Dickya is a registered nurse from the Philippines with a Master's Degree in Clinical Supervision. As a Nurse Educator he oversees the capacity building activities for more than 150 nurses at the Children's Hospital.
In the year since I have been working at the hospital I can see that the nurses are more involved with the training. In the past it was a real struggle to get them to attend but now participation is much better. When I first started I was doing all the organising and preparing for the sessions by myself but since I launched the mentorship program in March the nurses are the ones in charge. There has been a shift, now I am just there to support them. It empowers the nurses because they own the training themselves. We no longer call it Welbodi training but instead it is the hospital training.
I have learnt a lot from working with the Welbodi Partnership. There are a lot of challenges in my job so I am constantly problem-solving and thinking of new strategies. I have learnt to be innovative and to think outside the box. For example, changing nurses’ attitudes has been difficult. Currently, they are still underpaid and undervalued in Sierra Leone and this affects their motivation. So as part of my role I have been looking at legislation and trying to make sure they receive a basic salary and health benefits. This is a new skill for me; I never knew anything about laws before! But if we can show the nurses that society values the work that they do hopefully it will improve their morale. I have also been working on establishing a reward system to recognise the hardest working staff. Financial incentives alone are not enough so I have been thinking of more creative solutions. Nurses received ministry-recognised certificates for completing training and those with perfect attendance were given new uniforms.