Most superheroes featured by contemporary media typically use their powers to help the world become better and are dedicated to protecting the public. And in today’s generation, superheroes are no longer wearing capes. They are the medical workers who continue to curtail the spread of the deadly respiratory disease, Covid-19.
Abu-Dhabi-based Filipino Jacquelyn Merano Adormeo, 28, is one of them. She arrived in UAE some five years ago as a make-up artist and a trainer of make-up courses.
But no one has ever predicted that she will be part of UAE’s Covid-19 nurse responders as she has always been working in the cosmetic industry, a work that is far different from the medical field.
How it all started
When she finished studying high school, she was offered a four-year scholarship and has chosen Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a condition to maintain certain grades so she wouldn’t be kicked out from the scholars’ list.
“We were never rich. My parents’ source of income did not suffice, and the scholarship covered almost everything–excluding the miscellaneous fees. So, during college days, in order for me to survive, I did odd part-time jobs. I modeled for various fashion designers and I also joined local pageant competitions. I used the prizes in my studies,” she said.
Adormeo started to learn the use of make-up brush, concealers, eyeliner, and mascara and started to make money out of it.
Despite juggling work and school, she was able to maintain her grades and eventually graduated with flying colors, and receiving the following awards: Leadership Award, Recognition Award, Excellence in Community Nursing, Excellence in Clinical Practice, Excellence in Staff Nursing, and Florence Nightingale Award, an award given to nursing students with the highest grades.
“It was 2012 when I graduated and the school hired me as their career adviser, 2014 when I decided to take the NLE board exam and passed it. Then, the school gave me another role as their school nurse,” she said.
The year 2015, the time she opted to work in UAE, she got hired as a make-up artist cum trainer for a cosmetic retail company. She did master classes whenever there were events organized by their marketing team and delivered talks as well.
Taking a huge responsibility
Before working on the frontline to help curb the virus, she resigned to her previous post as a make-up and infection control trainer in a well known cosmetic retail company as she was hired in one of the biggest Salon Group in UAE with the same designation. Then the bad news came.. “In my mind, I know what was happening, the processing of my visa was put on hold due to the situation, I can’t stand without finding a way to survive as my husband also lost his job at that time. While browsing on Facebook, I found a post that several nurses are needed. I tried my luck and got hired,” she said, adding that the company who hired her, Aspen Medical UAE, has provided her a series of intensive trainings which helped her refresh her knowledge and skills and be fully-equipped on the battleground.
In her first three months, she was assigned at the Sheikh Khalifs Medical City’s emergency department, and today, she is one of the nurses taking part in the world’s first phase III clinical trials on an inactivated Covid-19 vaccine for 4Humanity Mission.
“I was anxious at first. I was always anxious that I might be infected with the virus especially when we were assigned in the emergency department with direct contact to Covid-19 patients,” the frontliner said, noting that she had to follow all the protocols to prevent the infection to spread from herself and people around her.
Adormeo revealed that she has always admired the rulers of the UAE on how they handle the situation from the onset of the pandemic up to now, from taking rigorous steps in controlling the spread of the virus until imposing action to protect its citizens and residents’ well-being.
When asked how she copes up while playing a huge role abroad, she answered that she always prays and asks for more strength and courage to fulfill her duties as a medical worker. “I also do video calls to my family in the Philippines during my day-off,” she added.
“I think this role of mine is a calling. Once a nurse will always be a nurse,” she further added.
The Filipino nurse advised her fellow kabayans to be safe and follow the local rules on how to evade and protect oneself from contracting the virus.
“We are lucky enough that the UAE is doing a lot of effort in taking care of locals and us, expats, by implementing such an effective measure in fighting the spread of the virus. Just be safe and trust we’ll get through this,” she said.