Blog by nurse from the USA volunteering on Panay after Typhoon Ha1yan

Nurses General Nursing


We are traveling on a narrow road from one barangay, or Philippine village, to the next. Along our way, we see palm trees bent in the middle, bowing their tattered heads toward our caravan, evidence of the storm. The smell of burning debris is everywhere as people burn the remnants of their lives, intact before the arrival of Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. The roadside is littered with this burning debris. The sun is hot above us. Dark smoke curls into the pale blue sky....

... I am traveling with nurses dispatched from across the United States to the Philippines as part of RNRN's disaster relief efforts on the island of Panay. These registered nurses have left their lives behind for a short while to help people suffering from injuries, exposure, respiratory illness, and more. During their stay here, nurses will treat people who already had limited access to healthcare, even before the typhoon....

... Today we arrive at Barangay Cano-an. Our medical mission there takes place in a bright yellow community center. When we arrive, people eager for care have already surrounded the building. RNRN nurses respond by immediately organizing a triage area and confer with other healthcare workers to smooth the way for patients. Soon, everyone is lined up around RNs Girlie Garnada and Stella Auto, who facilitate intake, while Lora Cook, Anna Rathbun, Betty Sparks, Ashley Forsberg, Jane Sandoval, Lori Barmore, and Paolo Montenegro work triage like a well-oiled machine. RN Gandessa Orteza takes on the role of ringmaster, calling out names and asking patients to "step right up" to move the line along. Inside, RNRN NP Betty Woods works with the doctors.Later, one of the Singaporean doctors pulls me aside. "Your nurses are top-notch," he says. "They are great to work with!"

It comes as no surprise to me....


44 Posts


That's so awesome. I'd love to travel to another country to help people.

random nurse

15 Posts

In behalf of my countrymen, thanks for your help!

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