She serves at the frontlines both in the sky and in the ground. Mich Gustillo is a flight attendant of Saudia, which had been her long time dream. However, Mich is also a nursing graduate with experience working in hospitals before flying for Saudia.
As a flight attendant, it is Mich's duty to ensure the safety and well being of her passengers on board, basically almost the same as a nurse. This was nothing new to her when she became a flight attendant after working as a nurse in several hospitals. "I used to work in few major hospitals in Manila and also in Saudi Arabia prior to joining the aviation. I served in Perpetual Las Piñas and National Kidney as a Nurse Transplant Coordinator, Also in King Fahad Medical City as a Pediatric Dialysis Nurse after that, Since I really wanted to be a flight attendant I took all the confidence and librety in getting in Saudi Airlines last 2015," Mich shared.
However five years later, the aviation industry came to a halt as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll forcing countries to shut their borders. Saudia was one of the global airlines affected leaving a lot of crew including flight attendants with no work for the moment.
This did not stop Mich from serving others. In spite of the challenge she faced, Mich answered her second calling, and that is to work as a frontliner on the ground. She answered the call of duty as a nurse at a hospital in the Philippines. "After being displaced due to the Pandemic Covid 19, I have just recently joined St Luke’s Medical Center, Global as a Staff Nurse, which I am deeply honored to be a part of their outstanding team," Mich said.
Transitioning back was not easy, Mich shared. "It was quite difficult for me since I have been away from the nursing industry for more the 5years, somehow as time passed I have forgotten some of my learnings related to my practice, also to consider the current global pandemic situation everyone’s facing, working in a medical setting would leave a stigma with lot of fear and doubts, but then as my support system was exceptionally supportive, I was confident enough to go through the process of getting back in the Hospital."
Mich was indeed born to serve and to save, be it in the sky or in the ground. She however attributes much of learning to the airline. "Flying with Saudia was the only aviation opportunity I had although back in Manila in 2012, i have tried to attend numerous open days other airlines would hold, but I wasn’t lucky enough to get it. Flying with SAUDIA was very memorable, full of fun and awesome. I was able to learn a lot, including new culture, countries, enjoying great benefits and meeting a lot of new people. It was truly amazing."
Mich however looks forward to be back in the sky, and she is optimistic that things will return, of course, under the new normal. "I’m really excited once the flights are back, but for now I’d like to focus on my health care profession since my country needs me the most," said Mich.
There are indeed a lot of registered nurses who are flight attendants. There are also a lot of registered nurses who want to be flight attendants. During this time of pandemic, Mich has this to share:
I’d like to encourage most of my co flight attendants especially who had been displaced by their company to consider this great opportunity of serving back in the healthcare since our Philippines really needs our humble service." -Mich Gustillo
Flight attendants were born to serve a special calling, and that is to save lives. Whether in the sky or on the ground, these flight attendants have proven over and over again that life is worth serving.