“I first joined the NHS in 1979 as a student nurse in Belfast before doing my midwifery training in 1982.
“I was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps in 1985, where I spent 5 years delivering soldier’s wives babies in Germany and Aldershot, before leaving to start a family. I also had a secondary war role as a Theatre Sister and often went on military exercises during the Cold War. My NHS service restarted in 1991 after I took time out to have a family.
“I currently work in all areas on the Delivery Suite, which involves taking part in all types of deliveries. I also look after patients in the High Dependency Unit and the Abbey Suite. On an average day, I care for around four patients during a 12-hour shift. Also, I mentor both midwifery and medical students.
“In HDU we care for patients with complex medical conditions as well as their pregnancy. In the Abbey Suite I look after women who have lost their babies, providing support and comfort, alongside the Bereavement Team.
“Having recently attended Royal College of Midwifery conferences I know the BWC team is very progressive and find this professionally stimulating and interesting. Whilst the unit is busy, we overcome daily stresses by working closely as a team. My colleagues are extremely supportive – helped by strong management and a good sense of humour amongst the team. I love the professionally challenging environment, mentoring, the research trials and the complex cases we deal with daily.
“I’ve seen many changes to the profession over my years in the NHS. The biggest of which is you can now enter the profession as a midwife instead of training as a nurse first. The change to evidence-based practice has also been substantial. Over the last 40 years the NHS has become more efficient at handling patients and time in hospital has decreased from 10 days for a Caesarean Section to just 48 hours. Electronic recording has replaced paper documents, which presents different challenges.
“I’m in the twilight of my career now but I look forward to continuing to enjoy practising as a midwife and embracing future challenges.”