Featured Personality: POLHN Focal Point for North Fiji – Devina Gaundan
Published on: 1 June, 2017
“POLHN has a lot to offer in terms of learning, students only need to dedicate a bit of their time to study. It’s free and easily accessible, so it’s great that students can study at their own pace.” –Devina Gaundan, POLHN focal point
Devina is a senior sister at Labasa Hospital, and has been with POLHN as its North Fiji focal point for the past four years. Earlier this week, she spoke to the POLHN Secretariat to share some of her experiences.
What is your professional and educational background?
I have been in the nursing profession in Fiji for the past 14 years. I started work at Labasa Hospital as a registered nurse and promoted to a senior sister (unit manager) in 2014. Currently I look after the Coronary Care Unit / Female medical ward. I have a diploma in nursing, as well as postgraduate certificates and diplomas in cardiac nursing and health service management. At the moment, I am completing my Masters in Health Service Management.
How long have you been with POLHN? Why did you initially apply for the job?
I have been with POLHN as a focal point for four years. It’s a volunteer position that I took over from a colleague when he resigned. I volunteered to take the position as I have a passion for eLearning and saw it as an opportunity to develop my confidence and career.
What is your role within POLHN?
I am the POLHN focal point for North Fiji, based at Labasa Hospital. Most of my work happens at the Learning Centre there. I help interested students sign up on the website, complete self-paced courses, and get certificates. I also look after the computer facilities and organise repairs of these when necessary. I create POLHN awareness by encouraging senior health workers and new staff to get involved in courses and assist them with computer skills. I also get to facilitate workshops for groups to complete POLHN courses, particularly in poor internet connectivity areas.
What is your most memorable POLHN experience?
I loved meeting with other focal points during a regional POLHN capacity building workshop in 2015. It was a week full of learning, developing new skills, and getting to know people from other countries. I have made some very good friends in the POLHN family!
What is your favourite part about being a POLHN focal point?
I really enjoy facilitating POLHN self-paced courses in cohorts. I get to meet different people and help them to learn and work towards certificates. Some health workers have no clinical knowledge, such as cleaners and ward attendants. So it’s really nice to be able to help them to learn about new health ideas, which they use in their everyday work.
Recently, Devina ran a successful course on infection prevention and control at Levuka Hospital. The workshop was visited by Health Minister Rosy Akbar and WHO Regional Director Doctor Shin Young-soo, who praised the POLHN program after seeing it in action.
If you would like to get in contact with Devina, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org