My University, Nursing and My Friend (Old Speech 2006)

This was a speech delivered at the First Recognition Day of my university, Father Saturnino Urios University last August 31,2006. I ranked first among all dean’s listers from all levels in all courses after the first year in nursing.

For more than 100 hundred years of nurturing students in various fields, developing a standard of topnotchers and high passing rates in the board examinations, Urios College was converted into a university last July 12, 2006. The long wait has come to an end as the day of celebration for all Urians has come.

That late afternoon, each student was indefatigable as they jubilate the momentous event. Many were excited to experience the privileges of being a university student. However, after the deafening sounds of cheers, what was left was the realization though still many questions and uncertainties are left unanswered that Urios truly has attained the university status. 

Uncertainties? Why? Does this mean that for me Urios is incompetent to be considered as a university? Ofcourse not! My respected Urians we should remember that in every episode of reality accompanies inevitable skepticism.

The ambiguity I guess was due to the fact that we have varying idea of what a university is. If a university is a mere declaration of a coveted status, doubts will be eliminated easily as reality simply tells the genuine truth, right? However, I believe skepticism is unavoidable if we take the definition of a university to an idealistic point of view. This is the perspective I took since I was a child. A university for me is a place where you find babel of great minds and where inadequacies are rarely seen. It is an avenue for excellence and technology and a home of independent and radical people.

Because of this perspective, in a decade of schooling in this institution, if I were to evaluate Urios based on this perspective, it may have not been fitted to become a university. Why? Because though we have high passing rates, but we still have not developed a system that caters to all. If we say of excellence, it is not just limited to few intellectuals but also to the average learners as well. It should not be selective, but it should also be available to those who live their student days in a simple manner. Moreover, if we continue this kind of mentality, I say majority of Urios graduates aren't equipped in the stiff competition with other university students. Though our training is rigid, I am afraid our aim to improve students in a larger scale is still not met. The shortage we see in the facilities, in the number of effective instructors and in atmosphere which promotes learning aggravates my skepticism amidst the certainty of others.

For me this type of skepticism is one of the three types of skepticism. This type which simply states, "I am dubious about something but others are certain." On the other hand, there exist another type of skepticism which states, "I am certain but others are uncertain."

An example of this concerns the nursing profession. The basic question is that if nurses are true to their duties to the nation why do they seem to neglect their countrymen in leaving their country. Supposedly, their fellowmen should benefit first, right? Then, why are they allegedly serving their personal interest first before the interest of the community. As a result, the exodus of nurses for reasons of searching for greener pastures create a deficit in nursing personnel in local hospitals.

This skepticism concerns not only the nature of nursing, but it encompasses the question of its nobility as a profession. For me nobility of a profession comes only when dedication and self-satisfaction exist regardless of monetary compensation. I remember one said that compensation is not measured through the number of heads in bills but through the number of heads influenced and touched. Because of this I can't blame you my friends that you doubt our chosen profession.

The other type of skepticism is the ambiguity which emanates from both oneself and others. An example is our capabilities as students. My friend is a perfect example of this. In the midst of the difficulties, we encounter as each day in nursing continue to become more tougher and tougher, I kept telling him, "You can do it. Do your best!" But even how much I tried to encourage him, he continues to doubt himself if he could be able to endure the hardships ahead. Unfortunately, the doubts materialized since he stopped his nursing studies, and chose to pursue other course which he thinks to be more suited for his capabilities.

He said to me after he failed in one of our major subjects, Had I pass the ordeals in nursing, still I won’t be able to land in a good job at all because I got mere passing marks. Though deep inside I object to what he believed, I realized why I could not convince him because though I kept on encouraging him I can't hide from him that as his friend I also doubt if he could really do it. As if the words "You can do it. Do your best!" would mean "I doubt you can do it. Just do your best!"

My friends at this point you might be also in doubt as I relate to you more about doubts. I am supposed to give you a mere response, right? However, ladies and gentlemen, I just want to emphasize that doubts serve a purpose and that everyone doubts. Even dean's listers doubts if we could maintain being one next year, and if this status determines our success in the future.

So what are doubts then? Doubts are manifestations of our acceptance of our strengths and weaknesses. This serves as a reminder that something lacked that needs to be filled.

In our school, we should always bear in mind that the conversion of our school is a strength. It is not a mere reward or price of something good done but it is the natural inevitable occurrence like the bearing of a fruit from a tree as the school evolved through time to become one of the finest school of our country today. However, in spite of this, our doubts also confirm that still many things has to be addressed and that improvements are necessary.

Moreover, our doubts about our profession stresses that everyone has acquired the awareness of the importance of nurses in our society today. Nurses are not mere doctor's assistants, but they are primary care givers and serve as patients' advocates. Acknowledging the fact that we lacked nurses means we need them and that we have fully grasped the idea that being nurse requires expertise to meet the standards.

However, the continuing exodus of nurses though creates doubt to its nobility as we continuously consider nursing as a stimulus for change. Why a stimulus? Because this will spur the improvement of the delivery of health services as measures will be taken to respond to these insufficiencies. In the long run, I see that though many of us soon to be nurses will leave, the benefits will be greater as we carry with us the learnings we have acquired abroad in our eventual homecoming. The only thing that we can do today is to accept the deficiencies that are presented for us to act on it.

As for ourselves, our doubts confirms that we are not perfect beings. Others may doubt our capabilities but we within ourselves should keep our drives intact for saying, "You can do it. Do your best!" no longer means, "I doubt you can do it. Just do your best!" instead it would mean "My strengths and weaknesses would keep me going. I will do my best and even beyond my capabilities!"

We shape our own destinies with the help of others for whom we share our success - a great reminder to all of us:

First, we thank our parents for their undying support, for our friends for giving us the optimism to continue, our teachers for guiding and sharing their valuable knowledge to us and to God for in spite of our doubts He still continue to bless us with the things we need.

To all of us, we should remember that doubts give us the opportunity to rectify our mistakes, change our outlooks in life and improve ourselves as we dream and achieve ahead!


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