Not so long ago, the glamorous portrayal of nurses working overseas has lured many students and other healthcare professionals to study nursing. The combination of money, stability, career, and independence created a façade of success in the nursing profession. Given the competence and quality education of Filipino nurses, hiring and employment possibility outside the country was limitless.
One of these Filipino nurses who sought for a greener pasture was Anthony Gomez. He is quite a jack of all trades type of nurse and when it comes to traveling and working overseas, he has the best experiences to reveal.
As a Permanent Resident of Australia, Mr. Gomez is a registered nurse in the Philippines and in Guyana, South America. He is a Nurse Specialist under the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Commission of Health Specialties, a General Scope Nurse of Supreme Council of Health Qatar, a physiotherapist and a licensed Embalmer and Undertaker with certifications in Lean Six Sigma and Occupational Safety and Health, and has completed a course as a Healthcare Quality Professional in Egypt (CPHQ) to name a few of his diverse specializations.
He also has 13 years of excellent experience as a clinician, educator, manager, researcher and administrator in the academic and clinical/hospital setting in five countries. At present, Mr. Gomez is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Phi Nu Chapter in the USA, Australian Red Cross, and ICRC.
What is the thing that excites or inspires you the most in your job as a nurse?
It’s the ability to make a difference and play an important part in people’s lives. Making them empowered and self-reliant inspires me the most as a nurse. Nurses everywhere in the world only have one goal and that is to increase the quality of life of people we come in contact with, regardless of the location or field we are into. Nurses’ ability to care for a person totally not related to us makes the difference in anyone’s life. This is the core factor that separates us from any other professions.
What advice would you give a new nurse who is working overseas?
Working overseas (for us nurses) will always be difficult; however, adaptability is innate to us. This is the reason why Filipino nurses thrive anywhere and everywhere around the world. Filipino nurses remain to be the most sought-after nurses globally. My advice would be to always stay grounded. Show to the world how we were exceptionally trained as nurses, imbibing all the basic and fundamental knowledge, skills, and attitudes imparted to us by our respected educational, medical and nursing institutions.
Tell us about your own past and present experiences while working overseas.
My first overseas job was in Libya where I worked as the Chairman of ICU and Anaesthesia Department, ICU Nurse-Nurse Preceptor, and Faculty member of Al Jabal Al Gharbi University – Gharyan University Teaching Hospital. Together with distinguished and respected Filipino Nursing Academicians, I developed the first BSN Curriculum of Libya and produced their first BSN nurses. I was there before, during and after the Libyan revolution, which was part of the so-called “Arab Spring”. It was a life changing experience for a nurse like me because my field of specialization is Critical Care, Trauma and Emergency Nursing.
Due to security reasons, I decided to end my contract after almost five years. Luckily, I was sponsored by the State of Western Australia and awarded me with a Permanent Resident status. While in Australia, I became part of the UWA, Australian Red Cross and City of Canning Community Care. I helped them provide services to migrants, asylum seekers, and aged members of the community. Currently, I am the Program Manager of the Nursing Department and Independent Consultant for Preclinical Program of Texila American University, Guyana South America.
Training and educating our present and future nurses would be the most important contribution I want to accomplish everywhere I go. These nurses will be the ones to keep the fire burning and maintain the integrity of the nursing profession. These nurses will be the people who will take care of us, ensuring that we get the highest level of quality healthcare services, continuing what we have started. We need to train them well. We have to educate them properly. They are our future.