45 Minutes with Philip Joel Macugay, PhD, RN

By Jerome Babate /Claudine Rhea Sun

The beginnings of the 21st century have seen the unfolding of technology that can affect human interactions. As we experience the benefits of living in a highly advanced world, the challenge to be technological competent extends to the academe. Lets us be inspired and motivated by the story of Dr. Macugay.

Dr. Macugay earned his BS Nursing degree (with Clinical Distinction) and masters degree in nursing at St. Joseph’s College in Quezon City and Philippine Christian University (PCU) respectively. At the young age of 25, he then completed his PhD in Development Administration at PCU.

As a nurse-midwife by profession he served as geriatric nurse at Salesian Society of St. John Bosco Makati. His service in the academe includes being a clinical instructor at St. Joseph’s College and an assistant professor at Manila Central University. He has also authored a number of internationally published books including “Emotional Quotient in Designing Student Development Program”, “Newborn Screening: The Philippine Approach”, “Phenomenological Study on Women at Forty” and other local publications.

He is currently the Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Mizan Tepi University in Ethiopia, Africa and is completing his second doctorate degree, Doctor of Social Studies, at St. Linus University, Dominica. His dissertation will be focusing on the health and social challenges of the 21st century African Semagele (Ethiopian Elderly).

Let’s find out how Dr. Macugay view the union of teaching and technological advancement.

1. What piece of technology do you find invaluable in your teaching?

The students of this generation are digital natives. They understand the value of digital technology and use it to seek out opportunities in every aspect of life. When students have an access to the Internet and almost all have mobile devices, the use of multimedia in teaching becomes invaluable.

Learning modules can now be accessed and assessed through the university web portals. One particular module is the virtual reality simulation for virtual patients. This simulates real-life patient experiences in a risk-free environment, exposes students to diverse patient conditions, requires clinical decision making and allows students a chance for repeated practice sessions. Similar to the mannequin-based simulation, the only difference is its use of robotic-human-like simulators as patients.

Healthcare educators should find this technological advancement as a potentially powerful instructional tool and incorporate the principles of effective learning by knowing when and how to use it.

2. What advice would you give to someone who wants to develop their teaching mode or process?

Collaboration and Innovation. As educators, it is our responsibility to prepare the future nurses to lead the technology-enabled healthcare system. Technology eliminates the conventional limitations of space and time. Proven best practices and insights from academic research are just clicks away. In the coming academic year, I will be launching a weblog for research-based collaboration, where teaching and learning have no boundaries.

But most importantly, despite the digital euphoria, we must not forget the prime tenet of instruction – ETHICS – because ethics go beyond time and technology.

3. What changes do you think will the next five years bring in the way we teach especially in higher education?

With the ASEAN integration, higher education plays a significant role. There will be a new class of students: the “Glocal” students. As defined by Dr. Rahul Choudaha, director of Research and Advisory Services at World Education Services, glocal students have global aspirations, but prefer to stay in their home country or region for education. This is another milestone for the emerging transnational education and ASEAN countries, like the Philippines, are gearing towards this trend.

In the next five years, a more competitive and complex global healthcare market will emerge and therefore a rapid harmonization of the higher education system will be implemented. This will be based on the prioritized areas such as student mobility, credit transfers, quality assurance, and research clusters among others.

You and I are now global citizens of the world wide web of life.

4. Do you find phones and social media as tools to enhance teaching or do they qualify as distraction in the classroom?

We have seen and experienced the pedagogical advancement in nursing education by revising curriculum standards and encouraging nursing programs to incorporate not only nursing informatics, but technology competencies as well.
Social media can be used as a supplement for educators to instruct and students to learn despite the barriers of time and distance. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter combined with blogs, wikis, and file sharing of scholarly works like databases such as Academia.edu are tools that augment the learners’ ability to professionally communicate and expand technological abilities outside the traditional classroom setting.

However, inside a traditional classroom, phones should be banned while the instructor is lecturing and during examination periods. 
5. What achievement are you most proud of?

Success and achievement are relative and subjective. But one thing that I am proud of is becoming a healthcare educator. The young blood in me wanted to travel the world, become an entrepreneur, experience adventures while doing my passion in teaching. I am now based in Ethiopia under the Ministry of Education and have the privilege to impart knowledge to my students in Mizan Tepi University (MTU). As one of the research and development proponents, I am grateful that the MTU Digital Library that we are developing will soon be deployed.

I am also excited that the hard earned savings that I invested has come into fruition. Botika ni Mama, a start-up pharmacy business, has now three branches operating in Metro Cebu.

As an OFW, I am a proud Global Pinoy Eduprenurse!