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Teodora Duarte-QuilaoTeodora Duarte-Quilao

What is my purpose?

As a child, I dreamt of discovering what exist beyond the border.  I wanted to know how people’s lives differ from mine. I was born in a middle-class family where my parents had to work hard to finance their four children’s education. It was their primary concern. They said, “Finish your education. It will be your stepping stone to accomplish your dreams.”

 As a newly graduated nurse (Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines), I saw it was difficult for underprivileged people to obtain medical appointments with prominent physicians. I was surprised to get rapid referrals after talking to these doctors and about the situations of these patients. I think my advocacy started when I realized the power of standing with this population and voicing their needs.

 As a young nurse, I decided to migrate and seek professional opportunities in Switzerland, where I found the snow and a multifaceted culture. I attended a psycho-geriatric postgraduate course, where I fought for and obtained mandatory training for all nurses and assistants working with the elderly to comprehend the stages of aging and to be respectful of older adults who have Alzheimer’s disease.

Soon after my arrival in Switzerland, I got married and started a family. However, in the midst of this happiness, a great mourning captured me. My husband died when he was only 40 years old leaving me a 7-year-old daughter. I set aside my academic career to consecrate my life as a mother to my daughter.

Years passed and I decided to return to the University and obtained my master’s degree in Health Care and Management from Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland. Many of my colleagues did not understood my reasons to return to school, as I was “already old” with a distinguished professional career as a nurse leader at the Hospital of Prangins, CHUV.

I was entirely convinced with my moral obligation to update my nursing knowledge and avoid succumbing to this saying “we have always done it this way." I chose to leave my work without any remunerations but I am morally at peace with myself.

 I found my purpose in life with my decision to quit my job and pursue my doctoral degree in nursing to prove that it is possible to change nursing and help future generations of nurses. My decision to pursue my doctoral degree in nursing was sparked when I first attended the Humanbecoming Conference last 2014 in Pittsburg, PA. With the humanbecoming leading-following model, (Parse, 2008, 2014) I am committing to a vision of changing the existing now in our health settings by forging a path to fulfill my goal as a nurse leader with courage and creativity. I am living on the edge with my willingness to take the risk of quitting my job while assuring reverence for the patients, families, and communities and honoring their uniqueness.

I published a research study in 2018, about “The Living Experience of Suffering: A Humanbecoming Parse Research method” coauthored with Françoise Strüby Maillard, from Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland. It was about the suffering of typhoon victims from the archipelago of the Philippines who were hit by the strongest typhoon last 2013.

I wrote another article, “Human Suffering,: An Integrative Literature Review” published by the Universidad Libre de Pereira, Colombia last 2018.

I attended several international podiums and won poster presentations during my doctoral program in Nursing Science (Graduate Center, CUNY) since 2015.

I defended my Doctoral degree (PhD in Nursing) last April 5th, 2019, at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). My dissertation topic is about listening. The title is “Feeling Listened To: A Parsesciencing Inquiry”. My interest of investigating feeling listened to arose from my professional career with experiences of dialoguing with persons, families and health professionals. While witnessing the turmoil patients, families and communities go through, I acknowledge that they often are dissatisfied and do not feel listened to, suggesting to me feeling listened to requires further study. The main discovery, which in Parsesciencing is the now-truth of feeling listened to is: Feeling Listened To is uplifting recognition amid disconcerting rebuff, as treasured affiliations surfaces with joyful gratification.

Envisioning my implications for nursing, it is my quest to stir awareness and initiate a movement of change in nursing to nurture a crucial awareness about the significance of honoring others, this could be done by acknowledging people, by treating them with respect, and honoring their dignity. Projects are propelling me to move forward as I continue my journey with Humanbecoming Paradigm (Parse, 2014).