Nurse tells how Faleolo Hospital handling health crisis

They are overworked, devastated from having seen so many young lives lost, but they are not giving up.

That sums up the attitude of a team of nurses and health workers at the Faleolo Hospital who have had to deal with more patients during the past four weeks than they ever had to before.

Registered Nurse and Supervisor, Fuia Faafiaula, tells the Samoa Observer the situation has been challenging but their work is driven by love and the hope they make a difference in someone's life.

"Here at Faleolo before the measles, we barely see this many patients," she said.

"But since the outbreak, we've been busy at every corner. While it has been challenging, this is also a good test for all of us to see if we can handle this kind of pressure. And we have done okay, I think."

The hospital normally opens for eight hours.

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But the health crisis the nation is facing has meant it is now opened for 24 hours.  

That means overtime work and many other factors.

Away from the measles, the Registered Nurse said they still have to deal with other illnesses such as the flu, diarrhoea, body pain and injuries. She said most of the measles cases are referred to the Leulumoega hospital for isolation purposes.

The other challenge they face is sometimes they don't have a doctor readily available. 

But with every challenge comes an opportunity.

Where the nurses feel they cannot help, patients are automatically transferred to the main hospitals so they can be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.

But the work at the hospital is more than just nurses and doctors.

Security officer, Vitale Filipo Kooper, said his workload has increased since the outbreak.

"It's important for me to open my eyes all the time since we're receiving a lot of patients."


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