In recognition of the psychosocial issues, concerns and support provided for nurses, especially in the Philippines during this pandemic period, the University of the Philippines Open University Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN) Program conducted the Let’s Talk it Over (LTiO) “Kumusta Ka? Psychosocial Issues and Support of Nurses During the Pandemic” on 26 November 2020 via UPOU Networks. The webinar was moderated by Asst. Prof. Ria Valerie D. Cabanes, and Asst. Prof. Queenie R. Ridulme, MAN faculty member and Program Chair, respectively.
The first speaker was Ms. Maria Rita V. Tamse, a psychiatric nurse and a former nurse administrator. Ms. Tamse discussed the psychosocial issues and struggles of nurses in different settings. She emphasized the importance of practical and psychological support in preserving health in the short and long term, especially when stress levels are high. Personal (Self-care, social, mental, spiritual, and emotional care), peer-to-peer, and other practical approaches to combat psychosocial issues like the acronyms Ms. Tamse shared their institution’s strategies that promote psychological well-being. She ended her talk by saying “it’s okay not to be okay” and sharing the poems entitled “Lunes” and “Liwanag” written by one of the nurses in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) during this pandemic.
Ms. Geraldine Rowena Galang-Gatbonton, a nurse educator, talked about how the pandemic has changed education with the rise of online learning and how the sudden change brought anxiety to the members of the academe. She described her techniques on how to create an effective structure for teaching and how important it is to inspire and encourage students to continue learning with integrity. Ms. Gatbonton stressed that nurse educators, students, and their families are the heart of nursing education, and it takes three to achieve the best possible learning experiences, whether online or face-to-face.
The last speaker was Ms. Kelly Steve P. David, a private nurse from Pampanga, who discussed her family’s experiences during the pandemic period. Ms. David shared what happened when her son contracted the virus and how it affected them negatively. She narrated how people, including family members, discriminated against her for being a nurse during this pandemic, saying that she was the one who brought the virus to her family. On a positive note, Ms. David also shared the psychosocial support she got from her institution for free and the aid she received from the local government when her son was in the quarantine facility. She emphasized that despite all the challenges she encountered, she is still thankful to those who helped and supported her during these tough times.
This is the last of the MAN LTiO webinar series for 2020. The MAN program has plans to conduct more online events and to collaborate with different institutions in 2021 to provide more information, experiences, and updates in the field of nursing.