Midwives are the lead healthcare professionals for women, taking care of their welfare during pregnancy, labour and into the early postnatal period.
In straightforward pregnancies, midwives are responsible for planning, managing and delivering care. If a woman has a complicated pregnancy, or experiences a miscarriage or stillbirth, midwives take on the role of care coordinator, ensuring she receives the necessary support from the appropriate health and social care services.
The most important thing is having the ability to care. Being compassionate, being able to empathise with the person you’re directly performing care with. And also considering the wider determinant, you need to have an understanding of how things impact families, how things impact somebody’s entire life.
It’s people just saying to you, “thank you”, I would never have been able to do it without you. And while that’s not necessarily important to me, it’s important to them, to know that you made a difference in their lives.
If you worked in a bank, or if you worked in another organisation, then things may well be very similar. But in nursing, no two days are the same. That was probably one of the biggest draws into the profession.
Children and young people, to me, are our future. Not only here locally, but right across Scotland. They’re out future, and we need to make sure they’re healthy and they have the emotional health and wellbeing.
It’s an immense privilege to look after someone in their own home. You’re a visitor in their own home, but you very quickly become part of their life, while they’re living through whatever ordeal they’re going through. And this allows you to assist them in any way, act as an advocate, signpost to help, and deliver the best care that you can provide at the right time.
In most nursing jobs, you don’t stop learning. There’s always going to be something new, there’s always going to be a new piece of equipment, or a new procedure or a new method of giving care to patients.
I always say a smile goes a long, long way and I think it’s really important we remember sometimes it’s the simplest things you do for people that make a difference.