Staff spotlight: community coordinator midwife
Since we featured her story on our careers site a few years ago, Heather has been promoted to community coordinator at University Hospital Southampton (UHS), managing the postnatal care of mothers in the local community.
‘I am undertaking a much more managerial role in my new position, meaning that my responsibilities have shifted slightly; I’m directly responsible for mothers in the community, which takes a lot of coordination. This could be anything from managing staffing levels to moving appointments around to ensure we can offer the best possible care to our patients both within and external to the hospital.
‘Although my role is less hands-on now, if the emergency buzzer goes, I’m still on hand to help our teams do what needs to be done. All our managers are midwives, which means that if there is an emergency, we all know what to do, can all pile in and help.
‘Having that experience as a midwife is still very important, even if I’m less directly involved in my clinical duties, because a huge part of my role involves triage – sometimes I need to make decisions about which patients we need to prioritise in order to safely care for everyone, and that means considering a range of symptoms and conditions.
‘The best part of my job is seeing the transformation from expecting (and often worried or unconfident) mothers into independent, confident mums who are really starting to feel that great bond with their baby. If you’re a first time mother in particular – everything’s new, and it’s a bit like being given a job that you haven’t been trained for – babies are relentless customers that don’t care if you’re tired or unwell, they just want to be fed, changed and warm. So that journey is a really incredible thing to witness.
‘Sometimes it’s challenging when the demands exceed the resources that I have to deal with them – it’s the same in any healthcare service. But that’s when you get creative. You have to enjoy a challenge and you have to enjoy problem solving in this job. And generally, if I can go home at the end of the day knowing that I’ve done my best and that the women are all stable, that’s all that matters.
‘Looking ahead, I’m planning to continue to develop this role. We’re implementing some exciting changes, working regionally with a network of local hospitals to make it easier for women to give birth in the hospital they choose. I hope to continue to undertake new projects and improve the service we can offer. I do like a challenge and sometimes you don’t need to move jobs to find a new challenge; sometimes you can grow the role you’ve got.’
Interested in growing your own NHS career? Find our current nursing and midwifery vacancies here.