I have always loved my profession as a nurse. I consider it as my calling. I believe that it is one of the noblest professions in the world. Taking care of the unwell gives me a fulfillment as an individual especially working in the emergency room where a lot of action and drama happens. Though sometimes it is physically exhausting, psychologically nerve-wracking and emotionally draining the joy of helping other people is so addicting.
During my highschool years my favorite subject was mathematics. Yes, I was never a science person. I was pretty good in numbers then so I would hear a lot of people telling me that I should take engineering courses. And so I did, but for two years only because I couldn’t appreciate the idea of being an engineer. I failed most of my subjects except for my mathematics. I guess I was not that driven to be an engineer and of course some other distractions like wrong peers. During that time nursing was the most in demand course in the Philippines. I was seeking for a new environment that can help me motivate to study so I told my parents that I wanted to shift to nursing. Thankfully, I was blessed with very supportive parents. From a low cost university, I transferred to a private institute, the most expensive college in our city at that time. I think it is one of the motivations that squeezed me to finish nursing since I am not from a well off family.
During my second year in nursing, we have what we call COPAR( Community Organizing Participatory Organizing Research), wherein students are exposed to the poorest sector of the community. It is a process of educating people to understand and develop their critical awareness of their existing condition, working with the people collectively and efficiently on their immediate and long-term problems, and mobilizing the people to develop their capability and readiness to respond and take action on their immediate needs towards solving their long-term problems. This was the eye-opener that I have been seeking my whole life. I want to help. I want to be an instrument in making a difference. So when I was asked by my instructor during our mock interview “ Why do you want to be a nurse?”, with confidence I answered “ I did not want to be a nurse. I was called to be a nurse.” Those were the exact words.
I have been a nurse for almost 10 years. Five years in the medical field and 5 years in dental. When I became a mother 3 years ago, I decided to stop working and focused on being a mother until June last year, I went back to work as a reliever nurse. I was so delighted to be back until the pandemic breaks and once again I had to make a choice not for myself but for my family. With a heavy heart, I decided to stop working and chose to be safe with my family. I really felt so guilty for giving up my calling at this pandemic time. It did crush me hard and made me feel so unworthy to be called a nurse.
I almost wanted to give up my calling and hide from the world until a friend of mine introduced me to FHMoms, a social media community for mothers who supports each other.
Joining them helped me realize that I don’t have to be so hard on myself for choosing my family over my calling as a nurse. I guess that’s what mothers usually do, sacrifice.
Motherhood did really change me in many ways. It has opened me to new opportunities. I may not be working in a hospital setting right now but that doesn’t mean i can’t be a nurse anymore. With the help of FHMoms, I think I found a platform where I can share my knowledge and help educate people in a creative way. I am still and will always be a nurse and a forever grateful mother to my son.
Written by: Ethel Maghinay