45 Minutes with Marc Andres, RN, MN

By Jerome Babate /Joseph Andrew Pepito

In this edition, we touched base with a colleague from the southern hemisphere and it is right there in Australia. Marc Andres who earned both his bachelor and Master’s degrees from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is currently a GP Liaison Nurse at Castle Hill in New South Wales. His area of expertise is on public health.

Marc shared to us his nursing inspiration and the public perception towards Filipino nurses in Australia.

What inspired you to become a nurse?
My inspiration stems from a personal underpinning. For instance, many of my paternal uncles and aunts have health related occupations. The most inspiring was my paternal grandmother Lourdes Andres. I witnessed her dedication first hand, during the times I helped out at her local clinic. This demonstrated to me that it is possible for a single person to immensely impact not only the health care of individuals but also their health outlooks within themselves. I believe in the sincerity of her practice was indeed  a key in influence. Till this day, this is what I hold true in my practice as a Registered Nurse. My second inspiration branches out from my unique upbringing. Having lived my earlier years in Manila, I witnessed the harsh impact of social class, socioeconomic status and the marginalisation in health care. As such, this birthed my goal to experience working for the World Health Organisation (WHO). To see how  I can partner my Registered Nurse experience with WHO in influencing health care.  I knew then this was an uphill challenge, but with persistence and courage  I was able to attain several accomplishments that propelled me to WHO. In 2012, I was successful in obtaining a Rotary International Groups Study Exchange scholarship grant  where I  looked into the health care system in Finland. Straight after, I was promoted as Clinical Nurse Specialist in a role to promote the Ministry of Health’s HealthOne project in Western Sydney. Two years ago, I succeeded in obtaining an internship in the WHO Headquarters in Switzerland, a gruelling application where I competed with 5000 other applicants.  At present, I retained the title of a WHO collaborator which entails a role to continuing working right here in Sydney, Australia. From my humble beginnings as a Registered Nurse, I dare to dream, I set goals and I have succeeded.
How long have you worked as public health nurse in Australia?
I have been a registered nurse for seven years in the Public system. Starting as a registered nurse, with acting nurse management roles and currently, as a Clinical Nurse Specialist Grade 2.

What is the overall perception of the Australian public towards Filipino nurses?
Filipino Registered nurses are highly regarded within the public sector simply because there is a strong sense of commitment and dedication to the profession. This is evident by the high volume of nurses employed in my area -- Western Sydney Local Health District. Filipino nurses are passionate with a strong drive to achieve a goal.

Whether we fail or succeed, the experiences learned, knowledge gained and challenges faced help develop and strengthen our character and professional practice. It is inspiring to note that throughout my 7 year nursing practice in various specialties, I have encountered many Filipinos in high and prominent positions such as university student facilitators, nurse educators, nurse managers, nurse consultants and specialists. Because of those inspiring individuals, it further motivates me to reach new career goals.

Jerome Babate/Joseph Andrew Pepito