The history in the Philippines is closely aligned with the history of medicine in the country. With the arrival Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, developments in Philippine education were relatively slow owing to the belief of Spanish colonists, notably the friars, that the education of the natives would be detrimental to their rule over the islands (Agoncillo and Guerrero,1977). The growth of the educational institutions in the Philippines during the Spanish occupation was not a priority which allowed the proliferation and continued use of traditional health care practices that were guided by a mixture of religion, magic, and supernatural.
It was not until 1577/1578 that an implied apprenticeship training program for male “nurses” who were called enfermeros was put in place through the initiative of the catholic Franciscan order in the islands (Dela Cruz,1983; Giron-Tupaz,1952; Limson, 1999) Subsequent progress in the area of nursing education was not achieved until after the arrival of the new colonizers in 1898. Early Nurse Training During the Spanish Period and Fray Juan Clemente In general, the development of all levels in the education in the Philippines was very limited during the Spanish regime.
Catholic church greatly influenced the affairs of the state and , in many instances, had a hand in the appointment and retention of the Governor Generals sent by the Spanish crown. The Goal of the colonial government was primarily to spread Catholicism; the Spanish friars viewed education as a barrier to their salvation, as well as “positively dangerous to the established order of things (Elliot,1917, p220). During their over 350 years of occupation of the country, very few educational institutions were designed to educate the rich and famous of the time, that is, the children of Spaniards and the mestizos.
Furthermore, Bantug, as cited in Choy (2003) emphasized the unequal educational system under the Spaniards which only provided educational opportunities to men, while having little support even for primary education of women. Filipino women were expected to look after the household and therefore had no need to further themselves through education. The education of indios, a derogatory term used by the colonizers to refer to island natives, focused on Catholic doctrines, “and the duties of humility and obedience to superiors” (Elliot,1917, p. 222). In 1578, owever, by some stroke of luck, a lay Spanish brother belonging to the Franciscan Order, Fray Juan Clemente, who was described as being religious, humble, charitable, and with a genuine desire to help the sick, initiated his nursing and catechetical of works amongst the natives and other foreigners in Manila (Giron-Tupaz,1952). This was regarded as the beginning of nursing practice and training in the Philippines. At a time when leprosy was feared, Fray Clemente “took them under his care, bathed their sores, fed them and nursed them back to health (Giron-Tupaz,p. 14).
He was skilful in the use of herbal medicines which made up for the limited availability of drugs. The religious orders exerted their efforts to care for the sick by building hospitals in different parts of the Philippines. The earliest hospitals were: 1. Hospital real de Manila (1577)- it was established mainly to care for the spanish king’s soldiers, but also admitted Spanish civilians; founded by Gov. Francisco de Sande. 2. San Lazaro Hospital- founded by Brother Juan Clemente and was administered for many years by the hospitalliers of San Juan de Dios; built exclusively for patients with leprosy. . Hospital de Indios (1586)- established by the Franciscan Order; service was in general supported by alms and contributions from charitable persons. 4. Hospital de Aguas Santas (1590) – established in Laguna; near a medicinal spring, founded by Brother J. Baustista of the Franciscan Order. 5. San Juan de Dios Hospital (1596) -founded by the Brotherhood of Misericordia and administered by the Hopsitaliers of San Juan de Dios; support was delivered from alms and rents; rendered general health service to the public.
Nursing during the Philippine Revolution Josephine Bracken- wife of Jose Rizal, installed a field hospital in an estate house in Tejeros; provided nursing care to the wounded night and day. Rosa Sevilla de Alvero- converted their house into quarters for the filipino soldiers during the Philippine- American War that broke out in 1899. Dona Hilaria de Aguinaldo- wife of Emilio Aguinaldo, organized the Filipino Red Cross under the inspiration of Mabini. Melchora Aquino- (Tandang Sora) nursed the wounded Filipino soldiers, gave them shelter and food.
Ageuda kahabagan- revolutionary leader in Laguna also provided nursing services to her troops. Trinidad Tecson- (ina ng Biak na Bato) stayed in the hospital at Biak na bato to care for the wounded soldiers. Nursing Education During the American Occupation and Post World War II Following the defeat of the spaniards in the battle of Manila Bay in 1898, the new colonial masters sought to “establish a popular form of government in the Philippines” that would subsequently prepare the Filipinos for self- government (Elliot,1917,p. 224).
Part of their plan was to introduce a public education system using English as the medium of instruction and which was closely patterned after the United States of America’s model. Alongside these efforts to promote primary education, the Americans also began to introduce industrial and professional training opportunities that were essetial in the economic development of the colony (Elliot,1917). In 1906, the Iloilo Mission Hospital (IMH) was founded by the Baptist Foreign Mission Society of America (BFMSA) as the first nursing school in the Philippine Islands throught the efforts of Dr.
And Mrs. Andrew Hall, Presbyterian seminaries who were stationed in Iloilo City, the Philippines. Leadership and training were initially made by American nurses led by Martha Mills who became the school’s first superintendent. The school was said to have initially persuaded four female students who were provided instruction in reading, arithmetic, and nursing; three of them graduated from the three- year program in April 1906. Picture below is Iloilo Mission Hospital.
The new nurses were initially maltreated and insulted by their family and patients who viewed them as muchachas (maids or servants); with time, they soon learned the great value of these three nurses for the kind of work that they provided in caring of the sick. The year 1907 saw the establishment of four new nursing schools in Manila. These were the St. Paul’s hospital school of Nursing (SPHSN), the Philippine Training School for Nurses (PTSN), the St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing (SLHSN) and the Bethany Clinic
School of Nursing renamed as Mary Johnston Hospital and School of Nursing. A few years following the founding of these institutions, three of them, namely, SPHSN, PTSN, and SLHSN of the theoretical instruction and to pool their resources to offer a common first year curriculum that consisted of “anatomy and physiology, massage, practical nursing, material medica, bacteriology and English”. These institutions maintained their respective admission requirements and curricular offerings for subsequent years of their respective programs.
Thus, SPHSN offered a three-year program while PTSN and SLHSN had four –year programs. The PTSN, later renamed the Philippine General Hospital School of Nursing (PGHSN) led these institutions in raising the standards of nursing education and the academic requirements for admission to nursing schools. In 1930, completion of secondary school became a requirement for admission to the PGHSN, and by 1933, admission preference was extended to those applicants who successfully completed six units of credit at the University of the Philippines College of Liberal Arts.
It was not until 1924 when the Education Section of the Filipino Nurses Association (FNA) published “The Standard Curriculum for the Schools in Nursing Intended for Nursing Instructors in the Philippines” which not only helped raise the standards of all nursing schools at that time, but also assited in “formulation of internal rules and regulations governing board examinations for nursing”. 1919- The 1st Nurses law (Act#2808) was enacted regulating the practice of the nursing profession in the Philippine Islands.
It also provided the holding of exam for the practice of nursing on the 2nd Monday of June and December of each year. 1920- 1st board examination was conducted by the Board of Examiners, 93 candidates took the exam, 68 passed with the highest rating of 93. 5%- Anna Dahlgren. Theoretical exam was held at the UP Amphitheater of the College of Medicine and Surgery and Practical exam at the PGH Library. 1921- Filipino Nurses Association was established (now PNA) as the National Organization of Filipino Nurses.
PNA’s 1st President is Rosario Delgado and founder Anastacia Giron- Tupaz. 1953- Republic Act 877, Known as the “Nursing Practice Law” was approved. Republic Act 6675- Generics Act of 1988 Republic Act 7164- Philippine Nursing Act f 1991 Republic Act 7600- Rooming In and Breastfeeding Act of 1992 Republic Act 8981- PRC Modernization Act of 2000 Republic Act 9173- Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 Republic Act 9288- Newborn Screening Act References: Agoncillo, T. A. & Guerrero, M. C. (1977).
History of the Filipino people (5th ed. ) Quezon City, Philippines. R. P. Garcia Publishing Co. Choy, C. C. (2003). Empire of care Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History. Durham,NC: Duke University press. Dela Cruz, E. R. (1983). History of Philippine Medicine and the PMA (1st ed. ). Quezon City, Philippines: PMA Printing Press. Philippine College of Health Sciences (2010). PCHS elearning. Retrieved from http://www. slideshare. net/nurse5616/history-nursing-of-the-philippines-2875925.