Filipino nurses have made a significant impact around the world. In this blog, we'll focus on the different stories and journeys of Filipino nurses around the world. Our first stop is The Middle East, it is known for its diverse and dynamic environment, attracting many Filipino nurses to work there. Let’s hear from Ellaine, a 32-year-old nurse from Laguna, who has been working in the dental department of a Saudi Arabian hospital since 2015.
What is it like on a day of a Middle Eastern Nurse?
Ellaine's daily routine begins with preparations for work at 10:30 AM, followed by waiting for the service to take her to the hospital. Yes, guys! One of the benefits you get from working in The Middle East is that most of the hospitals there offer free transportation. Her duty starts at 1:00 PM and ends at 9:00 PM, she diligently fulfils her nursing duties, after which she takes time to eat, shower, and rest. It's a demanding schedule, but one that she has grown accustomed to over the years.
What Motivated You to Pursue a Nursing Career in the Middle East?
Like many nurses, her desire to help others was ignited by a personal experience. Witnessing her uncle's illness during high school made her realize the importance of having the knowledge and skills to assist those in need. Moreover, the opportunity to secure a more financially stable future played a significant role in her decision, as Filipino nurses often seek better salaries and benefits by working abroad.
What Are the Challenges You Faced and How Did You Overcome Them?
Starting a nursing career in the Middle East wasn't without its challenges as per Ellaine. She faced some tough challenges when she started her nursing career in The Middle East. Language barriers, cultural differences, and the weather posed initial hurdles that she had to overcome. Determined to adapt and succeed, she studied basic Arabic, familiarized herself with the local culture, and accepted that weather was something beyond her control. Furthermore, despite lacking experience in dental work, her eagerness to learn and grow allowed her to thrive in her department. Ellaine's story shows us that with determination and a positive attitude, we can overcome any challenges that come our way.
How Much is the Average Pay for a Starting Nurse?
When it comes to earnings, working as a nurse in the Middle East offers promising financial benefits. On average, starting nurses can earn between 50,000 to 70,000 pesos per month, and salaries are often reviewed and revised each year. However, it's not just about the salary. Ellaine is also enjoying additional perks like free accommodation, transportation, and meal allowances. These extra benefits contribute to building a solid financial foundation for her and her family. The earning potential in the Middle East is substantial, making it an attractive option for Filipino nurses seeking stability and financial security.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be challenging for OFW nurses living and working in a foreign country like Ellaine. She shared some of her tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance, which include keeping work distinct from personal life, remaining in touch with loved ones, and taking advantage of time off to rest and recharge. By finding a harmonious balance between her professional and personal life, she can prevent burnout and discover fulfilment in her nursing career.
Advice to Aspiring Middle East Nurses…
For aspiring nurses considering a career in the Middle East, Ellaine encourages them to seize the opportunity to learn and grow, be open to new experiences and cultures, and embrace the challenges that come their way. Working in the Middle East can be transformative both professionally and personally, opening doors to personal development and financial stability.
Finally, if given the chance to rewind time, would Ellaine make the same decision to work in the Middle East again? Her resounding "yes" speaks volumes about her journey and the growth she has experienced. She acknowledges that every decision, whether good or bad, has shaped her into the person she is today. Furthermore, the financial investment she has been able to make due to her work in the Middle East fills her with gratitude and appreciation.
Nurses like Ellaine, represent the brave and compassionate individuals who leave their homes to care for patients in foreign lands. They embody the strength and unwavering commitment that define the nursing profession. They have shown courage, resilience, and a deep commitment to caring for others. Despite the challenges they face, such as being far from family, they make a significant impact on their patients' lives. These nurses are unsung heroes who selflessly dedicate themselves to the well-being of others.