VICTORIA CRAW | Business Editor | News.com.au
He works mainly in the acute ward dealing with high needs patients and lives on the hospital grounds with his wife Pauline and their four children.
Mr Alphonse has worked as a mental health nurse since 1995. He said the job can be extremely stressful, and in the past he has used alcohol, cigarettes and gambling to calm down.
"Working five nights in a row, working overtime, thinking about patient's hygiene and care ... it puts a lot of stress on us," he said.
"I used to come home and smoke too much, drink too much and gamble. In March 2012, something happened that really changed my mind about the way I was living.
"I was transporting a patient back to their home in Bougainville and on the way back, my right lung collapsed. I was admitted to hospital and surgery was done ... it was a spontaneous collapse and there were no underlying medical conditions. When I recovered it gave me new reason and purpose."
The event was a catalyst for Mr Alphonse to stop drinking and gambling. Instead, he started to talk to his patients about why they were unwell.
"In Papua New Guinea, the biggest problems are marijuana and home brew, which we call jungle juice. It is mostly made from sugar and cordial but it is also made from fruit and coconut juice - anything that can be fermented can be turned into jungle juice," he said.
He used the discussions to create songs, which he has recorded with his children. Mr Alphonse is now seeking government funding to get them recorded and distributed to schools and hospitals.
"I am trying to do it at my own cost because I want to do anything I can. I'm looking for ways to raise funds to get it to our schools to educate our children. Mental health is about being positive. Sometimes it is hard but good mental health is about getting out, talking, socialising and expressing yourself and encouraging others to do the same."
5am: It's time to wake up and get the kids ready for school, make breakfast. They get the big bus to school in the city.
6am: The kids are on the bus and I need to get myself ready for work.
6.45am: We need to be at work before the 7am shift starts to receive the handover reports from the night shift staff. Night duty is usually not too busy; nurses just do hourly checks unless there is an emergency admission.
7am: The morning shift is the busiest. In 15 minutes, we get all the people out of bed, help them make their beds and sweep their rooms and get them to breakfast. The Acute Ward, where I work, has 37 beds but there are usually about 50 patients.
7.15am: We really have to get the place cleaned. Hygiene is so important because there are so many people together and we are not getting a bigger place.
7.30am: Morning treatments are handed out. Sometimes you have trouble with the new admissions who don't know the routine and don't want to take their medication. We have two rooms where we can isolate violent, aggressive patients.
9.30am - noon: The psychiatrist usually arrives between 9.30am and 10am. We have a problem with the roads in Moresby so it all depends on the traffic. While the doctor does rounds, we take notes and make reports. After lunch, we get our reports ready for handover to the evening shift.
2.30pm: I live on the hospital grounds. Working in a psychiatric hospital is very tiring and is all about talking and thinking and writing notes and it is hard to switch back into family life. I used to smoke and drink and gamble when I got home. It masks things but it does not help. Now, when I get home, I get my guitar and I sing with my children. I play soccer.
5pm: One of the patients has snuck out, climbed the 2m razor wire fence and is about to jump into my yard. We shout at him to get down and he jumps back into the hospital grounds and runs into the bushes. Eventually we find him and get him back to the hospital. This sort of thing happens a lot of the time.
6pm: Dinner. We have an understanding in our house that if my wife cooks dinner, I do the dishes.
7pm: Every night we have a family devotion. We get the family together and we have 30 minutes of singing and praying before we settle the kids to bed.
7.30pm: We put the kids down to bed and my wife and I have time to discuss the day. Mostly we talk about work. We men get all the encouragement from our kids and wife. They boost us up to face the next day.
8pm: I do administrative paperwork after my wife goes to bed. 11pm: Time to sleep, ready to get up at 5am the next morning.