To mark this year’s International Nurses Day on May 12th, we’ve asked three of Nightingale’s nurses to share a glimpse of their typical day and tell us what they love most about the job.
Malin Ghavami (Head Midwife)
My day frequently starts with a home visit to new mums, usually when their little one is less than four days old. We discuss the delivery and their recovery, and I offer any help and encouragement they need about things like feeding techniques, monitoring the baby’s weight and progress. After each visit, I write up my notes and tell the family when I’ll be visiting them next.
Afterwards, I schedule baby massage sessions for infants who are a few weeks old and sometimes a postnatal massage for their mums. I also manage the nurses in the community, so I dedicate time to training, or we have a general catch-up meeting. Training topics range from perfecting swaddling techniques to discussing clients’ specific needs and how best to address them.
As the day winds down, my colleagues and I discuss the schedule and requirements for the next day, although that can change entirely when a little one needs special attention earlier than planned.
I chose to be a nurse because I wanted a profession that I could be proud of, where I can positively impact people’s lives, be it the mummies or their sweet little babies. There’s no better feeling.
Julia Youll (Public Health Practitioner)
I wanted to be a nurse ever since I was six years old and was given a nurse’s uniform for Christmas, complete with a medical bag. My grandfather was a GP and I was fascinated by the surgery and all the paraphernalia (in those days kept at his home). As soon as I turned 17, I started applying to teaching hospitals in London.
We were trained at the hospital and had a lot of practical time on the wards, interspersed by study blocks. We certainly weren’t supernanny as students in those days, and we wore stiff starched detachable collars, cotton frilly caps and proper aprons!
I usually start my morning checking in with the families that I’m supporting with sleep problems, and it’s always great to hear that a good night has been achieved. Everyone has a new lease of life when they’re feeling rested.
My home visits (or calls) usually take place in the afternoons. It’s really productive to see babies and their parents in their home environment. After an hour or so’s discussion, I go away and create a plan for families to work with. This is tailor-made, specific to each one’s circumstances and dynamics. Follow-up may entail tweaking the plan, or looking at different ideas, but in general, a family without sleep deprivation is a happier one. Even a small change can make a huge difference.
Working as a nurse at Nightingale gives me the opportunity to support families during an incredibly important yet challenging time ,and it’s wonderful to see them experience so many beautiful firsts together.
Baby Afra, born earlier this year, was premature and underweight. She was so small and delicate. The first time I held her, I could feel her vulnerability and how much love and care she needed. I fed her every three hours with precise measurements of milk and the correct feeding technique, checking her weight every ten days. She started gaining weight and every day she amazed us with her smile. Now, when I look at her playing and giggling, I can’t explain the happiness I feel having being part of her life. Moments like these are why I decided to become a nurse.