COVER STORY: Nurturing Global Talent
Registered Nurse Angelica
Three women from the Philippines who had worked as nursing support staff at a hospital in Chiba Prefecture became registered nurses after passing Japan’s tough national nursing examination in March this year. Once qualified, a registered nurse is able to perform medical procedures such as taking blood samples and administering injections, under the guidance of a physician. Masaki Yamada spoke with Angelica Tabora, one of those foreign nurses now registered to work in Japan.
Angelica Tabora at a nurse station in Kameda Medical Center in Kamogawa, Chiba Prefecture
Credit: MASAKI YAMADA
Angelica Tabora, who had been working as a registered nurse in Manila, came to Japan in May 2009 under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the Philippines. After studying Japanese for about six months, she started work as a nurse’s aide at the Kameda Medical Center in Kamogawa City in Chiba Prefecture.
“I came to Japan hoping to study the country’s advanced nursing technology, and also hoped to make use of the knowledge to practice nursing in the Philippines in the future,” says Tabora. “The first thing I noticed was that Japanese nurses are extremely thorough when it comes to a patient’s safety. They carefully and repeatedly check a patient’s condition and medication; I learned a lot from this. Also, another point is that nurses are ready to explain medical procedures and test results in a simple and gentle manner to each and every patient; it’s something to emulate.”
Tabora at work under the guidance of a Japanese head nurse
Credit: MASAKI YAMADA
Tabora began studying for the Japanese state nursing exam while working as a nurse’s aide. She studied for eight hours a day in between work by waking up at 5 a.m. every morning and going to bed at midnight.
“The most difficult part was the kanji. I had to study by looking up the meaning of each and every kanji in a dictionary when I came across a kanji that I didn’t know,” she says.
Tabora, now having passed the state exam, continues to work at the Kameda Medical Center as a registered nurse.
“I am very happy when a patient approaches me to thank me or when a patient I had been looking after is sent home safely,” notes Tabora. “When I return to my home country in the future, I would like to go to graduate school and further deepen my knowledge of nursing and its techniques I learned in Japan.”