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International Nurses Day 2020: What a Nurse Wants

This International Nurses Day, sure call us heroes and celebrate with us. Join us in many salutations, social media postings, and perhaps some videos, but this is what we really wanted from you:

KEY DECISION-MAKERS IN THE GOVERNMENT Protect us from harmful working conditions and environments. Pay us equally for the work we do. Employ more of us in the public health sector so we could protect our patients from harm due to us being more fatigued and handling too many patients at the same time. Commit to enact policies that are truly reflective of our interests and welfare including policies that will respond to the public's health needs.

NURSING INDUSTRY Do not treat us as export products. We are more than just being produced for global consumption. Above all else, the reason for our existence is to first serve and care for patients and people. We are all licensed professionals regardless of the educational institutions we came from. Consider our views and hear our thoughts without having to automatically assume the quality of our inputs from the schools we graduated from. Sure there are global opportunities for us to grow professionally and become more financially stable to provide for our own families - but instill in us (especially to the many of us in the future) the genuine and undying love and passion to care for others and put the equitable healthcare of people as our ultimate goal. Teach us to appreciate our profession and be proud of it wherever we are - in clinical practice and in many other areas we can be of use.

NURSING COLLEAGUES Treat everyone with equal respect regardless of the years in active or inactive service. Do not look down on our colleagues because they are young in the profession. They bring in knowledge that is as important to address our concerns. Do listen to the wisdom of our colleagues who are seasoned in practice for they understand how the profession progressed overtime. In a still female-dominated profession, male nurses are as competent and compassionate as our female colleagues. We can take care of patients that is governed ethically without having to be thought of possibly harassing female patients because we are males. Do not judge us of our competence because of our sexual orientation and gender identity. Our being a professional has nothing to do with how we may personally express ourselves. Our personal sexual lives should not be the basis for our technical knowledge, skills, and more so our being employed, retained, and promoted.

GENERAL PUBLIC Our work is tiring and hard. Please do not make it harder for us by discriminating us during this pandemic. Our passion to care for the sick and the dying does not only apply to those of our friends. All human beings deserved to be cared. Please help us maintain this. Celebrate with us, sure. But rally with us as well when we call for decent pay, protection from discriminating and harmful work practices, and the overall safety of the recipients of our care - you.

The future of this noble, caring profession, does not just lie in our hands. It is in all of us. And your inaction and apathy, will most likely drain the heart and soul of caring. Help us preserve this value. Help us address the persisting issues. Help us.

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