Alongside providing clinical care antenatally, during labour and birth and in the few weeks after their baby is born, my role also involves providing educational, emotional and social support to the families in my care, educating women about the choices available to them and empowering and supporting them in making the right choices for their individual circumstances to achieve the birth they want. Giving birth can be the most exciting and special time and as a midwife I am privileged to be a part of this day in day out.
How did you start your career in health?
It was not until I had my first child 23 years ago, being cared for by empowering and passionate midwives that I discovered midwifery and realised that it was the role for me. Financial and family commitments meant that it was some time before I was able to pursue my dream but eventually six years later I was able to start working towards it. Initially this involved going back to college to complete a one-year access to higher education course and volunteering on the maternity unit to gain experience and a better insight into midwifery. The next step was to complete a three-year degree at university however places on the course were limited and competition was high. It took four years of applying to university before I was accepted and able to start training as a midwife at UCLAN and ELHT.
How did you reach your current position?
After gaining my degree and qualifying as a midwife I secured a job as a band 5 rotational midwife at the trust this involved completing a two-year preceptorship program, consolidating my skills and gaining additional competencies spending six months in each maternity area, antenatal ward and clinic, central birth suite, postnatal ward and community and birth centre. Since then I have continued to work in the community and birth centre for the last six years whilst further expanding my skill set completing additional academic modules such as mentorship and newborn infant physical examination and clinical skills training like newborn life support and training that enables me to teach on emergency drills training. I became an associate lead midwife a couple of years ago and have taken on the role of Associate lead midwife for aromatherapy, assisting in implementing an aromatherapy service for women in late pregnancy and during labour, overseeing the running of the service and supporting midwives to provide the service and auditing the service.
Who or what has been your inspiration?
I have met and worked alongside so many inspirational midwives as, a service user myself, many mentors whilst I was a student, and my colleagues and managers that I have previously and still do work alongside now. The current team I work with at Blackburn birth centre are all worthy of recognition we are such a close-knit family supporting each other through the ups and the downs. In a career like midwifery it is so important to have colleagues that you can depend on in times of need.
What advice would you give others on reaching their potential or embarking on a career in health?
Never give up on your dreams, keep learning, healthcare is always evolving and changing and the learning never stops. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, advice or support when its needed. Look after and support those around you too. Be kind.
What does #YearoftheNurseandMidwife mean to you?
Midwives and nurses don’t do their jobs for the recognition, appreciation or thanks, they do it because it is what they are meant to do, they often quietly slip under the radar and don’t get the recognition they deserve so 2020 #YearoftheNurseandMidwife is a lovely way to celebrate all the amazing things that nurses and midwives do day in day out.
Favourite quotes of all time
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why"
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples"