Case 1: Maria Freebrey - Midwife
Case 2: Victoria Quinn - Intensive Therapy Unit nurse, E Grade
Case 3: Kim Broadbent - Medical Secretary
Case 4: Pauline McCalla - Principal Pharmacist
Case 5: Raminder Birk - Head chef in diet bay
Maria has worked for 20 years as a midwife at Ealing Hospital, working in the community and also in the labour ward. ' I enjoy my job very much,' says Maria. 'When I am out and about in the community I sometimes meet mums whose babies I have delivered and it is lovely to see how the babies have grown.'
Maria finds her role at this very special time in a family's life very rewarding. Visiting mothers in their homes before and after the baby's birth as well as being there to look after mother and baby, she can become a friend with a fount of knowledge. Midwives are also able to deal with general medical problems, such as prescribing antibiotics or deciding if the mother should see a GP or a consultant.
To continue in practice, midwives must register annually, presenting a portfolio showing they have maintained their knowledge and training. So in her additional role as a supervisor of midwives, Maria has an annual interview with each midwife under her 'wing' to ensure that they are registered and are keeping up to date.
Working hours in our maternity department are flexible with part-time options to fit in with the midwife's own child-care responsibilities as well as the normal full time posts. Working patterns can be 8.30 am - 4.30 pm; 2.00pm - 9.30 pm or 9.15 pm - 8.45 am (midwives only work four days a month on this night shift in the labour ward).
Maria leads a team of six midwives and her day begins with a team meeting which covers
any problems, which could be teenage pregnancies, depression, breast feeding difficulties or family problems.
Paperwork is done before leaving the hospital, contact made with GPs or health visitors as needed and the route and order of visits worked out.
On a typical day Maria will visit seven homes before a quick lunch "on the hoof". In our multicultural community the midwives are happy to accommodate any religious beliefs or customs that the family observes, such as taking off her shoes.
Visiting a new mum the routine is
Maria checks mum, her milk flow, soreness, if the body is returning back to normal and general well being
After a short lunch break Maria drives to one of her afternoon antenatal surgeries, held in a GP's surgery. This particular surgery operates an appointment system where expectant mothers attend once a month - up to 28 weeks of pregnancy, increasing to twice a month up to 36 weeks into the pregnancy and then once a week until the birth.
During the ante-natal appointment Maria will
Any advice necessary will be given and a return-visit date confirmed.
Maria is 'on-call' eight times a month to cover times when the labour ward is extremely busy and extra hands are needed. As a very experienced midwife she may also be called out to deal with a case that has been reported to be "at risk" for some reason.