Meet Karen Stewart, Delivery Suite Coordinator, Maternity.

Meet Karen Stewart, Delivery Suite Co-Ordinator at our Maternity unit here at QE Gateshead. Karen explains the importance of planning, communicating and how she deals with high risk pregnancies. This year we are celebrating all nurses and midwives and all the fantastic work that goes on within our departments.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I start my shift at 07:30-20:30. Prior to our handover from night team to day team I check my staffing levels for the day to determine whether there is sickness to cover etc. We also have an elective work diary which focuses on women being induced for medical reasons. On a Monday, Wednesday and Friday we have recently initiated an elective Caesarian list. We aim to do between 2-3 per day. I have to factor staffing to cover the list. Following our verbal handover, I then allocate midwives to patients taking into consideration skill mix. Our clients could be labouring women, high risk antenatal women or women who have recently just delivered (postnatal women). I then have to make myself available to meet with our Consultant Obstetrician and the multidisciplinary team to inform them of our potential workload that day and informing them of potential high risk ladies. We then go to each high risk patients room and introduce ourselves formally and discuss plans of care which is very individualised. Our women are very much the centre focus in the planning of care and there opinions are very much valued by our whole team.

Throughout the course of the day my job as a co-ordinator is to be mindful of what is happening on each department within the unit.. Effective communication between the team is essential for prioritising potential risk.  

One way I’ve made a difference as a nurse or midwife:

Fairly recently I have been working on a exciting new project within our maternity department. The new service is called ‘Birth Reflections’ and it is a debriefing service for our women and their families following potential anxieties in the antenatal, intranatal and postnatal period.

I have been working very hard with members of our team and women themselves to see what they would like from this service. I aim to lead a clinic in women’s health each month which ideally will run along side our perinatal mental health team.

To date, women have evaluated the new service as outstanding with regards to a quick referral process and a meeting within 7 days. Women themselves can self refer along with members of the multi disciplinary team.

I am looking forward to working more closely with our women and their families and to offer a more unique and robust service here at QE maternity.

What would you say to someone considering a career in nursing & midwifery?

I have been a midwife for nearly 19 years. It is an amazing job and I have had the privilege of meeting and working with some very special people.

To be a midwife Is the most amazing job, I knew immediately I found my vocation in life following my qualification . I would offer anyone support and guidance in gaining insight into working within our NHS and maternity department.

2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and throughout the year we will be celebrating the nursing and midwifery profession. Hearing from a variety of roles and recognising the fantastic work and care that goes into each day here at Gateshead Health NHS Trust.