Friday, June 22, 2007

The cost of a nursing education in the Philippines

Nursing school tuition in the Philippines can run up to P60,000 or more per semester. Depending on the institution, tuition will probably cost from P500 to P800 per unit for mid to low-end colleges. High end schools would probably charge P100,000 or more per school semester. Hospital affiliation fees command huge pay outs, ranging from P20,000 to over P35,000 per semester.

Affiliation fees are what students pay supposedly for being allowed to intern at a hospital, but if you look at what students these days are getting from their hospital experience, you'd think hospital internships are nothing more than just glorified training for taking vital signs--blood pressure, temperature, pulse and respiratory rates. There's simply too much of that going on but too little of real nursing education about patient care and safe drug administration. Clinical instructors who are supposed to teach students eight hours every meeting, spend less than two hours with students because they've got two other classes to handle on the same 8-hour shift. It's not the instructors' fault every time, of course. Overbearing students, particular the older ones, the second-coursers, sweet-talk their preceptors and soften their hearts with cakes and little souvenirs from a recent trip to Hong Kong or Thailand, so instead of getting down for patient care, they all end up enjoying coffee in the hospital cafeteria or a nearby Starbucks.

Earlier this week, we wrote that enrollment for nursing courses went up 30% from 486,233 last year to 632,108 students this year. If you do the math and assume that each student pays at least P60,000 per semester, that's at least P29,173,980,000 going to schools, and that's just for regualr school fees. We haven't even computed school uniforms, books, and nursing equipment such as the trusty BP apparatus and Littman stethoscope (which alone costs at least P5,000), among others.

It's no wonder people now call nursing as the "National College Course of the Philippines". Our colleges and universities are bursting with nursing students, local hospitals can't absorb them in anymore. To be precise, it's not that they "can't", it's more accurate to say, they "won't". Given their limited budget, they wouldn't spend another peso to get new nurses, even though hiring nursing graduates these days costs less than P10 a bucket.

Every local hospital has wisened up and taking advantage of the huge local nursing education demand. Each of them now has some sort of training program going on. A few offer exceptional training, but most give out an impression that they're just out for your money. Think about it: hospitals charge you P6,500 to P8,000 for a three-month training course but all you do is stand in a corner of the nurses station and wait until some patient needs to have his blood sugar taken. Where's the nursing care in that?

If you're a fresh graduate, a first-courser as we love to say (that's a person who didn't go through MED or LAW SCHOOL as a prerequisite to a nursing degree), you'd have to suffer first before you can tell your parents that you spent the family's fortune on how to be a master at blood pressure assessment.

Useful link:
List of nursing schools in the Philippines that accept second-coursers

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little flower said...

well said...i'm a second courser but i have to say i always try to get my money's worth. do i sound defensive? hahaha!!!

Isagani X said...

Kamusta po.

Ako po si Isagani X, isang medical assistant, medical office management and general studies graduate dito sa Connecticut USA. Kagaya rin po ninyo,isa akong blogger. Health-oriented po ang aking blog at kasalukuyang naghahanap ng mga GUESTBLOGGERS o contributors.

Nais ko po sana kayong imbitahan na maging isang guestbloggers sa blog ko. Ang kailangan lang po ninyong gawin ay sumulat ng isang blog entry na related sa health. Isagawa ang patient teaching sa pamamagitan ng pagkwekwento o pagbibigay ng tips sa mga “readers.”

Ito po ay isang paanyaya at boluntaryong adhikain. Hindi po ako nagbabayad sa mga contributors at hindi rin po ako nagmamadali o nagbibigay palugit. Maari po ninyong isumite ang inyong ambag na entry sa kahit anong oras na mayroon po kayo. Nauunawaan ko pong maari kayong abala sa inyong propesyon o buhay-buhay.

Kung nais po ninyong paunlakan ang aking imbitasyon heto po ang bagay na maari ninyong gawin

Sa pamamagitan po ng proyekto kong ito, nais kong maging mas “informed” ang mga kababayan nating Filipino pagdating sa mga bagay bagay kaugnay sa medisina.

Ito po ang ilan sa halimbawa ng artikulo sa aking blog:

Manalig po kayong, makikinabang din po ang inyong blog sa pamamagitan ng guest blogging na ito. Makakakilala po kayo ng bagong readers and iba pang bloggers.

Maraming Salamat Po.

Isagani X


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