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“I am one of two Neonatal Outreach Sisters for the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at York Hospital. My job is to visit preterm or poorly babies who have been discharged home and provide emotional and practical support to the families.
“I have been working in the NHS for nearly 40 years and the last 35 years have been at York Hospital. I did my nurse training in Leeds and after a little spell as a theatre nurse, I came to York to do my midwifery training. At that time the maternity unit was based at Fulford, where the Designer Outlet is, and then it moved to York Hospital in December 1983. Whilst training as a midwife I had a six week allocation to SCBU and fell in love with the unit and the work. After 33 years I have never looked back and have spent most of my adult working life on there, with the past 15 years as neonatal outreach.
“I feel I have an amazing job, caring for sick and vulnerable babies, watching them grow, get better and then discharged home. It is a privilege to visit the families and their babies at home, to watch how well they do once home, and to be able to support and empower the parents as they finally start to be a family after what can sometimes be a long time on the unit, and quite a rollercoaster of emotions.
“Over the years there have been many changes with our approach to caring for these babies and their families. Not only the type of care and treatment they receive, but also how we involve the parents in caring and decision making. When I first started at Fulford, there were set visiting times for the parents to come to the unit and they had to wear gowns when holding their babies. Nowadays, we have open visiting and our approach is as partners in care with the parents - getting them involved from the moment their baby arrives on SCBU and helping them to make the decisions they want to make for their babies.
“I am proud to work for the NHS, even in these turbulent times. At the end of the day it is all about the patients and their families and the greatest gift we can give is to care about them, and to care for them for the best possible outcome.”
20 July 2018