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Learning Outcome Cogito ergo sum. In English, this Latin phrase directly translates to I think, therefore, I am.

Such strong statement is seldom appreciated by someone belonging to a younger generation like ours. But our novice nursing career in MJSH is a long, winding, at times, rocky road that requires a powerful driving force in order to reach the destination. Like reality talent shows, it starts with a common dream of becoming Florence Nightingale quality nurses. Batch 13 is like a mosaic comprised of a myriad of personalities who had come together to share a unique experience: to be volunteer nurses in Butuans center of excellence, and tertiary care extraordinaire provider; Manuel J. Hospital. Some of us had known each other as schoolmates, friends or acquaintances. Fitting in was a bliss. Others had more challenging start as complete strangers. In no time though, mouths opened. Introductions were made and soon enough, we found ourselves friends. During the first week, we were oriented to the hospital settings via lectures officiated by the hospital personnel of the Nursing Service. It was freshman year all over again, where we were given lessons of dos and donts, this and that. This time though, there was emphasis on self-responsibility since we will no longer wear the student nurse label. On whatever we do, our license is at stake. No clinical instructor will be there to take our fall. On a brighter note, the senior nurses reminded us that we should not be hesitant to ask for help, raise questions and request for instructions. They will be our new mentors, assisting us all the way. Although, they preached, our professional growth will entirely depend on our own efforts. It was with great interest that we took notes on the policies, standard, protocols and standard operating procedures. Even our basic nursing skills were put to test just to ensure that we are at par with their stellar staff nurses. After the qualifying exam, most of us thought were finally saved from tests. The moving exam before the culmination proved to be no easy peasy. Still, the Batch 13 cream of the crop Top 20 raised the bars of expectations and proved their competence. Our story had not ended with our two-week orientation, neither with our culmination. If anything, these events marked the opening of new chapters. Every day of duty contributed to our learning. We were exposed to different areas of the hospital; the Emergency Care Unit, Critical Care Unit, Main Station, Annex Station and Floor 2 station. Fear of committing the tiniest of errors was our concern. Our own self was the biggest adversary. At various pace, we were able to conquer this foe with the help of the approachable supervisors and patient staff nurses. Buddy-system was prevalent during our first reliever duty. Better to have someone to share the anxiety with. Eventually, we grew out of it and gained confidence to go on our own. As part of our professional practice, it was imperative for us to reset our reticular activating system. Sleeping pattern disruption is an unavoidable element of the job description, so we learned. The state-of-the-art facilities fostered our enthusiasm to update ourselves with the latest technological trends in health care delivery system. Overtime, a number of us were assigned at the Operating Room Area, Labor Room, Recovery Room and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We came to a juncture where some of us already chose to pursue their areas of specialization. A number of opportunities were generously offered to Batch 13 by the hospital management, for which we are tremendously and endlessly thankful. Months following the culmination, most of us have been called to become relievers. Indeed, it was a talent show. After more or less six months, not everyone came to stay. Yet, despite the decrease in number, lucky Batch 13 still survives; maturing in attitude, stepping up in skills and leveling up in knowledge. We thought wed be great nurses, therefore, we are. And as we further our journey, it only gets even better.