Thursday, June 30, 2011
Abra, Philippines – A nurses group launched their version of the Purple Ribbon Campaign and called for the immediate passage of the Reproductive Health Bill in Bangued, Abra last June 28, 2011. Close to a hundred nurses working in hospitals, schools and communities attended the event.
The launching of the Purple Ribbon Campaign – the national campaign for the support and passage of the RH Bill – was initiated by the Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders & Advocates International (AYNLA) Abra Chapter, the first nursing organization to be formally organized in the province of Abra. The launching happened after the Chapter’s General Assembly & Orientation. AYNLA Abra Chapter is also the first chapter of AYNLA to launch its own version of the Purple Ribbon Campaign giving its full support to their national organization which is in full support of the passage of the RH Bill.
|Nurses & nursing students in Abra posed to show their purple ribbons |
as support to RH Bill
AYNLA National President, Alvin Dakis, who came to the event and gave a talk on “The Role of Nurses in Reproductive Health”, said he is very glad that Abra nurses didn’t hesitate to support the measure as they themselves encountered many concerns of their patients in public hospitals and the far-flung communities. Nurses said they do not have any Social Hygiene Clinic or a reproductive health program that is why they saw this opportunity to voice out the concerns of the people. They wanted to have a program for the reproductive health of their communities.
“This [Reproductive Health] Bill must push through because there is a lot of malnutrition happening in our families because there are a lot of children. The RH Bill will give appropriate information on all contraceptive methods the couple would want to take. By that, we give our patients informed choice” said Shaira Paola Bello, one of the nurses who attended the launch.
Darren Carino, AYNLA Abra Chapter Mayor said the RH Bill “emphasizes on women’s health & reproductive rights without excluding those of the men and the young people” and “empowers nurses to broaden their care to their clients especially on addressing their sexual and reproductive health”.
“We will be launching similar Purple Ribbon Campaign to all our 31 local chapters in the Philippines and continuously call to our legislators to vote ‘yes’ to the Bill. We call on our President to include the RH Bill and also address the growing nursing unemployment crisis in the country in his SONA” Dakis said after the launching.
AYNLA International Inc. is a national nursing organization for nurse advocates and young professionals & students with over 2,500 members and 31 Local Chapters across the country. AYNLA also have international members in the USA, Canada and the Middle East.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
This is the transcript of my responses to the questions of the Asia 21 Philippine Young Leaders Initiative nomination process.
Asia 21: As a leader, what is your vision for the country?
Me: I envisioned a country of fairness, equality and equity; a country with leaders of reason, responsibility, justice and accountability. A nation whose health and education of its people are the top priorities, where such services are accessible, affordable and sensitive to the needs of the poor, marginalized and the most vulnerable.
Asia 21: What particular social problem/s (e.g. illiteracy, lack of employment, etc.) would you like to address? How do you propose to go about this?
Me: As a health service professional I focus on health-related issues. As a youth leader I also focus on issues concerning the youth and the People with Disabilities (PWDs). For most of my advocacy, I was drawn to help draft legislations of the Congress affecting health, the young people and the marginalized. I was one of the youngest members of the Technical Working Groups that drafted the most controversial bill, the Reproductive Health Bill in both Houses voicing the nursing and youth sectors. I also belong to the core groups reviewing the Anti-Discrimination Bill and the amendment of the Philippine National AIDS Law.
My political lobbying & advocacy also extends to addressing the nursing crisis in the country serving as the voice of young nurses in Congress during the nursing volunteerism-for-a-fee controversy & nursing unemployment crisis. I also teach and inform a lot of people of my advocacy through online media as a blogger, independent writer and performing artist/singer.
Asia 21: What do you expect from the Philippines 21 Young Leaders Initiative?
Me: Further learning is always expected in all endeavors. I expect to develop and hone my leadership skills through my interaction with different young leaders & networking with them. I also expect to exhort some young leaders join me in my advocacy and or help them lobby for their different advocacy.
To date, I got an email from them and got accepted to the Final Screening Process. The next is yet to reveal.
Honestly, I am not expecting much. Just as the adage goes, "Expect for the worst, but hope for the best!". So if I won't get accepted, at least I tried. And if I did get accepted, then it would be my honor to represent the country together with the rest of the 20 other young leaders.
The Asia 21 Philippine Young Leaders Initiative
In the 1980s Holistic Nursing was introduced in the nursing profession and 'Holism' became one of the key terms frequently used in the nineties as one of the concepts in patient care. Many contemporary nursing theorists would now revolve their theories of care to the human being as a whole - a biopsychosocial unit.
Holistic Care Nursing then became a growing theory/concept which exhorts all nurses to care to their clients as a whole person involving all dimensions of the being. A good friend of mine & a nursing theorist, Dr. Barbara Dossey is one of experts in Holistic Care Nursing and define holism as "concerned with the inter-relationship of body, mind and spirit in an everchanging environment" (Dossey, 1995)
But even before Holistic Care Nursing was coined, the great founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale was a firm believer of holistic care. She fused her traditional Christian values of respect, care, compassion to the 'modern' nursing values of autonomy, non-maleficence and professionalism. She said, "The needs of the spirit are as critical to health as those individual organs which make up the body".
As nurses care for their clients, we have observed that when our clients are exposed to emotional or spiritual hurts or stresses, it will actually manifest into many physical ailments - which we term as psychosomatic in nature. These stresses are non-tangible factors in patient care but are also important for nurses to attend to.
Spiritual and psychosocial needs are less tangible because they are often complex and difficult to measure. When needs are more difficult to measure or are less tangible, they are also less prioritized or are neglected. Moreover, some spiritual needs go outside of its religious framework, and this when happens, often go unnoticed.
Nurses need to understand the nature of each client's spirituality and how different persons express it, if he/she want to take care of the person holistically. Personal spirituality does not mean religion or its religious framework alone, but goes beyond that which is concerned with the meaning of things and with the person's relationship to that which transcends the material (Simsen, 1985).
Filipinos are known to be both religious and spiritual with around 80% Christian believers and the rest from other denominations & beliefs or non-believers. How do Filipino nurses do holistic nursing care which includes the client's spiritual needs?
Often times nurses encounter addressing spiritual needs of their clients such as the need for prayer or spiritual counseling. When this happens, nurses usually refer their client to another member of the team, the chaplains. But whenever there are no chaplains, nurses should be also prepared on how to address these needs. There are also clients who have strict religious beliefs that may affect how nurses deliver care to them.
When nurses do spiritual care to their clients, the primary goal is to mobilize client's spiritual resources and it should never be an attempt to win converts in any particular religion or to convince your patient that one religion or spiritual belief is above the other. It is also not an attempt to negate the spiritual views of the client nor to assert spiritual views of the nurse.
Spiritual assessment and care should be sensitive enough to the needs of the client and is also based on the relationship of trust between the nurse and the client. That degree of trusting relationship enables the nurse to thoroughly assess the client and be able to have objective respect for their spiritual beliefs and religious practices.
Nurses should also be sensitive in their communication with their clients regarding spirituality being careful not to influence their clients to be more centered towards the spiritual/religious beliefs of the nurse. During such times, the nurse must remain unbiased, objective and understanding.
As Holistic Care Nursing expands continuously over the next years more nurses acknowledge that spiritual needs are as essential as physical needs for a person's well-being. However, increase in awareness, preparation and continuous collaboration with the healthcare team is necessary to delivery quality care which is based on the client's personal needs.
This is a growing challenge to all nurses, everywhere. Confidence in providing spiritual care and the nurse's ability in recognizing and meeting a diverse of spiritual needs will make nurses more flexible and responsive to clients.