things over. As for the school faculty itself you'll just have to deal with narrow minds that feel they are superior because you are just a student. Chalk it up to cultural differences and there are just those instructors that like to belittle. You'll just have to practice humili
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    Darn it! Hit send before I meant to. Practice humility and biting your tongue. Good luck!


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