WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Fiji is renowned for its spectacular beaches and coral reef: a picturesque string of islands floating peacefully in the Pacific Ocean. This is true but as a picture of Fiji it is incomplete. Fiji also has impoverished rural populations who as yet have not been able to benefit from the booming tourist trade in the country.
Fiji’s socio-economic demographic is changing fast. It is clear that the healthcare & medical industry needs to change with it, and have a clear plan to address the negative effects of urbanisation and modernisation. At the same time the cost of healthcare and medical treatment is becoming increasingly expensive and is often unaffordable by the wider community where dietary problems are widespread and the most vulnerable suffer as a consequence.
Frontier Medical & Healthcare volunteers have a fantastic opportunity to contribute to those in need while gaining valuable hands-on experience in their field. This is an ideal project for medical, nursing, and healthcare students as well as those interested in the medical or healthcare fields.
You will have the opportunity to work at one of two possible placements, depending on your interest and experience: a local hospital comprised of a skin clinic, wards for chronic patients with spinal injuries, stroke, and TB, and a prosthetics workshop; or caring for students aged from 4 through adult with varying degrees of disability at a specialized development and learning center. If arranged in advance, you may also request to spend a portion of your time each week assisting at both placements.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
If you choose to work at the hospital:
You will be placed at a hospital on the outskirts of Suva consisting of a specialist skin clinic, rehabilitation wards for spinal injury and strokes, a physiotherapy centre and a prosthetics workshop. You will have the opportunity to observe the work done in each of these areas and, depending on your interest and experience, you may have the opportunity to specialise.
Depending on the ward, your work could include things like: assisting chronic patients in day to day living, helping patients in their rehabilitation and physiotherapy programmes, taking out-patient details and giving wellness talks in the specialist skin clinic, accompanying nurses on patient home visits to assess disability needs, or training patients to use new prosthetic limbs.
You will be shadowing doctors, nurses or other healthcare workers as they go about delivering services in the local health clinic. You may also be assisting with medical screening programmes, preparing dressings, assisting with drips and eliminations, raising local awareness, and recording vital signs.
Along with assisting patients, there will also be the opportunity to accompany doctors and nurses on outreach programmes visiting rural and disadvantaged areas. This could include assisting with skin disease screening at an orphanage or jail, visiting a disabled patient at home for an assessment, or conducting a T.B screening in rural disadvantaged areas of the island or outer islands. The types of outreach and locations vary each month.
If you choose to work at the centre for children & adults with disabilities:
Fiji has a growing poverty situation and the effects of population movement have led to increased demand on the health sector to cater for the disabled. The net result is that the people’s lifestyles have changed drastically over the last three decades and lack of awareness of the pressures of living in cities with widening boundaries, coupled with a lack of medi-care insurance programmes for all. The amazing work of the disability centres is incredibly inspiring, they strive for better provision for disabled adults and children often working long hours seven days a week. Working with these partners will be extremely rewarding as the work they do provides a service that otherwise would not be available.
You will shadow and assist the healthcare and educational professionals who run programmes for students with disabilities from ages 4 through to adult, likely being welcomed to take over the care of a designated group of students. You will find yourself quickly connecting with the playful, charismatic students you are working with as you assist them with rehabilitation exercises, perform cognitive tests, or guide them through educational activities. We cannot guarantee which age group you will be working with, but be sure to include any work experience or career aspirations so we can attempt to place you appropriately. You may find yourself working in a variety of different educational areas, any other previous work experience or transferable skills would be beneficial to bring new ideas and fresh enthusiasm to the daily educational and therapeutic programmes of the disabled students.
All placements are dependent upon the submission of an up-to-date CV.
What Next? Apply Now!