NOTE: “Leadership Reflections” shares views of the different members of the University Leadership Council on matters related to campus life and the operations of the University. As well, it features opinions on issues of national and/or international relevance.
The Filipino Nurse
By Prof. Cleonico Y. Fontelo, Vice President for Finance and Administration
(Opening remarks delivered during the Rededication, Pinning and Oath-Taking Ceremony of the College of Nursing.)
It has been a long journey of four years for you. And, as a parent of a nurse like you, I can sense that the journey was longer for your parents. But, finally, the end is no longer just near but already here — although not completely. The ceremony that we are here for is proof positive of yet another journey – one more meaningful and full of rich insights, one that will help you reap the benefits of the years you have spent in the University.
Nursing is, indeed, among the world’s most endeared and endearing professions. It is the source of strength for the weak, of love and hope for the sick, of a reinforcement of the innate goodness of a human being, and a manifestation of the continuing greatness of the Lord.
Around the world, the Filipino nurse is highly regarded for not just his or her competencies but more importantly, his or her attitude and personality. A Filipino nurse walks an extra mile to establish a point of connection with his or her patient. This point of connection defines healthcare profession; it comes in various forms – from holding the hand, to greeting “Good day! How are you feeling today?” to a bright smile that sends across a message of care. What nurses, particularly Silliman nurses do, is put a human face on what can be a very technical procedure. You breathe life to an administration of a set of instructions that you have come to memorize from college and work. Without crossing the line and compromising ethics and procedures, you put an extra effort to let your patient feel that like her or him, you too feel hurt and need care, in the same way that you can help in the healing process and the provision of care.
We take pride in Silliman that we develop nurses of competence, character and faith. Undoubtedly, you are among the best fresh nurses of the Philippines. That does not provide reason though to rest on your laurels. No, not even “not yet.” Because being among the best is not enough. In fact, your journey now is not about being among the best. It is about being able to create that impact, that change, that transformation that will further elevate the healthcare profession as a tool towards national development and the enhancement of quality of life. This is when your character and faith come in.
Remember that while you may have been equipped with all the nursing theories that your brain can humanly absorb and retain, your character is that which will make you figure in the life of people around you. It is your character that will help them find that connection in you, not just as a nurse but as a fellow human being. And that fosters trust and relationship that, while professional, views one’s self in relation to another person.
Your faith is what will carry you through and bring you to greater heights. Here or abroad, the nursing profession can be tough and challenging. You may be hammered down by difficult circumstances, but when your faith remains strong and steadfast, you know that nothing comes your way that you cannot handle. You are by yourselves instruments of that very faith to share the greatness of the Lord. Your having hurdled four years of college and having passed the licensure exam are products of your deep faith in Him. And beyond today when you now keep closer to heart your oath as a nurse, radiate that faith so that you continue to be a blessing to your family, friends and the many more that you will cross paths with.