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No More Nurse Volunteer Programs! DOH Orders Termination of "Nurse Volunteer Programs

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Since the old thread about this was closed, I'd like to make a new one about it so that we can address it as it is still very rampant in my country, the Philippines:

Department of Health Secretary Enrique T. ONA, issued memorandum 2011-0238 mandating to terminate all "Nurse Volunteer Programs", "Volunteer Training Programs for Nurses" and all similar or related programs, in all DOH-retained hospitals in the Philippines. "The current practice of registered nurses "volunteering" in hospitals to gain 'work experience' and/or to obtain a certificate of work experience and for purposes of meeting requirements for employment abroad, is not consistent with the provisions of this law (Republic Act 9418: Volunteer Act of 2007)."

In addition, many hospitals have implemented "nurse volunteerism" in the guise of "training programs" in order to justify the collection of "training fees", whereby such basic skills training put no added value to the professional career of the nurses.

Therefore, all DOH hospitals are hereby directed to discontinue all existing programs involving nurses who deliver free services in exchange for work experience/volunteer nurses, volunteer trainings, and all other similar programs. All hospitals-based trainings for nurses should follow a definite career progression to be defined and accredited by the DOH and Professional Regulatory Commision-Board of Nursing.

from: http://nurseslabs.com/news/no-more-n...teer-programs/

Original Thread here: https://allnurses.com/international-nursing/no-more-nurse-617323.html

On paper, it stated that this kind of treatment to professional nurses here in my country is illegal. And yet, why is it that this practice is still being conducted? It was 2011 when this memorandum was passed. It is now 2015 and this practice has still not been abolished.

I think this is a great idea!

I have met some great nurses who studied in the Philippines. However, I have

also encountered many bad nurses from the Phillipines who's knowledge and safety left me sick to my stomach with unease.

Sidenote: this has nothing to do with nationality and a whole lot to do with the degree of regulation in that country and the like. Seriously... If you want to work in the us, it's best to study here.

Edited by JMCP

Sadly, you are right. I feel that my country has produced nurses who are woefully unprepared for global competency. All I see is corruption and exploitation of the weak. Most nurses here are damn sheeps who allow filth and decay to soil the name of the nursing profession in the Philippines. I took up nursing to help people. But now I see that being a nurse here in my country only feeds to the corruption and injustice of our broken healthcare system. They exploit the nurses through extortion but does not add to the improvement of patient care. The nurses here know that it is wrong and yet they allow this wretched practice to continue and flourish. My disgust have come to a point wherein I feel that my nursing degree here in my country is useless and that I should abandon nursing and pursue a different career.

mikeru22

Specializes in Acute Care, Trauma, Critical Care, Psych. Has 4+ years experience.

Hey Pacs, you could feel bad and ashamed of the current health care situation in our country but you should not dwell on the negative and dark side of situation. Like you, I have been exposed to various unpleasant scenarios elsewhere. It looks bleak and hopeless but when my turn to be able to finally practice nursing after 8 long years of waiting, I was able to see people who are very passionate about their job. These people are so dedicated and will do anything in their power just to care for people to the point that they are shelling their own money out despite their meager income just to get indigent patients the materials they need just to facilitate a procedure the patient could never afford.

We may lack all the technology and resources first word countries have but we are blessed with innate hospitality, genuine concern to care for and about people, spirituality, warmheartedness, sympathy, resilience, ingenuity and fortitude to do what we do best despite our hardships and limitations.

I still believe in a better future ahead of us. We are improving slowly, and although it may not be very evident yet, I will do my best to make the situation better by starting with my self and avoiding by all means to contribute to or be the problem itself.

Filipino nurses are still among the top choices by foreign employers because of so many good qualities we are known for. I am still very proud to be a Filipino and a Registered Nurse at the same time. God bless the Filipino Nurses and our country.

Edited by mikeru22

The reason it still exists in Philippines.

There are many laws in Philppines, But only few are enforced.

It's More Fun In The Philippines......

Hey Pacs, you could feel bad and ashamed of the current health care situation in our country but you should not dwell on the negative and dark side of situation. Like you, I have been exposed to various unpleasant scenarios elsewhere. It looks bleak and hopeless but when my turn to be able to finally practice nursing after 8 long years of waiting, I was able to see people who are very passionate about their job. These people are so dedicated and will do anything in their power just to care for people to the point that they are shelling their own money out despite their meager income just to get indigent patients the materials they need just to facilitate a procedure the patient could never afford.

We may lack all the technology and resources first word countries have but we are blessed with innate hospitality, genuine concern to care for and about people, spirituality, warmheartedness, sympathy, resilience, ingenuity and fortitude to do what we do best despite our hardships and limitations.

I still believe in a better future ahead of us. We are improving slowly, and although it may not be very evident yet, I will do my best to make the situation better by starting with my self and avoiding by all means to contribute to or be the problem itself.

Filipino nurses are still among the top choices by foreign employers because of so many good qualities we are known for. I am still very proud to be a Filipino and a Registered Nurse at the same time. God bless the Filipino Nurses and our country.

That is exactly the kind of apologetic reasoning that keeps our country in the mud. Why is it there are nurses in public hospitals who have to shell the expenses from their own meager income in order to better serve indigent patients? Is it not our government's duty to our people to provide for these things? Where is the financial budget allocated by the local and national government for this? In the deep pockets of our corrupt government officials?

Why is it that board certified and licensed nurses in our country have to pay hospitals just to be slaves and give the said institutions free labor at our expense? Don't you even find it odd that at the first sign of opportunity to leave the country, most professional nurses in our country take it? Why is it when it was declared that nurse volunteerism is illegal, such practices are still widespread and flourishing?

This is exactly the kind of cancer Jose Rizal is talking about our wretched country infecting all sectors and institutions of the Filipino people; That it's okay to be damn slaves and meek sheep. The worst part of it is that the people do nothing about it. Just look at most of our nurses here in the Philippines, they are practically begging corrupt hospital institutions to be its slaves. They want it, and they yearn for it. And when they leave our country, they bring this disgusting nature with them for all the people of the world to see. Pinoy pride.

Edited by Pacs, RN

herring_RN, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical. Has 48 years experience.

I agree that having nurses work for free, or even worse pay to work is wrong. Recently in the USA some facilities are asking new graduate RNs to pay an outside company for their orientation. I am opposed to this practice here too.

But these greedy practices should not denigrate the many fine nurses who have cared for so many people in my country and around the world.

Since 1972 I have learned from, worked with, and been blessed by the friendship of nurses born and educated in the Philippines. With few exceptions they are fine professionals and good honest caring people.

After a few years experience they are expert nurse. Many of the great nurse leaders in my state are from the Philippines.

Read about Zenei Cortez, President of the California Nurses Association. This bio is several years old. The NNU now has nearly a two hundred thousand members.

National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum

She recently made news by leading the bargaining team for 18,000 nurses:

18,000 California Nurses Win Stronger Patient Care, Workplace Protections in New Kaiser Pact | National Nurses United

ZeneiCortezRN_zpsa0a2fcc9.jpg

It is comforting that there are people like you who would speak in defense of my people. I do not negate the existence of the many fine Filipino nurses abroad. They are what I call jewels in the rough. You are lucky to have met quite a number of them as they are nobles among rabble.

You can see how Nursing in the Philippines is a far cry to what you have there in America. While the idea of new RN graduates paying an outside company for orientation seems like a travesty already back there in the US, most new RN graduates here in the Philippines would actually fall in line to pay just to be a slaves in a local hospital. Just look at most of the threads here in Nursing in the Philippines Section of this website:

https://allnurses.com/nursing-in-the/

Most of them are about Filipino nurses asking for admission to slavery and paying for slavery.

Edited by Pacs, RN

herring_RN, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical. Has 48 years experience.

I'm truly sorry for this. It would take an entire movement to begin working to improve the situation for nurses in the Philippines.

Two RN classmates who had been in the USA for only two years were my mentors and friends when I was a new grad LVN. One married and moved away. The other is still a dear friend of more than four decades.

In the Philippines the Alliance of Health Workers is part of Global Nurses United. Perhaps they can work with nurses around the world to stop the abuse of nurses.

Global Nurses United of Nurse, Healthcare Worker Unions, Born | National Nurses United

Forgive my negativity and cynicism. I have been an unemployed registered nurse here in my country for far too long. I have passed my nursing licensure examination way back in 2009. It is already 2015 and I still cannot land a job in the nursing career. I am not getting any younger. Most of the hospitals I applied for still require volunteerism in the guise of "Post Graduate Nursing Training" which they charge for a fee before they can "promise" the consideration of hiring me. The only hospitals here in my country that no longer conduct this abhorring practice (as far as I can tell) are the ones directly under the supervision of the Department of Health. Which is like, only a few hospitals (10 hospitals to be exact).

I am aware of the Alliance of Healthworkers here in my country. However, I am afraid they are on the losing side of the battle. I remember attending an intravenous therapy training seminar at a hospital here wherein a representative of the Association of Nursing Administrators in the Philippines (ANSAP) spoke in front of the participants that nurse volunteerism and nurse volunteerism in the guise of "Post Graduate Nursing Training" are illegitimate practices which we must not support. After her speech, the nursing director of the hospital that hosted us suddenly spoke up and promoted the "Post Graduate Nursing Training" his hospital is conducting. He commented that it is where they hire their new nursing staff if an opening suddenly pops up thus blatantly disregarding what was said by the ANSAP representative. Of course, the PGNT that the hospital nursing director is promoting isn't free. As I was sitting in the room taking in every detail of the awkward situation that just happened, I was asking myself: "What the hell?" On top of that, a lot of my colleagues who went with me in that seminar signed up to that "illegitimate" practice despite the warnings of the ANSAP official.

Again, forgive me for my dark outlook on the situation. I feel like I wasted 4 years of my life studying BSN. All that effort and financial support my parents gave me for my studies seems like it is all for nothing. I feel so useless and have sunk very far deep into depression as of late.

Edited by Pacs, RN

Pacs RN have you thought of coming back to the states to work as a nurse again? It seems like you need that spark again.

I'm not American. I'm a Filipino born and raised in the Philippines. I have never been to America and I am not eligible to work as a nurse there. I never intended to work outside of my country when I took up nursing. Now I just want to leave nursing and the medical profession altogether since it never really welcomed me in to begin with...

What about other areas besides the hospital like teaching. Maybe teaching these future nurses on what not to do. Or what about private duty, or clinics.

What about other areas besides the hospital like teaching. Maybe teaching these future nurses on what not to do. Or what about private duty' date=' or clinics.[/quote']

Playing on the old saying "Those who can, do while those who can't teach"? :sneaky:

I'm afraid even that is not possible. Most nursing schools here in my country have laid off their teaching staff. My mentor from nursing school now works in a call center agency because he was laid off by my alma mater. And even if I want to teach in nursing schools, I do not have the necessary requirements which would be a master's degree and at least 1 year experience in a hospital setting. The collapse of the nursing boom here in my country ensured the decline of these teaching institutions. A lot of nursing schools in my country have already shut down and those that do remain open maintain a strict minimum quota of employed teaching staff.

I've already done private duty and clinic jobs but they are volatile contracts and hard to come by here in my country. Most of my colleagues have become call center agents because of the lack of nursing career opportunities and options here.

Edited by Pacs, RN

herring_RN, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical. Has 48 years experience.

I'm sorry for the conditions and cannot fault you.

It is sadly ironic that nurses are not respected as they should be in a country whose nurses have helped so many.

I hope you find a job you like. It is very sad to me.

I just wish more of my fellow nurses here in my country actually care about this and fight the grave injustice rather than be willing victims. More of them flock this website right now asking how to be slaves in the big hospitals of the Philippines.

mikeru22

Specializes in Acute Care, Trauma, Critical Care, Psych. Has 4+ years experience.

That is exactly the kind of apologetic reasoning that keeps our country in the mud. Why is it there are nurses in public hospitals who have to shell the expenses from their own meager income in order to better serve indigent patients? Is it not our government's duty to our people to provide for these things? Where is the financial budget allocated by the local and national government for this? In the deep pockets of our corrupt government officials?

Why is it that board certified and licensed nurses in our country have to pay hospitals just to be slaves and give the said institutions free labor at our expense? Don't you even find it odd that at the first sign of opportunity to leave the country, most professional nurses in our country take it? Why is it when it was declared that nurse volunteerism is illegal, such practices are still widespread and flourishing?

This is exactly the kind of cancer Jose Rizal is talking about our wretched country infecting all sectors and institutions of the Filipino people; That it's okay to be damn slaves and meek sheep. The worst part of it is that the people do nothing about it. Just look at most of our nurses here in the Philippines, they are practically begging corrupt hospital institutions to be its slaves. They want it, and they yearn for it. And when they leave our country, they bring this disgusting nature with them for all the people of the world to see. Pinoy pride.

You are missing the whole point Pacs. I mentioned that specifically to point out some good qualities we Filipino Nurses have. I know because I experienced that first hand when I became a nurse trainee at the National Center for Mental Health under the RNHEALS program under DOH in 2013.

RNHEALS, just like it's predecessor NARS program sought to give tens of thousands of unemployed nurses the opportunity to practice nursing without having to pay for the experience. Under the program, DOH provided nurses a monthly allowance while they render services in DOH hospitals (regional, state, specialty and national hospitals) and local health centers. Some secured a permanent plantilla as staff nurse by the end of the contract. Others had to look for jobs elsewhere locally or abroad and many of them found it easier to be hired in hospitals since they already have an edge.

The era of false volunteerism and training for a fee is slowly ending. Look at what our very own "Ang Nars Party List" is doing. Since owning a place in the Congress, it never stopped to make Filipino Nurses' situation better by bringing up these age old problems of false volunteerism, job security, salary increase and many more into light. They have been working closely with DOH and other government agencies lately and proposing amendments to safeguard the interests of nurses.

Have you ever been employed in any hospitals as a staff nurse or have you ever experienced walking in a government nurse's shoe first hand? While it's all so easy for many people to accuse those who are in practice of being meek sheep, incompetent, indifferent and and what not, those who never had the chance to walk in their shoes would never understand how noble, important and respectable our role is.

You could question, criticize and have a negative attitude towards the government all you want but for all you know, you indirectly are a part of that infected and ailing system because whether you admit it or not, the people who run the very corrupt government you are talking about would not be in power if not because of the people like you and me who elected them to office.

Pinoy pride it is.

Edited by mikeru22

If I was ever employed as a hospital staff nurse here in our country, I wouldn't be here talking about how I am still an unemployed registered nurse now, would I? And just because I was never employed as a public hospital nurse here in our country, doesn't mean I am ignorant to their sacrifices and nobility. If anything, I am quite aware of their plight. I have been to the Philippine General Hospital where I have directly observed the deplorable working conditions of doctors and fellow nurses there. I've spoken to colleagues telling me the same story you have. Heck, I even witnessed a fellow nurse crying from the Philippine Orthopedic Center as she had sacrificed her life serving indigent patients for 36 years at the said hospital and yet the government threatens her with unemployment as privatization of the hospital will result in greedy individuals and corporations terminating several nursing job positions for the sake of profit. They don't care about how many years you spent serving the Filipino people as a nurse. All they care about is money. And after they're done with the Philippine Orthopedic Center, hospitals like PGH will be next.

The era of false volunteerism and "training" for a fee is not over. Only large public hospitals have ceased it. Those in the Local Government Units outside of NCR still practice it away from the prying eyes of the DOH and the media. Private hospitals in our country also continue the practice in excess in the form of "training". What's worse, the wages of nurses in private hospitals are much lower than that in public hospitals. Why just a week ago, I called a private hospital to apply for work. They ask me to pay for "Post Graduate Nursing Training" before they can consider the possibility of hiring me.

You forget that you are lucky enough to be part of RN Heals which catered to only but a fraction of unemployed registered nurses. Thousand of us are still unemployed. Are you even aware that RN Heals is no more?

Clearly you are ignorant on the current events of nursing here in the Philippines. Here you go:

Nurses call for justice to save their ‘dying' condition « Bulatlat

That happened just last October 17, 2014. Guess what? It's 2015 and I still can't feel the change you speak of. The "Ang Nars Partylist" you are so proud of? They haven't done anything. Did you know that the nursing coalition group I took part of had to ask the assistance of Bayan Muna representatives just so we could pitch in House Bills that are pro-nurses here in our country? So where is the "Ang Nars Partylist? Nowhere.

Regarding election, I never voted for the people in power at our government so I doubt I have a role in our ailing system. For one thing, I refuse to be part of the disease by denying my participation to hospitals that require nurse volunteerism, including those in the guise of paid "training".