By Erin Mitchel J. Abadilla
Trekking through courses in the medical field is a Herculean journey. Pursuing it requires utmost perseverance and unwinding determination; however, as foreboding as it may be, TPS Alumna Paola Abilgos survived the storm with flying colors. Paola Abilgos notched 9th place in recent Registered Nurse National Examinations in the Philippines.
Abilgos pursued nursing to become a certified doctors. She said that her family told her that it was the best pre-med course. “I researched about what Nursing entails, and I was pretty satisfied that what nurses do on the job is pretty similar to what doctors do,” Paola said. Nursing does not run in the family, but she traversed the exam with great success. “My ultimate goal is really to be a health care practitioner so that I can be of service to others and that drives me to strive more and thus, reach this far,” she answered.
Success does not come without hurricanes, of course. The biggest hardships she faced were (1) managing her time between studying for the boards and attending medical school at the same time, and (2) taking the board exam that was scheduled in the week just before the preliminary exams in medical school. These caused her to have the moment of truth- deciding on whether she would take the board exams or not on the said date. She said , “Luckily, I had my family and friends who were very supportive. They encouraged me to take it. I made sure to allot at least an hour to 3 hours to study for the boards and just answer mock exams.”
1. Have a goal in mind. “I was motivated by my goal of topping the boards to make my parents proud of me and to prove to myself that I can achieve great things. I didn’t really excel during my four years in College. I entered the Dean’s List but I wasn’t in the honor roll so I made it a goal to notch the boards.”
2. I found the study style that suited me the most. “As a read-write and visual learner, I found it helpful to make flashcards and carry them wherever I go as my reviewer. I went through them during my free times in med school.”
3. Time management is very crucial. “I had to make a very planned out schedule and stuck to it to a T because I needed to study for my medicine courses as well as prepare for the nursing boards. Every time wasted or lost is a lost chance in reading that one line in that one book that could appear in the exam. I focused on answering mock tests. I also go through my notes on subjects that I had difficulty in.”
4. Having peers study together with you helped a lot. “You and your friends can exchange information and they can help teach you subjects that you have difficulty in understanding in a really clear, precise, and in an easy to understand manner. They could also be sources of encouragement and motivation.”
5. Hard work pays off. “We attended review classes every day from 8 AM to 5 PM wherein we were tasked to answer a 400- item exam. We also self-studied as well as controlled our urges to go out with friends or spend the day watching our favorite TV shows.”
6. Offer everything up to God. “As a Catholic, I visited every saint and parish that I could before and after the exam and just let God decide my fate.” “Do your best and focus on what you want to achieve. Believe in yourself. Don’t half-ass things. Lastly, be thankful for the presence of the people around you and most of all to God for you did not achieve success alone. Being a Nursing student is difficult, but nothing worth having will come easy,” she advised.