Aug 12 2010

Xarina: The busy student

Xarina, from Philippines

Xarina

Today is Aug. 12, International Youth Day, and we look at one youth’s outstanding example of helping others in need. Xarina is a participant in the CFCA Scholarship Program and was featured in the Summer 2008 issue of The Scholar. She was also one of the 13 scholars who performed at the 2008 CFCA concert in Zamboanga, Philippines. Alan Partosa and Maricar Castillo, both staff members from the Zamboanga project, managed to catch up with this busy nursing student for an interview.

What has changed since we last heard from you?
I am now in my third year as a nursing student. Classes have just started. I am taking 26 units for this semester, and 16 of those units are solely nursing major subjects and actual field exposure, while the other 10 units are for minor subjects in school. Subjects have gotten more difficult, and the number of required patients to attend to also increases. Each of us will now be handling 15 cases. This sounds both exciting and horrible! I hope that I can make it. Last May, I was elected as president for the nursing official choir called ìSYNAPSEî for the school year 2010-2011.

You were working in the community health clinic three times a week. Has this changed?
I am still doing clinical but this time I am exposed to patients with more serious illnesses, as well as helping patients in pre-op, post-op and under recovery. I still have the same routine three times a week but not in the community clinic, now it is in the hospital with seven rotations required.

At one time you mentioned you were worried about succeeding in your career. How do you feel now?
At this time, it is a mixed emotion. I discovered lots of things to love about nursing. As I am getting close to finishing this course, I encountered lots of challenges and greater responsibility in taking care of others is required. Iím still scared if I can cope with the demands of this course but, one thing Iím very sure … I will really become a NURSE.

What are your favorite subjects now? Last fall, you loved bioethics.
Iím done with bioethics and learned a lot from it but now, believe it or not, I love NCM (Nursing Care Management), which I hated before. NCM gives me a wider scope of understanding patients and what they are going through. Let me differentiate the impact of bioethics and NCM to me: Bioethics helped me understand different people that we met, while NCM taught me how to provide proper care to people we met.

Do you still work with pregnant women?
I was able to personally assist with an actual delivery in the community health center. This is really an overwhelming experience, and the school has really provided me all the knowledge to deal with this. Holding the newborn baby for the first time, wow, I canít really explain.

I was very lucky because after my community exposure, which mostly dealt with pregnant women, my first exposure in the hospital last February was in the OB-GYN ward. Though I already had an idea how to deal with the patients, I was assigned to a serious case. My patient is suffering from DUB (Dyspertinal Uterine Bleeding). This experience gives me an actual case. I was able to apply learning gained in NCM since my patient underwent a hysterectomy.

What about your homework schedule? Do you still stay up late doing homework?
As subjects get more difficult, I have to exert more effort. It is already a normal routine for me to stay up to 2 a.m. to do my homework and report to my hospital duty or classes from 7 a.m to 3 p.m.

What about your dance and music classes? Can you still fit those into your routine? Are there any new developments?
I still sing for weddings and other special occasions if it fits my schedule, especially since I also earn money from this. I am a member of our church choir on Sundays regardless of my hectic schedule. Now that I am the president of the nursing choir, I have to find time for it since we have regular practice, in which I am also really very happy because singing will always be my passion. I was supposed to audition for the dance troupe at the university as a kulintangan* instrumentalist, which I learned in my CFCA workshop. But, my parents did not allow me as they saw my schedules and daily routine and the demand as a nursing student. They again reminded me that education should always be the priority.

Is your service project still writing letters?
I still do the same thing, assist children in their letter- and card-making that is done in our community. Though, our subproject plans to train another group of kulintangan instrumentalists since a number of sponsored children also expressed their desire to learn to play the kulintangan. This sounds exciting, I hope the practice schedule will fit mine, and that this plan will materialize this year.

Do you still plan to graduate in 2012?
I hope to graduate in April 2012 and review for two months as preparation for the nursing board examination in July.

We have enjoyed following your progress through nursing school, Xarina. Is there anything else you would like us to know about your life? How is your family?
My family and I are doing well. My elder brother, Wendell, is in his fourth year as a nursing student, so I am very well guided with what to expect in my own nursing career. I still have my very loving and supportive mother around, which make things light and manageable. I also help my father, who has been sick recently. I monitor his blood pressure and medications.

*The kulintangan is a traditional Filipino instrument.

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