In the Philippines the average hourly wage is comparable to the minimum wage here in the United States. On that pay rate is it nearly impossible for nurses there to buy new, clean uniforms. We take for granted the access we have here in the U.S. to uniform shops, but for the nurses in areas like Manila, uniform shops are far and few.
A nursing student, in Rio Grande, helped organize a uniform drive that will benefit nurses in Manila. The drive is being held throughout the Adena Health System, which is based in Ohio. The student, Christina Cain, was invited to participate in Operation We Care, a branch of the Philippines Medical Mission. Doctors and nurses volunteer time and services to the very poor in the country.
Cain began collecting scrubs in 2011. She went to Manila and delivered the donated uniforms directly to the nurses in need. She commented, in a press release, that during her stay in the area she saw many homeless people sleeping on the streets during her commute to work each day. Operation We Care serves the poorest people, with many people unable to afford care or lifesaving surgery. The surgeons in the organization often performed two and three surgeries at a time in one surgical suite.
Cain is currently working towards her BSN and has been employed by Adena for the past year. She plans to continue volunteering with the outreach program. Many nurses that work in Manila, though, must volunteer in hopes of future employment in the Philippine medical centers. For these nurses in the Philippines, they have no employer ‘back home’ on which they can rely. Their hopes of a paid position may not be answered for more than two years.
This is where Cain comes in. While she cannot compensate the nurses, she can make them feel appreciated and improve their self esteem by providing professional uniforms. When you look the part, you feel the part, and your outlook on life improves. It is with this hope that Cain has collected over 100 uniforms from the generous staff of Adena.