The Struggles of a Filipino Medical Virtual Assistant

Being a medical virtual assistant (MVA) is a demanding and challenging job, especially for Filipinos who work for clients living across the planet with a big time difference. And when you add in the factor of getting older and no longer being able to work graveyard shifts, the struggles become even more real.

The Philippines has become a hub for virtual assistants, with many foreign clients outsourcing their administrative and healthcare tasks to Filipinos. This is mainly due to the country’s abundant pool of highly skilled and educated individuals who are fluent in English. However, this setup also comes with its own set of challenges, particularly for those working in the medical field.

One of the biggest struggles for Filipino MVAs is the time difference between their clients’ countries and the Philippines. Most foreign clients are from the United States, which has a 12-16 hour time difference depending on which coast they are located. This means that Filipino MVAs often have to work during the night or early morning to accommodate their clients’ schedules. And for older MVAs who can no longer handle these graveyard shifts, finding clients with more aligned time zones becomes a challenge.

This issue is further exacerbated by the fact that there is a higher demand for virtual assistants in the US compared to Australia, where the time difference is only 2-4 hours. This means that there are more opportunities for Filipino MVAs to find clients in the US, but at the same time, it also means they have to work even harder to find clients who can accommodate their schedules.

The struggle between taking care of one’s health and making enough income to support one’s family is a constant battle for Filipino MVAs. Many rely on their income as MVAs to provide for their families and support themselves financially. However, working irregular hours can take a toll on one’s physical and mental health.

There are some practices that are open to flexible work schedules, but they are very hard to come by. Many employers still expect their MVAs to work during the night or early morning, even if it means sacrificing their health and well-being. This puts Filipino MVAs in a difficult position – do they prioritize their health or their income?

One solution to this struggle is for employers to offer more flexible work arrangements for their MVAs. This could include allowing them to work during regular office hours in the Philippines or providing them with a rotating shift schedule. This would not only benefit the MVAs’ health but also improve their productivity and quality of work.

Another important aspect that should not be overlooked is the need for healthcare and insurance for independent freelancers like MVAs. Unlike regular employees, independent freelancers do not have access to benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. This puts them at a disadvantage, especially when it comes to taking care of their health.

Securing healthcare and insurance can be costly for independent freelancers, and it often becomes a burden on their already limited income. This highlights the importance of prioritizing one’s health above anything else. As a medical professional, it is essential to take care of oneself first before taking care of others.

In addition to advocating for flexible work arrangements and healthcare for MVAs, it is also crucial to educate clients about the importance of respecting their MVAs’ time and schedules. Many clients tend to overlook the fact that MVAs have families and personal lives outside of work. It is important for clients to understand that just because MVAs are working from home does not mean they are available 24/7.

Lastly, it is essential for Filipino MVAs to prioritize their health and well-being. While providing for one’s family is important, it should not be at the cost of one’s physical and mental health. It is crucial to establish boundaries and communicate with clients about work schedules that are sustainable for both parties.

In conclusion, the struggles of a Filipino medical virtual assistant working for clients living across the planet with a big time difference are real and challenging. The constant battle between taking care of one’s health and income is a difficult one, but it is essential to prioritize health above anything else. Employers should also recognize the importance of offering flexible work arrangements and healthcare for their MVAs. Let us remember that our health is our most valuable asset, and it should not be compromised for the sake of work.


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