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Filipino Virtual Assistant Nursing Workers: A Look into the Past, Present and Future

For more than 100 years, the United States has relied on the skills and expertise of Filipino virtual assistant nursing health care workers. Today, the number of Filipino registered nurses immigrating to the US, as well as the number of virtual Filipino nurses employed by American companies, is on the rise.

This article examines the reasons why Filipino health workers represent the largest group of foreign-born registered nurses in America and the benefits of hiring a virtual Filipino medical assistant for your healthcare practice.

The Influence of American Education and Healthcare on the Philippines

The Treaty of Paris in 1898 saw the United States acquiring the Philippine Islands following the conclusion of the Spanish-American War. At the time, the US government realized that there were not enough medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics in the country, so they invested in building better medical infrastructure and schools.

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In 1901, the need for English teachers increased, so over a thousand teachers were brought from the US to teach in schools across the Philippines. In 1908, the first university was opened in Manila under US Act 1870.

The American education system had a strong influence on the Philippines, and English became the main language of instruction. This is why Philippine English is closer to American English than any of the other Asian countries.

In the early 20th century, Westernized virtual assistant nursing schools and medical systems were introduced in the Philippines. Top nurses from the country were then sent to the US for further education and training, before returning to the Philippines to replace American nurses and faculty members at training institutes.

After World War II, the US introduced a visa program that allowed Filipino nurses to come to the US and help fill the shortage of nurses. Since then, it is estimated that over 150,000 Filipino nurses have immigrated to the US.

Today, Filipinos make up 4% of all registered nurses in the US.

Contribution of Filipino virtual assistant nursing during Times of Crisis

Filipino registered virtual assistant nursing have played a crucial role in the US medical health system during times of crisis. Following World War II and the HIV pandemic in the 1980s, the US experienced a shortage of nurses and turned to the Philippines for assistance.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Filipino nurses were once again called upon to assist in the US healthcare system. However, data shows that they faced a disproportionate number of COVID-19 infections and deaths compared to their American counterparts.

Filipino nurses often work in challenging environments, such as inner-city hospitals, where local nurses may be reluctant to work and have higher burnout rates. Despite the difficulties, the strong work ethic of Filipino workers has proven to be of great value to the American healthcare system and is expected to continue in the future.

The Philippines: A Major Contributor to the Global Healthcare Workforce

The Philippines is a Major Source of Registered Nurses in America

A large number of registered nurses in America come from foreign countries, and the Philippines is at the top of the list. 33% of all foreign-born registered nurses in America are from the Philippines, followed by India with 6%, Jamaica with 5%, and Canada with 4%. Filipinos make up 4% of the total number of registered nurses in America, and this number is expected to increase.

The Growing Demand for Skilled Medical Workers

The American medical industry is facing a skilled labor shortage due to various reasons. Previous articles have explored the effects of this shortage on the medical industry in the coming years. The Philippines is expected to provide a significant number of workers to help address this shortage.

International Demand for Filipino Medical Workers

The demand for Filipino medical workers is not limited to America. Over 18,000 Filipinos are employed by the UK National Health Service, and their demand is increasing in countries such as Japan and the Gulf States. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Spain fast-tracked visas for Filipinos to help ease the strain on their healthcare system.

Philippine’s Presence in the American Healthcare Industry: In-Person and Virtual

The Philippines has a large presence in the American healthcare industry, both in person and virtually. Since 1999, the country has been producing an abundance of nurses to meet the demand from international markets. Nursing schools have grown from 175 in the 1990s to over 450 today, producing more than 38,000 nurses each year.

The Philippines is also a leader in Healthcare Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). Many registered nurses have left their positions to work as virtual agents for healthcare companies around the world. Their strong work ethic and knowledge of medical systems has made them in high demand.

Major medical insurance companies in the US have set up BPO operations in the Philippines. For example, Aetna announced plans to expand their facility in Manila and hire 1000 additional nurses. The demand for virtual registered nurses is also growing in the private sector.

Primary care doctors often spend a significant amount of time on administrative tasks like entering information into electronic health records (EHRs). To alleviate this workload, many medical providers now hire virtual registered nurses who are well-trained in EHR systems and can perform these tasks. This has also increased the demand for telenursing nationwide.

Why Virtual Registered Nurses from the Philippines are a Valuable Asset for Medical Practices

Small and medium-sized medical practices across the United States are turning to virtual help from registered nurses in the Philippines. This article will explain why they are valuable assets for practice growth.

  • Filling the Labor Shortage Gap: The shortage of skilled medical workers in the U.S. is expected to continue for some time. This makes it difficult for medical practices to find and keep experienced staff. Hiring new staff can take up time and resources, and with so many job opportunities available, locally hired staff may leave for better opportunities.

  • Lowering Overheads: Hiring virtual staff from the Philippines can be a cost-effective solution for medical practices. While there are instances of exploitation, in general, virtual staff from the Philippines can bring mutual benefits to both the employer and employee. Registered nurses in the Philippines who work for BPOs earn higher salaries and benefits than those working in the field.

  • Strong Work Ethic:  Registered nurses from the Philippines are known for their strong work ethic, which is why demand for their services remains high. Their reputation for being humble and hardworking, combined with a smile, makes them a valuable asset for medical practices.

  • Cultural Similarities: The Philippines has a strong cultural connection with the U.S. due to English being one of its official languages and the influence of American culture on the country. This makes it easy for Filipino nurses to blend into new environments and work effectively with local staff.

  • Outstanding Communication:  In Filipino virtual assistant nursing have excellent English language skills and close resemblance to the American accent due to a century of American influence in the country. Their clear communication and friendly, humble demeanor make them a valuable asset to any medical organization to enhance the overall patient experience.

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