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A special oath to uphold

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Thursday, November 09, 2017

IMAGINE walking barefoot in the hot scorching sun and by midday the hunger and thirst start to build up but you don't stop, you don't give up until you reach the village where sick patients and young babies are waiting to be attended to.

Such is the life of Rokolutui Kapaiwai, who has had to endure this daily challenge for the past four years after being posted as a nurse to the interior of Nailuva district in the Ra Province.

Rokolutui has been a nurse for the past 18 years but spent most of his career at Suva's CWM Hospital.

Mainly brought up in Suva, the Tubou, Lakeba, Lau native took up the challenge believing it was God's calling for him and he was ready to assist wherever his calling took him.

It was at the Nasavu Nursing Station where he learnt perseverance and hard work, assisting as many people as he could.

"I started there in 2010. It was just a nurse's home but no clinic and I was like a mobile nurse having to travel around the nine villages and 15 settlements in parts of Nalawa and Nailuva district," Rokolutui explained.

"I was honoured that I was given the privilege to be one of those nurses who served in the highlands and offered health assistance to villagers and to those who needed me for four solid years.

"I enjoyed every moment of it, the challenges moulded me to become a better person in life and it also taught me to value and appreciate life as we all live different lives on this earth."

Amid these challenges, Rokolutui was transferred to the Lautoka Hospital early this year before a friend recommended him to take up a nursing post at Castaway Island in the Mamanuca Group.

This was after he resigned from the Health Ministry to work in a totally new environment, a decision which took him three weeks to think about.

Being a nurse, Rokolutui spent his entire career with the Health Ministry so when he was given this choice, he was lost because he knew he was going to serve in a totally different environment and bulk of his patients would be tourists visiting the island.

"I am so thankful for this opportunity to be a full-time nurse at Castaway especially after spending the past 18 years with the ministry.

"But being a nurse, the challenge is everywhere and I always see this career as a calling, hence, I will try to do my best and do what I can to serve tourists with loyalty and give them the best care they deserve.

"I always keep in mind that my first impression leaves a lasting impression so I try to make tourists' holidays a memorable one by providing them with the best, possible care."

While reminiscing on the work challenges he had gone through for many years, Rokolutui said it would take another nurse or a nurse's family member to understand what they go through.

But being nurses, he said, the oath they had taken from day one was what kept them going throughout.

"I salute nurses' families for always being with them. Most times we are degraded on social network forums and people do not really know what we go through.

"I always wear my uniform because when I am worn-out and tired, hungry or thirsty, I look at my uniform with pride because it reminds me of the calling that has been bestowed upon me."

He also acknowledged his father, Reverend Tuinayau Kapaiwai, and his mother for moulding him to be a better person in life.

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