Tanya Freedman hosts inspirational conversations with Filipino nurses who have made a new life in the United States - they reveal how they did it, and provide insider info you won’t find anywhere else. Here you’ll find all the knowledge and inspiration to live out your own American dream! If you’re thinking about making the step to living and working as a nurse in the USA, then why not enlist the help of one of the top medical staffing agencies?
Education, Empowerment, and Building Credibility – Part 1
Part 1: On this episode we look at education, empowerment, and building credibility in America. As well as:
- Buying a car
- Becoming goal orientated
- Legal issues
- Working as a team
This is nursing in America. Each week we speak with incredible Filipino nurses who have taken the leap to start a new life in the United States. If you're thinking about doing the same, then this is the place you'll find all the insider knowledge and inspirational success stories to realize your own American dream.
So let's get started. I want to welcome Ryan and Marvin today, they are our guests. And then we also have Jean joining us and Jean is going to be chiming in, and, and joining the conversation. So let's get started. So many of you spend so many months, years hours worrying about your your getting to America, worrying about the NCLEX, the Isles, the immigration, all the delays that have happened, and you have to have a lot of patience. It can be very frustrating, very make you feel very despondent. But very few foreigners actually think or worry about what happens when you get to America. And as Brian and Marvin and Jean Montagnier, there are a lot of wonderful things that will happen when you get here. But they also are some challenges. So the purpose of the lafora talk show is to help you is just serve you so that you can hear from other foreigners that have gone through this experience. And you can get and you can be prepared. I think especially right now, at this time of COVID-19. A lot of people are feeling very exhausted, both emotionally and physically exhausted. There's a lot of challenges. And the lafora talk show is intended to spread some light and to uplift you. And to give you knowledge, because knowledge is power. And I'm a big follow up Oprah and Oprah says surround yourself with people who lift you up. So today, Marvin Bryan and Jean are going to be lifting you up. Okay. Gary, what do you say? Yes. So let's get started. Marvin. And Brian is hearing their stories today. I love your background, Marvin.
Yeah, it's like the Philippines like with the red represents the flag. So I'm still a Filipino wherever I go. So
I'm, and I can so relate. I came to America 20. On the fourth of July, I was very significant on Independence Day, I came to America but I came from South Africa and I always have South African part. So I can relate. And so let's let's start with the first question Marvin and Brian, maybe Marvin, you can start us off. And tell us about your journey. Tell us about the journey of coming to the US what that was like for you how long it took you what your experience was like until you got to the US.
Okay, so Hi to all the foreign family wherever you are in the world. Hi Marhaba to all those made these all these nurses. I got a mechanical maga. So again, my name is Marvin. So I was born and raised in some longest city. So so I've been a year I've been I've been a nurse for like 15 years and my expertise includes emergency trauma. And also I'm a midwife in the Philippines. I also did some clinical instructor there. So I pass my local boards 2005, the year after I passed my NCLEX. So with my agency, I was promised that I'll be in America within that year because like visas were just given out like hotcakes. But then that unfortunate happened. retrogression. So we were like doom. And then all we thought that retrogression will be lifted the following year, but not and then the next year, the next year. The next year. I was frustrated. And he went up to eight long years. So with that eight long years, I did some odd jobs. So I was doing clinical instructor with no clinical experience. So having that I I did some volunteer work while after my clinical instructor job. And then I did some contractual jobs. But I felt the pressure of of not providing enough to my family. So I felt the need like yeah, I know retrogression will be longer so I was spraying that one day will be lifted. But it pushed me to go to the Middle East. So I worked in the Middle East for two years. And I used that experience to, to adapt myself with the US. I was very fortunate about my middle east experience, because we were dealing with American Dream doctors, most of them are from New York, most of them were from California, and then they're very inspiring. So with those eight long years, I know it's very, very long. 2014 when I receive my visa, it was a glorifying moment. It was like, Oh, my God, my dream starts to unfold. So I was interviewed in Abu Dhabi. I was well prepared, went home, resign, resign, went home and spent Christmas. And I was like, very high. And I was expecting a lot because like, my American Dream starts to unfold. And then right now, I'm here. So I told myself that I was very, very thankful that I was able to use my time well, spending time with my family. But to be honest with you those eight long years of retrogression several retrogression was very, very frustrating. I almost give up. And then I told myself, man, let me go to the UK or let me go to Europe, let me go to or stay in the Middle East. But again, I was like focusing myself to fulfill my American dream. So that was my journey. Wow. Well, thank
you for sharing that, Marvin. I think that's a story that many foreigners Can, can relate to. Because it takes such it's taken such a long time, there have been so many obstacles and barriers, and you probably just never ever thought you would get him.
Yes, exactly. So I never thought but I was very, I was very prayerful, I was responsive to my agency, I keep asking questions. And then I was trying to do some timelines. I enjoyed those. I mean, enjoyed the process, although it takes very, very long time. But as what my parents was said, Good things are good things will happen. For those who wait. So I was patiently waiting. And here I am enjoying enjoying the fruits of it.
Okay, patience. Patience is the answer. Brian, what about you? She? Can you share your story with everybody?
I think my story is gonna like the same with sir Marvin here, because he got you graduated 1005. I graduated in 2006. But the thing is that with my case, I think it's worse because in 2006, I think most of you guys will remember we had the leakage issue back then. So I have to take the local board exams twice. So the same year, yeah. And the same year, I took the board exam in June, pass it in August, then have to retake it on October, and have to take the NCLEX on December. So that 2006 was one hell of a ride for all of us. And then 2007 2008 I think the 911 thing happened, so the retrogression happened. So it's kind of like I waited from 2006 being a US rn. And then I my visa was granted 2019. I just got here in the States last year. So by looking for those moments, just like sir Marvin, I did some jobs as well. So I went into a call center, I went to teach nursing without experience as well. choice to make ends meet, because there were so many nursing graduates because most of the nursing graduates back then the purpose of which is to go to the stage, then again, the door closed. So we got we got backlog. So there were so many supplies, but not much demand. And I don't want to go into volunteer job and so on and so forth. So just like what sir Marvin did, I did clinical instructor shape, I did review a lecture without, without experience as well. And then in 2015, UK, open UK and Ireland open. So what I remember is that I applied for Ireland in 2015. August, and I was able to get there in November. So August, just four months, four months processing to UK, it was really, really fast. That was kind that was by the time I was waiting, because I thought that going here in the states would not be possible for me anymore. So so I did. I did work in Ireland for I think roughly less than three years now in 2019. My agency, surprisingly, contacted me again through emails because of course my phone number was different now I was in Ireland. So he she contacted me through email and said, Brian, your papers are now moving forward. So imagine that was from 2006 to 2019. I was really surprised that they're still in touch with me. So So I went forward, while half heartedly I went forward. I was really happy in Ireland that time. I thought I won't go to us. But then again, I was I don't want to tell myself regretfully saying what if I did, what if I did go to the US and what if life will be different there. So I just jumped ship because I already have a life in Ireland but I have to make a decision because I'm already there. And my papers are already there. I just have to say yes, sign some papers, play some keys. And so I did. So here I am. 2019 to 20. It was hard, it was difficult it was thought, I started out without experience. But I think most of the people back home are in my situation. Until now they don't have some experiences. And I was asking, in Florida, what happened to those people who don't have experience, but they graduated, they are licensed and they don't have experience? Is it possible for them to get here? And I was gathering some information? And yes, they could, they could go here, they could work here without experience, of course, they have to pull a lot of strings, they have to be more resourceful than anyone else. But hey, that's how it is. And you know, you want a good life to work.
I hope you're enjoying the podcast so far. If you know a friend or colleague who would benefit from listening to this conversation, please let them know about the show. We want to help as many nurses as we can turn their dreams into a reality. If you're thinking about making the step to living and working as a nurse in the USA, we can help you head over to kinetics. usa.com to find out more. That's kinetics. usa.com.
So both of you that had that experience of working in the Philippines, working in other countries, different countries, but other countries outside of the footage, and then coming to the US. What would you say is the biggest difference from a clinical perspective working in the US as opposed to Brian maybe working in in Ireland or Marvin in it? Were you in the UAE or South? Did you say the UAE or Saudi UAE? United Arab Emirates? Yeah. So what would you say? were the biggest differences from a clinical perspective? Okay,
so based from my experience in the United Arab Emirates, so actually, the technology and the processes that we have there is almost the same in a lot of degrees here in the US. So we follow, we follow the same standard protocol, we follow the same code stroke protocol, we have the technologies like the ice that were using it there. And then when they came here today, us Oh, I've been using it allow response and all that their technologies are at bar. And then I am very much thankful and grateful for the experience because I am exposed to different doctors coming from different nationalities. So like American doctors, British doctor, so African doctors, Korean nurses, a lot. There were a lot of expats working in the medical field. So I was exposed to them, I was able to learn their culture. And now I say from that some differences, but this may not be clinical. So that includes culture and the language. So I can still remember when, when I was in Texas, so I was actually working in Texas for four years. I was assigned in northeast Texas hi to the two people in Tyler. So the difference is about the culture is that especially the southern hospitality, especially some words, like for example, the break. So actually, the brain is like a paper where the nurses will write their endorsement, all that. So one time, the preceptor was asking, Hey, where's your brain and get it? So we thought that it was an insult, but actually, it was not. So yeah, those are one of the differences. The second one is most most of the things here in the US is outcome driven. So it's more on like patient's outcome improves, our patient really survives, compared to when we work in the Philippines because there's less resources. And also when in the Middle East, if they stop, that's it, collapse. And then lastly, here, nurses are empowered. They are great advocates. So I never expected this type of spirit. That will be still when you become an American nurse. Because in the Philippines and in the Middle East, we work under the supervision of the doctors and all that here. It's a different thing. We are working together with them. Nurses are empowered nurses and advocate we can actually speak to the doctor, we speak about a patient's rights. So those are the things that I think the difference are but the most important thing is that nurses here in the US are empowered advocated respected, particularly respected in a lot of ways. Again, I still can remember when I was in the Philippines, I was a contractual employee, no work, no pay, no video, no nothing like that. If If we have holidays, we don't have any work, then you won't earn anything. But here you enjoy this benefits. I mean, nurses here are truly respected and empowered. So the best thing about being here, okay,
wow. Well, that that really didn't tell us a lot because it's not just the clinical difference, but just the cultural differences. Which can be, can be a big adjustment, especially for a lot of I think for a lot of Filipinos when they come in the beginning, because a lot of Filipinos typically tend to be more shy.
Yeah. So yeah, to be honest with you, I have to share one funny story during my first week in Texas, so every time that I talked to the patient, and before I leave the room, I always tell them the case. Can I get you anything? Is there anything that I can do for you before I leave the room? And the patient said, Oh, sir, can you get the Dr. Pepper Dr. Pepper, so we don't have Dr. Peppers in the Philippines and in the Middle East. So I went to the Secretary's desk. I was browsing all the directory looking for pepper. Is it the first day or? So I was there for about 10 minutes and then the second there was asking, Hey, Marvin, what you're looking for. And then he said, Oh, I'm looking for a Dr. Pepper. He said like, seriously? I said like Yeah, I was looking for a Dr. Pepper. Do we have a doctor named Dr. Pepper? I said that go to the fridge. Oh, we see there. I see. No, said Marvin just go there and look and then when they opened the fridge, god damn, I was dumbfounded. And it was like Schottky. He was Dr. Pepper drink as in the coal mine God. And then everyone was laughing so every time that I see Dr. Pepper right now it reminds me about always make me smile that at least I was so so innocent about that thinking that I was doing it right. But, but I was able to integrate it a community with that funny story.
That is such a funny story. I'm like God, Jane, do you have any funny stories like that? Where you misunderstood what somebody said when they first arrived here? I don't think I remember anything. I don't know experience like that. Brian, do you have any funny stories like that? The doctor paper one? That's a good one.
No, not that. Oh, but that that one. But the thing is that I don't know Dr. Pepper before. Before I got in here as well. And a lot of people are asking for that. I think it's more famous than Coca Cola here.
But just to share that one funny thing is, you know, I said I come from South Africa. And the weirdest thing with Dr. Pepper. I don't know why my husband every time you would go to a restaurant and he would order a Diet Coke. They would say Oh, a Dr. Pepper. And I'm like, it didn't even sound anything like Dr. Pepper. But to the American Yes. Somehow with the South African accent. They thought he was saying Dr. Pepper. So sometimes we all have our doctor paper stories, right?
Yeah, exactly. I think that's more famous. Right? Yeah. Because the company is. I don't know if that's true. Yeah. The companies originated here in Texas are very, very strong advocate of their brands. They're very, like nationalistic with their own state. Which is like that they love their state so much. And they say that they could stand alone as their own country, I believe. Yeah. Yeah.
Berlin. Sorry. Where are you located? Brian right now. It's so windy in your area. I'm here in the West. Robin behind.
But I'm in Tyler, which is the opposite to you guys. I was entirely I was just gonna be
one of my corner is here. Morgan. Tyler, so I got this. I know the place. I haven't been there. But she's been. But she's been telling me stories about that. Yeah, I've never been to Tyler Yeah. Yeah. A
lot of Filipinos there. Yeah. Brian, do you and tell us about your the difference from a clinical perspective that you experienced probably in Philippines as opposed to Ireland as opposed to the US.
I think the clinical and the cultural thing goes hand in hand. Because I agree with with what Marvin said. But when Marvin said that nurses outside the Philippines are more empowered, because when I was in Ireland, I remember I was calling my my Chief Nurse. Her name is Siobhan so I was calling her Ma'am, she won. And then she looked at me, like livid look, because she thought I was insulting her. Because outside the Philippines moments are mean that you're referring to children these, like in the Philippines time. And so it's kind of like visual thing. So outside the Philippines, calling someone ma'am and Sir, what they're referring to the elderly, so they would prefer to because by their first names, and surprisingly, even for the doctors, they don't want to be referred when I was in Ireland. They don't want to be referred us, let's say doctors may or whatever they want to be referred in their first name. And you're working with them as equals, and they're not your superiors. And that's how I felt here in the States as well. Because just like what Marvin said, you're more empowered. And with that empowerment, just like a spider Man, spider man's step that said that comes with more responsibility. Because back in the Philippines, since you have a lot of superiors, you tend to move with how your superior would tell you to move, like do this and do that. You have your task. here in the States, and maybe outside the Philippines, you're more of goal oriented, which means that you really have to employ your nursing care, plan, new, assess your diagnose your plan, and then evaluate because all of those are part of handover, especially if you're working in critical care. And if you're taking care of your patients for a long time, they won't just when they're listening to you, they would want to listen to the story from top to bottom. And that's every time. So here, you're more empowered with the sense that you are thinking separately from the doctor. Because you're not just taking care of them making them better, you're actually helping them to go back to their pre illness, they are to go back to where they were before they were hospitalized. And that's, I guess, part of being empowered, because you're thinking more here. That's why there's a lot of continuing education mandated here, rather than when I was back home, because when I was back home, I was working in one of the of the prestigious private hospitals in Makati. We don't have that much continuing education, here we have it every single month, it's mandatory. And it's helping us to speak up to the doctors, because when the doctor asked you some things, you could actually answer that. And that builds up, they're trusting you that hey, I could actually let my patients with this nurse and what he actually says makes sense. And there will be moments were in the doctors don't have to eyeball their patients, because they will lie in what you said, because he had already built up your credibility, that whatever you said that you could act as their eyes and ears, you know, building that up, being empowered here takes a lot of courage. And of course, like it's an it's an endless journey. So a lot of people back home they were asking me is NCLEX hard, it is hard. When you get here and Plex and higher. So just be the first examination gonna take when you get here there will be endless examination, entire, I suppose. So you have to make sure that you are used to taking examinations, you have to make sure that that you set your mind to learn a life, like law along deal. And then here we have a lot of opportunities. Because back home in the Philippines, you only have master parts in nursing here, you have a lot of side goals. Like right now I'm taking nursing informatics, because what the things are going on, I'm looking for a thing that could make me work at home and not just work there in the hospital. So you see there are a lot of career options available. Here in comparison with what we have back home. Lot of opportunities.
And gene, I'm sure you would agree with that, right? There's just so many more opportunities here that you can experience in the US, then you can really anywhere in the world.
Yes, I firmly agree. If you're working especially if you're working in a critical care area in ICU you have you need to learn like you need to be you ready yourself that you have to learn a lot, because every day, the doctors, the doctors in the ICU trusted you and they rely on you, you have to know your patients, patients also their conditions from like from head to toe everyday. So whatever your assessment is that they will also rely on you, they will ask you everything. Yeah.
And that really takes time to be able to get used to this different way of doing things.
Right. So you want to the point, I'm sorry. And you will come to that point where and when the doctor gives out orders. And because you know your patients, even the height and weight and they're doing their computations in their head and you're doing computation inside your head, they're going to think Wait, that doesn't make that doesn't sound right. And you could actually call them said, john, can you please reconsider that order? Why I just would want you to reconsider that because the height and the weight is like this, and then they will do the recognition or you know what, Brian? Yeah, that makes sense. So you know, you could call each other out respectfully, and like, with my experience in my country, when you try to call the residents when you try to call their attention. You know what Dr. so and so and so I think there's something wrong, but what's wrong with that? I mean, they get angry with you if they get called off. I mean, you're not you're not compete because back home there was this is my own experience. Okay, back home. It's like the, it's like it's a competition. No, when you're here, it's not a competition. Your focus is your patient. So whatever is good for the patient. That is the Paramount of everything that you're doing here. So if someone makes a mistake, you watch each other's back and say, wait a minute. In this I think there's something that needs to consider and they listen, budget for you to build. But for you to have that credibility that people will listen to you, you need to uplift yourself as well. Yes. So when you get here, you need to really start to read and be empowered. So you're not just building up your credibility it takes time.
I hope you enjoyed today's episode of nursing in America. Our two will be available next week, so make sure you come back to join us then. If you enjoyed the episode, please help us by hitting the Follow button on your podcast player and leaving us a review. If you're thinking about making the steps to living and working as a nurse in the USA, we can help you head over to kinetics.usa.com to find out more