MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — First line of defense.
The phrase may sound cliché, but it never falters when describing health workers who put their lives on the line daily in order to save the lives of others.
For registered nurse Noemi Guliban, the risk they put themselves daily is set aside when what is on the other line is the countless number of people they serve by providing quality and reliable medical and laboratory testing.
The journey to being a frontliner
While she is now committed to her role as a health professional, Guliban did not plan to become a nurse.
Her first choice: Accountancy.
According to Guliban, her first year seemed that only came to school and studied because her friends were there. In her second year in school, she started to appreciate the value of health and knowing what to do and not do to stay healthy and continue to do the things that you love.
On top of this, the nursing profession also captured Guliban’s heart because of the nature of the relationship that they have with their patients.
The 35-year-old registered nurse from Barangay Umapad in Mandaue City works as the officer-in-charge for the Mandaue City branch of Hi-Precision Diagnostics after being with the company for nearly 10 years.
“Ako maulaw gyud ko, especially kung magstorya sa other people. Siguro kung kaila nako, okay lang. Pero kung sa patients ug sa mga doctors, maulaw gyud ko. Murag na-challenge ko ba and maka-help pa ko og a lot more people kung naa ko sa Hi-Precision,” Guliban said.
(I used to be very shy, especially around other people. Maybe not so much when I know the person I’m talking to. But with doctors and patients, I’d get awkward. I stepped up to the challenge and I get to help a lot more people since I worked here at Hi-Precision.)
The opportunity at Hi-Precision Diagnostics opened for Guliban while she was recovering from her cholecystectomy, or gallbladder removal. Prior to embarking on her journey with HPD, she worked as an English teacher and a company nurse.
Her tenure in the company, Guliban said, is nurtured by the various opportunities to grow and help others in every position she held.
“What made me stay is the fulfillment nga maka-help ka og lain nga tawo, aside sa naa kay stable nga job and benefits nga gi-offer sa company. Ma-happy kay at the end of the day, makita nako nga mao ni ang number of people nga akong na-serve,” Guliban said.
(What made me stay is the feeling of fulfillment that I am able to help other people, aside from having a stable job and the benefits offered by the company. It makes me happy that at the end of the day, I can see the number of people that I was able to serve.)
After joining Hi-Precision as a customer service specialist, where she establishes first contact with every client at the laboratory clinic, Guliban has eventually served in various positions—each allowing her a unique opportunity to help patients.
“What made me stay is because of the fulfillment nga maka-help ka og lain nga tawo, aside sa naa kay stable nga job and benefits nga gi-offer sa company. Ma-happy kay at the end of the day, makita nako nga mao ni ang number of people nga akong na-serve,” Guliban said.
“One of the core values at Hi-Precision is having growth opportunities for all. [You] do not limit yourself nga anha ra ka diha nga position (that you will remain in that position),” Guliban said.
Hi-Precision through the pandemic
Regardless of the health risks during the onset of the pandemic, the doors of Hi-Precision Diagnostics did not close for patients and clients who needed their services.
Although at a reduced volume, patients and clients continued to come into Hi-Precision, including the Mandaue Branch, where Guliban works at the height of the pandemic. Hence, the health professionals in the HPD team also braved the risks of reporting for work and catering to the medical needs of their patients.
As branch head, Guliban’s day-to-day tasks include ensuring a safe environment for their staff members and clients.
“Wala gyud mi ni-stop maski pandemic because we know nga ang mga patients nanginahanglan gyud sa among service,” Guliban said.
(We did not halt operations even during the pandemic because we knew that the patients really need our services.)