Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NARS (Nurses' Assigned in Rural Service) Project

Just wanna share here my journal entry for my NARS-DOLE training for the first 3 months in Municipal Health Center of Lezo, Aklan... My Prologue and Summary... Enjoy reading! :)

FYI...  NARS Project is a 6 months program.  Well, for my remaining 3 months, I was sent to Dr. Romualdez S.  Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) as my clinical experience.  I'll post my journal for it on some other time. :)

Traffic what really made me bored while I was driving along the highway of EDSA Cubao.  Then, I decided to change the station of my radio into AM frequency.  I listened to the flashed report of DZMM that was about the NARS or Nurse’s Assigned in Rural Service Project of Dept. of Labor and Employment. 
As what the reporter said, with the pump priming strategies to mitigate the impact of the global financial crisis, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo launched the Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS) Project on the 9th of February, 2009 during the Multi-Sectoral Summit on "Joining Hands against the Global Crisis" in Malacanang Palace, Manila.  As what the qualifications were:  With valid nurse’s license issued by the PRC; Not over 35 years old; Resident of the identified municipalities; And no nursing-related practice for the past 3 years. 
On that moment, I thought of giving it a chance since I am qualified for the project and I wanted to gain experience as a rural nurse.  So, on that night, I applied online by visiting their site I filled-up the designated blanks and I chose my hometown LEZO, which is a small town in the province of Aklan.
March 27, I received an electronic mail from DOLE, congratulating me for being one of the successful applicants.  I was elated on that time as I read the e-mail.  I can’t believe that I am one of them…  So, I told my parents that I will be going home in our hometown coz’ I was chosen as one of the nurses assigned for the NARS Project to serve my hometown as a rural health nurse. 
On March 31, I arrived in Kalibo airport.  I am happy because atlas, I am back in our hometown to do my job as a community nurse and as to promote health to the people in our hometown.


          Never did I expect to be deployed in the small town of Lezo, which is located in the province of Aklan.  Lezo is one of the 1,000 poorest municipalities in the Philippines, which is my hometown.  It was never been in my plans to work in our hometown because I am a city girl.  I used to live my life in a city wherein every modern things and life is there.  But, at this point, I’ve been desperate to get an experience for my profession especially there’s a glut in inexperienced nurses and the proliferation of "volunteer nurses" working in hospitals without being paid, but instead, they themselves pay the hospitals to obtain Certificate of work experience.  So, when I heard about the NARS Project, I didn’t hesitate to apply. 

          It was April 3 of this year, when we had our orientation for the NARS Project of DOLE, DOH and PRC in ASU Banga, Aklan.  I’ve met there all of the successful applicants.  On the orientation proper, Dr. Myrtle Pelayo of DOH, discussed to us the NARS guiding framework, rationale, and general concepts and strategies.  While the other DOLE and DOH representatives and heads were there to discuss the other concerns and matters on the NARS Project.  Before our orientation ended, we were divided into two groups, the half one will be assigned in the RHU and the other half will be in the hospital.  I’ve met there some of the NARS Project trainees and been acquainted with them.  Exactly at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, our orientation ended.

          The first day of my duty to the RHU of Lezo was on April 8 of 2009.  I arrived 15 minutes before 8 o’clock in the morning.  The RSI, Ms. Sarah Jane Aguirre, greeted me and told me to go to the office of the Municipal Health Officer, Dr. Athena C. Magdamit.  I’ve also met there my partner, Mr. Keran C. Palma.  Dra. Magdamit, oriented us to the clinical settings of the Municipal Health Center.  She also introduced us to her health staffs.  I am a bit nervous on my 1st day but I am happy because they welcomed us warmly.

          For the month of April, we had Garantisadong Pambata, wherein we went to every Barangay Health Station of every Barangays of Lezo to render our service and duty for them.  On April 27, was the launching of Hataw’ 2009 wherein it was participated by all of the health personnel, municipal employees and people of Lezo. 

On the month of May, on the 11th, we had our Blood Letting and Screening Activity with the cooperation of the Philippine National Red Cross.  I was in-charged on the registration and getting the vital signs of the participants.  We also had our Medical CIVAC that was held in the Basketball Court of Barangay Mina, I was in-charged in the distribution of medicines. 

By June, we had the medical and dental mission for the anniversary of the typhoon Frank that was held in the ABL Sports Complex in Kalibo.  We rendered AH1N1, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever and Malaria Dissemination and Information to elementary schools of Lezo.

On the last day of our duty, June 30th of 2009, we had our little “salu-salo” as a farewell party for the Municipal Health Staffs of Lezo.  Working with them was unforgettable because they  treated me well and they unselfishly imparted their knowledge and skills to us.

As what I had experienced on my 3 months of duty in the RHU wasn’t that easy.  At first, I thought it would be simple and boring but instead it was full of excitement and more challenging responsibilities.  But as time passed by, I appreciated what we were doing.  I learned more how to appreciate the little things life can offer.  As a public health nurse, I learned to be more patient and to render my respect for the indigent people. 

Working in my hometown was a rewarding opportunity for me.  I had the chance to serve them and to know my roots where my mother grew up.  It was an amazing and wonderful experience!

I am thankful that Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo launched this project for the inexperienced nurses of the Philippines.  I am glad that I had this opportunity to experience and indulged the training as a nurse in the rural service.  This experience as NARS trainee was very valuable and definitely built the foundation for my skills as a nurse. It also helped to build my confidence and had prepared me for the next round for my profession as a registered nurse.

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