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Sarah Evans Gildea (Midwife)

My Midwifery Journey Down Under

Even when I was in the middle of my midwifery education in Trinity College Dublin and The Rotunda Hospital (2006-2010), I knew my dream was to use my qualification to move to Australia with my family.  I qualified a little later than anticipated due to an unexpected addition to my clan. As I didn’t really know where to start with the process of emigration, I accepted a job offer in the hospital I had trained in while I decided what the future held.
After much paperwork and nail-biting anticipation of good news emails, I was eventually granted both Australian registration as a midwife and permanent residency all within eight weeks of each other.  It was really happening, it suddenly became very scary.  We finished our jobs, tied up loose ends and said our goodbyes.
I started my current job in June 2012.  It is a private hospital with four labour rooms and 26 en-suite single rooms on a combined antenatal / postnatal ward.  It is very different to the environment I was used to back in Ireland.  The hardest transition was actually basic things like the use of different medications and where supplies are kept.  The eight-hour shifts were also a culture shock as I was back to working five days a week instead of three long days.
The job itself was the same - support, education and nurturing of women and babies.  The importance of women centred care that was instilled in me during my midwifery education is with me throughout every shift.  The evidence based practice we were bathed in during lectures has stood me in very good stead; not only have I received compliments from the women in my care, but also my peers.  At present, I run the postnatal ward during my night shifts and also act as a second midwife in delivery suite.  I have had some very eventful shifts and I am extremely grateful for our second year lectures on recognising abnormalities, and our head of year’s wise words of ‘you have to know the normal to recognise the abnormal’.
It is not my dream job, after all it’s an obstetric led unit, but I have plans to move to a midwifery led unit as soon as possible.

Sarah Evans Gildea, School of Nursing and Midwifery Graduate 2010

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