A registered staff nurse, a mother and part-time Business Management student at the University of the South Pacific (USP) has taken up the challenge to move away from traditional nursing roles to provide better health services to the citizens of Lautoka.
Wainikiti Soqolala always wanted to be a registered nurse. Her dream came true when she was offered a government scholarship in 2002 to pursue a Diploma in Nursing (now known as a Bachelor of Nursing) at Fiji National University (FNU).
After her graduation, she was posted to Fiji’s second largest referral and teaching hospital: Lautoka Hospital, which has 341 beds. Since then she has worked within different specialities: general surgery, medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics & gynaecology and orthopaedic surgery.
Wainikiti’s passion and love for taking care of children has been the driving force behind her career as a paediatric nurse. “Most days, I leave work feeling satisfied with what I’ve done and the children I’ve encountered. I originally didn’t expect to work in the paediatric sector but I certainly don’t regret my choice,” she told POLHN staff.
She is a firm believer that specialised nursing is essential for a contemporary and dynamic health workforce in Fiji. As a clinical leader she provides a pivotal inspiration to junior nurses. “For me nursing is the most rewarding, diverse, and flexible career,” she encouraged them.
Wainikiti plans to apply for POLHN sponsorship to study a Masters in Health Service Management at FNU. This course focuses on theories of management and will assist with streamlining the organisation and day-to-day running of health services. Wainikiti believes that continuing education is essential to people in her field, and is a firm believer in her mantra that “Nurses who continue to learn have a world of options open to them.”
What’s Wainikiti’s message to new nurses? Keep studying! The newly established POLHN learning centre at Lautoka Hospital is full of great new facilities, providing an ideal learning environment for quiet and productive study, where health workers can easily continue their professional development.
Edited by: Margaret Goydych
Feedback: Fazleen Nisha, country coordinator for Fiji Pacific Open Learning Health Net, Division of Pacific Technical Support (email here).