Top Ten Lines Overheard at the Department of Neurosciences

I keep a record of the most memorable lines I hear in PGH. Some aren’t funny, of course, but they remain to have an impact on me up to this day.  To celebrate my first anniversary in PGH (08/01/17), I share with you the top ten lines I overheard at the Department of Neurosciences as of July 2017. 🙂

  1. Caregiver: Straight ka ba? (Straight 16hr duty pala.)
  2. Patient: Nurse, nag-iinit ako. Two weeks na kaming walang…(censored).
  3. Patient: Masakit ka tumusok. Masasaktan asawa mo niyan.
  4. MD: Kumusta ka sir? Ay kumusta pala yung pasyente?
  5. MD: Ang point ko mali ang bilang mo!
  6. Caregiver: Kailangan niya makarinig ng scientific terms para kumalma.
  7. RN: Bahala kayo. Mag-SL ako bukas. (Kahit parang hindi siya sick. Huhu.)
  8. RN: Bago ka pa lang. Wala kang karapatang mapagod! (Earned right ang mapagod.)
  9.  Patient: Nurse, bakit ganito pa rin itsura ko? Hindi na ba magbabago ‘tong mukha at katawan ko? (Major body transformation pala ang gusto.)
  10. Caregiver: Nurse, pa-sanction (suction).


Sobrang eventful ng araw na ‘to (07-03-17)

1. Muntik na akong ma-late. This is why I hate Mondays. Huhu.
2. Biglang nagcode yung patient na nasa stretcher bed (along hallway) habang nagaganap ang nursing rounds (immediately after endorsements). Naubos yung oxygen sa tangke. Malayo yung wall oxygen outlet. Iisa ang portable suction machine.
3. Biglang nagbrownout a few minutes after the code. Nagbrownout TWICE within the shift.

Meron kaming 10 patients with oxygen support. Most of them are hooked to mechanical ventilators. Yung iba naka tracheostomy mask, nasal cannula, or face mask. Imagine kung gaano kami kaagit habang naghahanap ng O2 pipe in / flow meters sa madilim na lugar. Meron lang kaming iilang O2 pipe in / flow meters. Yung iba sira pa. Iisa lang ang available oxygen tank. 😢Umiiyak yung ibang bantay. Pati kami kinakabahan at nag-aalala. But this is nothing compared to what happened in other areas (i.e. ICUs, ER). And I wouldn’t dare imagine.

What we did and lessons for reference:
1) Remain calm. Instruct the relatives or watchers on what to do.
3) We need EMERGENCY LIGHTS!!! Ang pagamutan ng bayan walang emergency lights!!!
4) We need more wall / VACUUM SUCTION METERS / GAUGE.

ITO ANG KATOTOHANAN. Sa totoo lang, mas malala pa sa ibang maliliit na pampublikong ospital.

Sinasalamin ng PGH ang ilan sa pangit (at magaganda) na aspeto ng healthcare system ng bansa. Hindi lang dapat binubuhos ang pera para sa mga pasyente (i.e. LIBRENG gamot, laboratory procedures). Mag-invest tayo sa facilities at equipment. Mag-invest tayo higit lalo sa tao / manggagawa. Dagdagan ang plantilla para sa healthcare professionals!

Sa kabila ng lahat ng ito, nakasisiguro ang lahat na sinisikap namin (HCPs) na bigyan ng kalidad na serbisyo ang mga pasyente at mga pamilya nila. Lagi’t lagi, #ParaSaBayan!

P.S. Nakakagalit po yung MD na alam namang brownout at maraming intubated sa ward (na kailangan asikasuhin kasi hindi gagana ang mechanical ventilator without power supply) pero hahanapin sa akin yung charts. Doc, sense of urgency?

Know your status.

On January 26, my partner and I got tested for HIV. Here are few things you need to know about HIV and the test:

A. What is HIV?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely. So once you have HIV, you have it for the rest of your life. HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. If left untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body, making the person more likely to get infections or infection-related cancers. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease. These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS, the last state of HIV infection. (Lifted from:

B. Is there a cure for HIV?

No effective cure for HIV currently exists, but with proper treatment and medical care, HIV can be controlled. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of transmitting the virus to others.  Today, a person who is diagnosed with HIV, treated before the disease is far advanced, and stays on treatment can live a nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV. (Lifted from:

C. How do I know if I have HIV?

The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. The HIV test is designed to detect antibodies to HIV. Antibodies are produced by the body to help fight infection. If you are infected with HIV, your body makes very specific antibodies to fight this type infection. People need to understand that there’s a window period – the period where the body’s starting to produce antibodies against HIV.

D. What is the window period?

The window period is the time it takes for your body to produce HIV antibodies after you have been exposed to HIV. In more than 97% of people, this period lasts between 2 and 12 weeks. In a very small number of people, the process takes up to 6 months (Lifted from: If you took the test today and but at risk of contacting HIV for some reason (e.g. accidental needle prick), you need to get tested again after 6 months.

E. Where can I get tested for HIV?

There are several clinics (and hospitals) across the country that offer HIV testing services. Most of these facilities also offer (mandatory) pre- and post-counseling services. My partner and I visited Love Yourself’s branch at Gil Puyat in Pasay City. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Fill up the online application form:
  2. Visit the clinic and tell the employee at the front desk that you wish to get tested for HIV.
  3. Fill-up a form asking for your (1) consent, and (2) basic demographic profile. (NOTE: The test is completely ANONYMOUS, CONFIDENTIAL, and FREE)
  4. The front desk staff will provide you a queuing number.
  5. Wait until the medical technologist announces your queuing number then head to the med tech room where they’ll extract your blood.
  6. Bring back the filled-up form to the front desk staff.
  7. Wait until an HIV counselor calls your number for the release of the result and post-counseling.

F. Others

The whole procedure lasted for about an hour. The staff of the clinic were friendly, professional, and very accommodating. There were about 15 other people when we entered the testing site. Should you wish to do an “ultra-discreet screening” visit this:

For more information, visit

Here is a list of other HIV test sites:


What’s my status? Negative. But I plan to take the test at least every 6 months as I’m exposed to risks because of the nature of my profession. I encourage everyone to take the test as well. Do this for yourself and the rest of the society. Let us end the chain. Let us break the stigma (because even ‘straight’ men and women get HIV). Stay on the healthy side of statistics! 🙂




Merry Christmas!

The Christian attitude which best compliments the virtues of joy, peace, and love is humility. We remember that Jesus was born in the most humbling condition, yet this Christian virtue is least celebrated. Hence, this is our Christmas prayer – may our celebration of Christmas be Christ-centered, humble and our merriment be expressed meekly. Merry Christmas!

-Reggie & Laine and children Regina, Reiner, Riazel and Ricci Tamayo


RSA: 1 of 2

December 18 marks the end of the first year of my Return Service. Amazing how time flies!

During the past year, I’ve been able to do three things: (1) work as a research assistant, establish an organization of researchers, (2) teach nursing topics, (3) work as a hospital staff nurse.

In the final year of my RS, I plan to continue working as a staff nurse and to continue engaging in research ventures.

It has been a great year for a beginning nurse like me! So many to be thankful for! Muli’t muli, para sa bayan!!!

Top Rank!

Whenever I recall the grueling review period, all I could remember is one question that all employees and lecturers frequently asked, “Magtotop ka ba?”. Many would confidently shout and say, “yes!” but I remain there seated and silently say to myself, “Yes, Renz. You will.”

I wasn’t part of our batch’s Top 10 and did not even make it to Top Rank’s Top 10 in any of the 3 pre-board exams we had months ago. I’d doubt it when my family would say I’d make it to the top. Nobody, not even me, expected this honor. But here I am one of the many national topnotchers who get to enjoy the limelight for a little while before we face the real world. And this moment, this surreal moment, is but something I’d like to share with the Top Rank Review Academy.

While it is true that this achievement goes back to the college I graduated from – THE UP College of Nursing – I cannot help but feel obliged to say the same to this family. Top Rank Review Academy always believed in us, UP graduates, saying that they already expect us to pass the board exam. They told us that the review academy will just assist us in preparing ourselves in facing the actual board exam which required more emotional preparation than we initially expected.

Top Rank made sure that we get what we deserve. Top Rank made sure that even an average student like me will aim higher, will do better. Top Rank made sure we get to fulfill our dreams even when it meant a lot of sacrifices.

Top Rank gave us more than what we wished for and the recent NLE results say a lot why we dare say that it is the “Best Review Center”.

Thank you, Top Rank, for your confidence in us. I will treasure all the moments we’ve shared together and keep in mind why we choose to be nurses PARA SA BAYAN.

Sa Top Rank, sulit!


Isang take lang!

ISA. Isang take lang!

Sa totoo lang, napanaginipan ko yung 84.6 na board rating. Pero hindi ko naman akalain na papasok pala sa Top 10 ang rating na ‘yan. Ang galing mo, Lord! You’ve given me more than what I prayed for.

Thank you to the University of the Philippines Manila and the College of Nursing for the opportunity you’ve given me (us) to learn, grow, and develop the skills required of a truly caring nurse. I commend our professors and clinical instructors who sacrificed time just to teach us how/what it takes to be a good nurse. I know I have disappointed you at times by not meeting your expectations or even became a reason for your raised eyebrows, but I can say that I owe you a lot. And I sincerely thank you for that. Special mention for our adviser, Sir Arnold Peralta, who never had a doubt in my potential. Also, to Prof. Loyda Cajucom who inspired me to always do better than the average.

Of course, words of gratitude to Saint Paul School of Aparri and the Lyceum of Aparri for the foundations of my well-being; that includes spirituality.

I also thank all those who helped me throughout college:
>Our family especially my parents, older sister Regina (who helped me finish dozens of visual aidssssss for health teaching sessions) and all those who contributed big or small.
>The UPMASA for the Luisita Romero Scholarship Grant
>Other kind people who contributed their books and other resources
>And all those worthy to be mentioned and thanked but not mentioned here. Hehe.

I thank Top Rank Review Academy for preparing us for the board examination. You did boost our self-esteem and confidence!

Lastly, I thank and remember all the patients, families, and the communities I served and made me realize why I continued pursuing this profession, and why I whole-heartedly choose to stay and serve the Filipino people.

Thank you and congratulations UP College of Nursing Class 2015! This is just the start. We’re off to face bigger challenges, bigger tests. Remember to remain humble and to keep a thankful heart. 100% passing rate plus 16 topnotchers? Indeed, “our mark will never be gone.”

Muli’t muli, PARA SA DIYOS AT PARA SA BAYAN! smile emoticon

P.S. I’ve asked Mama Mary’s intercession by praying the Holy Rosary wherever and whenever I can. I encourage you to do the same. It brings graces you did not even ask.