Wednesday, August 1, 2007


ASENA Kauyaca has been a nurse and midwife for 15 years and says there is no other profession of which she would want to be part.
Asena, who is from Bua in Vanua Levu, said even though she was born there, she has lived in Nabua, Suva all her life.
She is married with three children and says her husband is an understanding man and his maturity and tolerant nature has helped steer their marriage through stormy waters.
"The first five years of my nursing career had a huge impact on my marriage but I managed to work things out and save my family," Asena said.
She said she always wanted to be a nurse as a young girl after seeing what nurses did and how they treated the sick and how they behaved toward elderly people.
"When I was small, I used to see how nurses get close to people and how they understood the pain other persons were going through.
"That is when I decided to become a nurse and I have never regretted my decision."
She said the toughest challenge was during her three years at the Fiji School of Nursing at Tamavua.
"It was the first time I left home and there was peer pressure from older people. The students who were strong willed survived the three years and graduated as nurses."
Asena is based at the Maternity Ward of the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva and said one of her best memories was the time she delivered her first baby.
"Helping to deliver a baby is one of the most amazing feelings a nurse could feel because she is the one helping to bring another life into this world.
"It is a special feeling because we are the first ones to see a new human life even before their parents can set eyes on them."
Asena said nurses worked long hours but after after a hard day's work, when she gets home and reflects on the number of lives she helped save and the babies she delivered, it erased all the bad memories of the day.
"When we think back, after coming home from work about the lives we saved, it creates a different mood in us and gives us the satisfaction that we had helped someone."
Asena said there had been cases when she had to deal with patients who were very ill but never in her 15 years had she lost a patient and that was a record she was proud of.
"Nursing requires a lot of sacrifice and dedication and if these two qualities are not in a person, then they might not do justice to the profession.
"Nursing is a profession which requires a person to be committed to the job and to the people they are serving.
"As the years pass by, you will get to feel the pain and sorrow of the patients you treat and you get to value human life more."
She feels that nurses have a lot of potential and senior nurses in Fiji have the knowledge and experience to study to be nurse practitioners.
Nurses who want to be a nurse practitioner have to go back to school and go through an intensive one-year course where they learn more or most things doctors generally do such as refer patients, deliver babies, circumcision and prescribe treatment and medicines for sick people but there is no extra pay.
One of the conditions is that nurses must be willing to be posted to the rural areas or outlying islands when they graduate as a nurse practitioner.
In the rural areas, nurse practitioners can double as a nurse and doctor.
Given Asena's credential as a midwife, she can easily be a nurse practitioner if she wants to.
As for now, the Bua woman is proud to be a member of the order of Florence Nightingale.