Caro Daniels, community midwife
I have been a community midwife at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) since May this year and I have been a midwife since 2010, when I graduated from Anglia Ruskin University. I initially worked as a rotational midwife, which means covering all areas of maternity care from Labour Ward to community, and all of the postnatal, antenatal and triage wards in between. I then specialised in community and worked at a standalone birthing unit caring for women and birthing people with low-risk pregnancies. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to experience a varied career as a specialist perineal trauma midwife, a university lecturer and a professional midwifery advocate, as well as a clinical midwife.
I came to PAHT from Colchester, where I was a core Labour Ward midwife. My family had relocated and so I chose to move to a community base nearer my home for a better work life balance. The process of applying to PAHT was really straightforward and I felt well supported throughout. I initially contacted the matron who was looking after the applications, and she took the time to show me around the unit and made me feel really welcome. I was really excited to make the application and all of the administration around the interview process was clear and straightforward. I had a designated point of contact in HR and it was really easy to get the information that I needed. It was a slick process and I would recommend anyone looking for a new role in maternity services to apply.
Once I was here, I had a really comprehensive Trust induction with ample opportunity to complete all of the learning required for compliancy. The learning team were great and were on hand to answer any questions we had. I then had a supernumerary period in which to become orientated to all areas of maternity services at PAHT.
I am now out with the Rodings community team based in Great Dunmow. We liaise closely with the other community teams, taking turns to be on call for home births or escalation if the unit needs our support. I am really enjoying being in a team where we get to know our clients and can offer them truly individualised and holistic care. I work with a great team who are always there for each other and offer support, both emotionally and practically. I feel that staff wellbeing is a priority and that the Trust is taking steps to recruit and retain midwives so that we can provide the best care for families.
Midwifery is a tough profession; a little like a roller coaster - the highs are truly exhilarating but the lows are challenging in equal measure. I have been privileged to experience so many areas of the service, supporting women, birthing people, their families and colleagues, and students. My advice to anyone considering a career in midwifery would be to prioritise self-care as you will provide the best care to others if you look after yourself. It's an emotionally draining job and you need to be in a good place to be able to give the best of yourself.