NurseCorner: Has the nurse’s cap become obsolete? (Part 2) PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 September 2011 14:19

BY Helen Climaco San Luis Ali, RN

The capping ceremony and at last, the cap. The most anticipated and significant event in every nursing student life, as each one of us, with our white nursing shoes, white stockings, and radiant with the white starched dress, fully complemented by its stiff apron, all new in splendor, proudly walked upstage to have that white cap gloriously pinned on our heads, the honor having been performed by the late, tall and stately, Miss Regellana, the Chief Nurse, an icon in Zamboanga nursing, most loved, most feared, most respected. And thus, the nursing ensemble was completed by this simple ceremony; the space full to capacity by beaming parents and relatives from far and wide, to share in this special moment in their children’s lives; and friends, who came to applaud and share in the success of their friends.

There were noise, cheers and hugs; the memories captured by flash bulbs all around, proof that lies this day, pale, withered and lined in albums for generations to witness. To each one of us, it was a day marked in the calendar of our lives, and an achievement made possible by diligence and serious study; the first step to the realization of our dreams, to step in the American soil ,talk dollars ,earn dollars, so that our parents may rest a bit from toiling the earth. We had wonderful, noble dreams- what nursing can do for us and what we can do for nursing. As my name was called, and announced by our principal, I topped the class. There were flowers, nicely-wrapped presents and parties. I was showered with bouquet of orchids and roses by my Auntie Cely. My efforts were not in vain. Real nursing was about to begin.

Our clinical instructors were the epitome of nursing discipline. Right the very next day, we were lined in the corridor of the ward. We stood at attention, confident and focused, as like a security inspector, she carefully went over each one of us from the head, pockets and down to the shoes, not looking for something deadly but checking that we have in our pockets, the weapons for nursing; clinical thermometer, needle, thread, tape measure, scissors, nail clipper; making sure the uniforms were in proper order, not with the prison numbers, but with our nameplates correctly positioned and pinned, that nothing shined in our bodies except ornaments respecting the marriage vows, our fingernails clean and trimmed, our hair tied and up, never touching the collar; our faces very slightly made-up and of course, the lipstick. After all, nurses should look charming and glowing, not paler than their patients. And the cap, the one thing signifying that we were ready for real, nursing action and the one thing that will make the patients accept our role as care givers; the cap, being the proof of the knowledge we learned and the training about to embark.

We had entered the nursing world, in an environment looming with pain and gloom, in an environment where faith and hope were tested as the clock ticked by. We were about to experience the difference it makes, the experiences which helped mould our personalities to what we have become today. To be continued…

Note: The writer is Co-founder and Program Director of Medical Colleagues CPR (McCPR)-India, an accredited American Heart Association international training center of Basic Life Support. Visit “Skills that save lives” at