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Alison Fitzpatrick

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In September 2013 I graduated with my midwifery degree after four intense though highly rewarding years of learning. Unfortunately at that time vacancies for staff midwives in Ireland were limited, forcing me to look further afield for employment. Working through agencies I was offered, and accepted, a position in an NHS Hospital in Swindon, England.  In January 2014, after obtaining my English registration, I packed my bags and made the short trip across the water as a fresh faced newly qualified midwife. 

Initially I was overwhelmed with the maternity system that the NHS implements as it is quite different to the system under which I trained. I became immersed in water births, mixed antenatal and postnatal wards and extensive community care. With the help and support of the Sisters (managers) and senior midwives in the Trust I quickly learned new policies and procedures, obtained new skills such as suturing and scrubbing while also consolidating the skills I had gained throughout my degree. I began to settle into my new surroundings of Swindon, which was a perfect location for day trips to Bath, Bristol, Oxford and London, which was great for my days off.

I believe that working in the NHS has been extremely beneficial to my career, while also broadening the extensive skill set obtained in Ireland. I continuously rotate between Antenatal, Delivery and Postnatal wards, giving me ample opportunity to refresh and improve my midwifery skills. I am involved in caring for women who are delivering in a midwife-led unit as well as the obstetric-led unit, which I would not have experienced in Ireland. Myself and the other Irish trained midwives who emigrated with me have received positive feedback on many occasions from the Sisters about our training and how quickly we settled and became familiar working in the NHS, which I believe is largely attributable to our training in the Rotunda Hospital and Trinity College. The Sisters have constantly praised the four-year degree system, especially the nine month internship in our final year, which is not present in the English system.

Thanks to the experience and education I received in the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College I was able to travel to the UK and thrive as a midwife.

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