02 July 2007

Nurses are highly-trained professionals

The Star

WHILE I agree with Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad’s recommendation that more nurses should go for postgraduate training, I respectfully object to his contrasting “mature and responsible nurses with those joining the profession after their SPM,” (The Star, June 30).

Perhaps it was unintentional, but this seems to imply that nurses who began their training with only an SPM qualification are immature and irresponsible.

I have a few older relatives and one friend who became trainee nurses after secondary school.

My classmate is not only the most hardworking person I know. She is also compassionate and intelligent.

Although she did not perform brilliantly in school as she came from a disadvantaged background, she always grasped concepts very quickly when explained.

She went into nursing because she wanted to help people, despite her parents’ opposition.

When I told her that nurses could make a lot of money by emigrating to western countries, she responded “Tujuan saya jadi jururawat bukan sebab nak jadi kaya (I didn’t become a nurse to get rich).”

Let us also remember that the Asian stigma against nurses as having low or dirty jobs is one of the major factors driving them out of our country, the Philippines, India, etc. to western countries where they are more appreciated by society, in addition to the better financial compensation.

Nurses are highly-trained professionals who operate under conditions of great stress and we should honour them for it – with or without a postgraduate degree.


Madison, Wisconsin, US.

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