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Top nursing schools try to keep standards high

Monday, August 07, 2006


Top nursing schools try
to keep standards high


“But the best schools—UP, Saint Paul, UST, UE, PLM . . . I’m sure I’ve missed some others, those schools hindi natutuksong dagdagan ang kanilang student population [are not tempted to increase their students] despite the demand, because they want to maintain their quality,” Dr. Tan continued. “Just think what the effect is on the overcrowded nursing schools’ passing rate.”

We asked Dr. Tan about the “elite nurses” who man the operating rooms.

“They are really highly specialized professionals. You need a good amount of time training; it’s like taking a postgraduate master’s course in the hospital. When a surgeon operates, there is a nurse who manages the instruments and three others assisting the doctor with specific assignments.

Proper training for a surgery nurse takes three years—this is field training. Training for ward nursing is different. And there are other specializations for emergency-room nursing, ICU, cardiac nursing, psychiatric nursing, nurses for the surgical unit. Many others. Your specialization increases your possibilities in being hired abroad,” Dr. Tan said.

“Our shortage is in the highly skilled nurses. As a result there is a deterioration in the nursing care we get—especially in the smaller hospitals. But even the large medical centers are experiencing a nursing shortage,” he said.

Dr. Tan warned that unless more good nurses are produced by good schools, the shortage of nurses will grow worse.

He also warned about the seriousness of the present shortage of nurses in the rural areas. The salary for nurses in the rural areas is very low—P6,000 to P8,000 a month. So they are attracted to the city hospitals. The starting salary in Manila is P8,000, some even start at P12,000, which is about $150. But after getting some hospital experience they get hired abroad where they can immediately earn at least $4,000 a month, much more if you do a lot of overtime.


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