I Studied Nursing at 16
You might have watched a video or two about Filipinos abroad who are nurses.
Yes, it is a joke or stereotype that almost or some Filipinos you will meet in any part of the world are nurses from the Philippines.
Does it make me proud? Do I feel insulted?
If truth be told, yes, it somehow affects me. One comedian pointedly said, “yeah, it’s the only thing Filipinos can do.” He is a Filipino and we Filipinos insult ourselves or make fun of ourselves like it’s a normal thing to do — like how we eat rice thrice a day.
So why did I even take up nursing? Do I have other options?
I have to answer the second question first. Yes, I have had dreams other than going abroad, serving others, and washing others’ bums. I wanted to be a journalist or a lawyer. I wanted to take up Political Science or Mass Communication, but unfortunately, the Colleges in my town don’t offer these courses. Going to another city to study wasn’t even an option.
First off, it’s costly. My parents have to pay for the boarding house, food, and other miscellaneous fees as a student. Second, I was young, naïve, and afraid. At 16, I had to enter College, and I was never away from my parents for a longer time.
It’s not that I didn’t have other options why I opted for nursing. I could have studied Accountancy, but numbers and I don’t get along well. Why nursing?
I had a teacher in Elementary, and she is also a nurse. She looked so clean and professional that I liked her and the Science subject she taught. She even praised me for being orderly and clean in the class in the 4th grade. From then on, I thought about nursing and subconsciously thought of being like her too in the future.
Looking back 11 years ago, it was still fresh in my mind when I fell in line for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have an entrance exam. I passed it and qualified to study nursing.
It was overwhelming, and the pride was there. I thought of the massive pile of books and, of course, the white uniform. Not everyone has the chance to study Nursing, and it was a costly course and knowing that it’s a private catholic school.