Category Archives: Nursing

Reflecting on the years past

repost from facebook notes June 23, 2011

There is a story that I like to tell….my first day in grad school.

So there I was, sitting in my “Theories in Nursing” class, the instructor going trough the syllabus.  I must have tuned out because the next thing I heard was the deadline for our first paper for the term, a 5-page concept paper.  I looked at the sea of eager students and I sensed that they were all in the same page with the instructor.  I, on the other hand, was on the verge of a panic attack.  “Concept paper?  WTH?!”

You see, this was ten years after I did anything remotely academic in nature.  After graduation, passing my RN boards and a short stint in the hospital, I refused to use my brain any longer.  For 7 years, my work was routine, from day-to-day, I delivered a spiel.  And if my boss thought I did any thinking and planning at all on how to achieve my quota, he was mistaken.  I was lazily going through life, mentally, that is.  My ultimate goal was to get a job that required no thinking at all.  I stopped writing altogether, not an essay, nor a short story, nor a poem.  Not even one line of a quote. I wasn’t even reading anything.

When the international doors opened anew for nurses, and the people in my circle started leaving one by one, I got apprehensive.  I didn’t want to go back to nursing.  By God, how could I?  I could still do vital signs, but most of my nursing knowledge were either forgotten or had gone obsolete.  But I also could not stay where I was, knowing that there’s something better out there.  It was a struggle.  I scanned through every ad, looking for the perfect way to ease back into nursing, one that will not give me a splash of cold water.  And then it came, a US work-study program.

From the moment I saw the ad, I knew it was perfect.  But it was also too good to be true, I had my doubts.  I went for it anyway.  Long story short, I flew to San Antonio Texas, with $70 in my pocket, a credit card that had minimal credit limit, a contact number that has been changed, and a pretend optimism.  I figured I could just wing it, the way I winged my undergrad, get an MSN degree, earn a little and go from there.  Boy was I so wrong!

So that fateful day in August, when I sat in class almost biting away all my fingernails, the “verge” became a full-blown panic attack.  I didn’t talk at all on the way home, and as soon as we got into the apartment, I hid in my room and scolded myself.  “WTF did you get yourself into?”  I cried myself to sleep that night, thinking about how I can not allow myself go home a failure.

The next day though, I found a friend that would help me conquer the uncertainty – the internet.  Before that day, the internet and I were only acquaintances.  Save for email, I have never come to really appreciate its power.  All day I searched for examples of a concept paper, and when I was satisfied about my newly gained knowledge, I started to write.  I never stopped writing since.

Through this experience, I befriended yet another that would make my life in graduate school easier – the library.  My whole academic life before this, I have entered the library one time, and it was not even for studying or researching.  It just happened to be a meeting place.  But, oh, how we bonded through grad school.

I was happy to be writing again, and was ecstatic at having valuable resources at my fingertips.  I probably called in at least ten times, favoring writing over earning some $$$$.  If I could write instead of go to work, I was a happy girl.

LaraThinks: to be continued


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The Reproductive Health Bill (again!)

Today’s POSTCRIPT made me smile.  For all the debate against and for RH bill, what’s really missing is the most important part: knowing what the RH bill is all about!  As Mr. Pascual put it, you can only have an intelligent debate if you’re arguing based on what you have learned reading the ENTIRE RH bill.

The RH bill is 15 pages long.  It’s not a lot to read if you’re trying to argue why this bill should be made into a law or not.  Unfortunately, most arguments come from only reading, or knowing snippets of the document, mostly only what those with interest are willing to share in order to get you to their side.

The RH bill is more than just giving out free condoms and contraceptives.  There’s also using taxpayer’s money to buy them. But why the strong resistance to doing that?  The free condoms and contraceptives can make those who cannot afford them be responsible about planning their family.  If they planned their family, the whole economy benefits!  That means those who paid their taxes get to reap the rewards of slowing down the population growth as well.  I believe everybody will agree that a 600,000 increase in population in just 4 months is too much for a country struggling to get its bearings.

It’s not even about abortion, except the Church has a different meaning of abortion from healthcare, so that’s a source of confusion too.

But again, these issues barely scratch the surface when it comes to what the RH bill is all about.  There’s more to it than the pro and anti group have not presented.

If you read through the comments of the POSTCRIPT column, you will find exactly what the article is telling us not to do….arguing based on hearsay or limited knowledge.

We all have a responsibility to educate ourselves, especially in matters that will affect the state of our country.  If you have the capacity to be on facebook, play DOTA or read this blog, then be responsible and get yourself educated on the RH bill.

LaraThinks: It’s not cool to be ignorant, and it’s stupidity to make an argument based on that ignorance.

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Filed under Current Events, Nursing, opinion, Personal, R.H. Bill, responsible parenthood

R.H. Bill get past the House Committee Level

Maybe the R.H. bill got itself a shiny new tail – “responsible parenthood” to please the Catholic Church, but CBCP still threatens to walk out of its dialogue with Malacanang re the R.H. Bill.  What gives?

I can understand why “responsible parenthood” is more acceptable to the church that “reproductive health”.  It still boils down to the battle between natural and artificial family planning methods.

What I don’t understand is how the Catholic church could impose upon all the citizens of the Philippines the teachings of their church.  They are “thinking” of pulling out of the talks because Malacanang doesn’t get them?  Hmmmmm….. Uh, what about the other non-Catholic citizens?

For real, when did the church start getting such a special say in the legislation of this country?  I believe that the Catholic church’s main responsibility is to make sure that its brethren know its doctrine, understand it, and are inspired to make a decision based on the belief of those doctrine.

Meanwhile, it’s the government’s responsibility to make lives better for its citizenry – adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, education, work, health.

*Lara thinks that there is a reason for the separation of church and state


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Filed under Nursing, opinion, Personal, Politics, R.H. Bill

The Reproductive Health Bill

The R.H. Bill was an issue hiding in the sidelines, known to some but has     remained just another obscure issue to the majority of the almost 100M Filipinos. The issue surfaced into consciousness via Carlos Celdran’s Damaso stint at the Manila Cathedral.  The anti-R.H. Bill campaign went into full swing and every catholic coming to receive the sacrament of the Holy Mass was subjected to sermons from the Catholic Church about the devil that is the R.H. Bill (like EVERY SINGLE DAY of the 9-day midnight mass!).

Being both a Catholic and a Nurse makes it a little hard to take a solid position.  On the one hand, I am bound by my faith to follow the doctrines of the Catholic Church.   On the other hand, my sworn duty as a nurse makes me look at the health angle and how this issue affects the person and the nation.

The R.H. Bill’s main purpose is to improve the quality of life by curtailing the population explosion through the promotion of reproductive health.

The Senate and Congress bills identically defined Reproductive Health as:

the rights of individuals and couples, to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children; the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make other decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and means to do so; and to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health

The Philippines ranks as the 12th most populated country in the world with a birth rate of 25.68 per 1000 citizens and an infant mortality rate of 19.94 deaths per 1,000 live births .  The number of unemployed, underemployed and migration continue to rise, so does the expenditure for food, education, medicine and infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Reproductive health bill was forced to staleness for several presidential terms, the first proposal being in 1998.  Currently, there are 6 different bills filed in the Congress and 1 in the Senate. And while the debate continues about the boons and banes of the R.H. Bill, the Philippine (2010 estimate) population growth rate was pegged at 1.931%, ranking #63 in the world, and in close proximity with Syria, Honduras, Ghana and Tajikstan.

The CIA World Factbook has this to say about the population growth rate:

The growth rate is a factor in determining how great a burden would be imposed on a country by the changing needs of its people for infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, housing, roads), resources (e.g., food, water, electricity), and jobs. Rapid population growth can be seen as threatening by neighboring countries.

Lara says: to be continued…

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Filed under Nursing, opinion, R.H. Bill