Ten Filipino nurses face criminal charges for quitting their jobs on grounds of conspiracy and child endangerment. Prosecutors allegedly claim the nurses jeopardized the lives of several terminally ill children they were in charge of watching. For months the nurses complained they were subject to demeaning and unfair working conditions. So on April 7th, 2006 the nurses quit their jobs without notice. Prosecutors say they left children on ventilators at the Avalon Gardens, in Smithstown, New York. However the defense claims that one of the nurses stayed on four hours longer than they were supposed to, in order to watch the children.
Thousands of Filipino immigrants work and study hard to become nurses in the United States, and most leave for the United States to earn more money. Some are doctors in the Philippines that leave to become nurses in search of better pay. There has been a nursing shortage in the US for a while now. And many Filipino nurses who come to the US help fill these important roles.
I’m not quite sure what to make of this story just yet. I understand and feel the difficulty for these nurses who came to work here, but I am somewhat perplexed at what they expected when they took the jobs. I’d probably like to learn more about their specific experiences at that hospital before I pass judgment. Being a nurse is an extremely difficult job, and I know that there are times when you have to do things beyond your pay grade or your duties, because it involves another person’s life. Is this a racial question? Were these nurses discriminated against because they were Filipino? Or is this something where the nurses expectations of a better life were diluted when they realized how difficult the actual job was. What do you think?