1) Tell us a little bit about you?
My name is Rhadi, I am 33 and I moved to England three years ago from Italy, where I was born. I have been in the North for a while, then I found that London would have better suited me and here I am.
2) What is your background?
I have started as a Paediatric Nurse in Rome, working several years with children of all ages and with newborns. While working, I studied and obtained the degree in Nursing for adults and, after a couple of years of experience with adult patients, I was employed by a hospital in North England to work as a Nurse. I have been part of the NHS since.
3) Are there any similarities between the roles?
Well, the similarity between working in a Neonatal Department and working in the private sector as Maternity Nurse is in the fact that you perform nursery duties, looking after newborns and you teach and support mums with the breastfeeding and both parents with taking care of their little ones, for the period in which they will stay in hospital (in Italy they are discharged after 3-5 days post-birth).
4) What made you want to become a Maternity Nurse?
The Maternity Nurse field is a “world” that surprisingly opened to me, here in London (we don't have this professional figure in Italy)!
I realized that I would have had the chance to put into practice what I had learnt as Paediatric Nurse, combined to the knowledge acquired through the variety of specific trainings that qualify you to work as a Maternity Nurse, in the calmer environment of a home, dedicating my attention and energy to one family at a time, to provide a personalized and focused quality care.
5) How have you found the placement scheme has helped you?
The placement scheme is a great chance given to those who, like me, just move the first steps as Maternity Nurses. While still trying to find proper positions, you can get the experience of working with families and those families will provide you with references! The more references you'll collect, the greater will be the opportunity of finding jobs later on.
Each placements lasts a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 5, so you can easily fit it in your busy life and it is worth it to invest time in it, because it will open more doors in the future!
6) How do you feel Nannies benefit from the course?
I find that most Nannies coming to the course are very keen to improve their nutrition knowledge in order to implement these in their lives and at work. They get practical guidance on how to cope with fussy children (common issue) and how to prepare balanced meals. It helps them take their cooking to a more fun and exciting level. Also, being able to ask all sort of questions relating to health, children and having answers from a professional therapist who is also a parent is very valuable to them.
7) What tasks have you completed as part of the placement scheme?
Nursery duties, that is: bottle feeding, bathing, nappy changing, settling the baby, entertaining them with activities according to their age.
I also had the chance to give the mum some suggestions (and encouragement) regarding the transition from breast to bottle feeding.
8) Was there anything you found challenging?
Let's see… Well, nothing's really challenging (especially when you are lucky to meet nice families, making you feel comfortable)!
I could say, though, that the “tricky” part is to go to the family with all your bunch of knowledge that you're ready to put in place, and be able to make a “step back”, learn to listen to what the mum/family needs and adapt yourself and what you think is right or wrong to them… in hospital exactly the opposite happens: people come and they have to adapt to the system, haven't they?
9) What are your next steps?
I hope I will be able to extend my experience as Maternity Nurse more and more, also travelling abroad, so that I can learn what families in different parts of the world culturally need/expect from a Maternity Nurse.
I will surely attend other trainings, which are all amazing, inspiring and extremely useful to support the families properly.
And I might think to explore the Doula world… as an extension of the Maternity Nurse role.