Overdue Nurse Salary Increase: What Happens if Nurses Go On Strike?

Although December 31st is arguably one of the most exciting parts of bringing in the new year, for nurses in the Philippines, it is completely the opposite because the start of 2018 brings in the effectivity of the CPD Law. Nine days later, Duterte seeking teachers’ salary to be doubled is all over the news and social media. Now the question, “What happens to the Comprehensive Nursing Law vetoed during the last months of Aquino administration?” comes to play.

Overdue Nurse Salary Increase

The general public are probably aware that nurses work in the hospital round the clock including holidays and Sundays, but not all of them know that the salary given bimonthly isn’t even enough to pay a postpaid phone plan. Despite this, nurses still continue to provide the care and service expected from them.

nurses go on strike
CTO: Nurses working on Christmas Day

We are the frontline superstars of healthcare. We were there during the Marawi crisis working side by side with doctors and soldiers. We are always on TV in every emergency news reported not mentioning the annual reminder against firecrackers before New Year yet our presence seems invisible to everyone.

Patients in hospital may forget who their doctor is, but not their nurse. The doctor may be in and out of the room in ten minutes or so, but the nurse is the one who will be right there by their patient’s side throughout their recovery. Unfortunately, the truth is that even for such a heroic profession, nurses continue to live on the breadline. What makes it worse is that nurses are not being valued for what they really are.

What Happens if Nurses Go On Strike?

If only we can, we will definitely go on strike but our responsibilities are different from other professions because we are working with people who might die.

  1. Emergency Room
    nurses go on strike
    CTO: What if he’s the only person around?

    Imagine entering the Emergency Room with no sight of nurses, only the Ward Man, the guard, doctors and the administration personnel? You would probably fall in line and wait until your turn just like in an Out Patient Department (now you can see the difference between the two departments, right?).

  2. Code Blue Scenario

    Now during code blue, yes there is the ward man who can perform the CPR initially and the doctor who will supervise but who will continue the CPR right after?… who will administer the medications?… who will document?… But wait, how can a code blue be initiated when there is no nurse? Who will be there to assess the patient’s critical condition if there is no bedside nurse?

I can still go on and on but the result will be all the same, wards will become nonoperational until hospitals will be fully closed because of no nurses. Who will take care of you, then?

This is something the public and the government should fear–to empathize and understand the gravity of the situation that if nurses are not around, there is a huge risk to patients. Although, the idea of supporting the strike, itself plus not being there for our patients make us feel guilty, however, we need to support ourselves, first. If we aren’t supporting ourselves, we can’t support our patients.