By Registered Nurse Ludi Ramos Victor in NY, SEIU 1199 member
In recognition of both Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May and National Nurses Week from May 6 through May 12, I’m compelled to share the story of the countless, hard-working, strong Filipino nurses who came to the United States.
Joining together with other workers in my union has been the best way I've felt empowered and heard as a frontline worker and immigrant worker, and thankfully, part of my union journey has been sharing my story in a newly released documentary, Nurse Unseen.
Watch the trailer for NURSE UNSEEN, a new documentary that explores why nurses of Filipino descent account for more than 31.5% of U.S. Covid-19 nurse deaths.NurseUnseen.com
COVID-19 hit Filipino nurses hard. We make up 4.5% of the RN workforce in the United States, but we account for more than 31.5% of U.S. COVID-19 nurse deaths.
Nurse Unseen explores the forgotten story of Filipino nurses and the stark disproportionate impact that COVID-19 had on our nurse community. It also explores the history of Filipino nurses in the United States and the pandemic-driven resurgence of anti-Asian hatred and violence.
I am lucky to have stayed healthy throughout COVID’s worst days, but that wasn’t true for all nurses. One veteran Filipino nurse who died from Covid on April 17, 2020, just two days after testing positive, was our SEIU Local 121 RN sister Celia Marcos, 61, who worked (and died as a patient) at Hollywood Presbyterian in Los Angeles.
Her story (and mine) are two stories of many told in Nurse Unseen. I compel you to hear us and take in our experiences so we can all learn and rise up to make changes for the future.
I’m proud to share this Filipino-American history. Thank you for checking out Nurse Unseen and for learning more about Asian American frontline workers this AAPI Heritage Month and National Nurses Week!