A Nurse in a Million!
Annual International Nurses’ Day celebrates those involved in the most caring profession in the world and Heidi Birch is one of the most highly regarded!
Heidi, director of nursing at Midland Fertility in Tamworth, is one of the most skilled fertility nurses in the world!
What makes her so special? Heidi has been a fertility nurse specialist since 1987 and regularly carries out surgical procedures involved in fertility treatment, including egg collection and embryo transfers. In fact, Heidi’s unique skills have directly resulted in the birth of over 3000 babies!
International Nurses’ Day celebrated on 12 May 2015, is the birthday of Florence Nightingale and to mark the date, Heidi was interviewed about her time as a nurse so far.
How did you get into fertility nursing?
“I was working as a midwife at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and I looked after a lady that had undergone fertility treatment in Oxford. She had triplets and one died. She was having difficulty being allowed to see the baby after it had passed away and I helped make that happen for the mother. I talked to her at length and she inspired me to go into fertility nursing. I still have the teddy bear she gave me!”
What do you do as part of your day to day activities at Midland Fertility?
“My activities range from consultations with patients at first visits, delivering results, follow up appointments, to carrying out clinical procedures including, scanning, IUI inseminations, egg collections and embryo transfers. I am also able to do saline scans, echovist procedures, cyst aspirations and TESAs (surgical sperm retrievals)”
How do you find a balance between director of nursing and carrying out a nursing role?
“It is difficult to strike a balance between the two roles as they are both demanding in different ways. I love the nursing side as I love the patient contact but I love the director side as I enjoy driving the business forward with new and exciting developments.”
What do you love the most about your job?
“The patients, and babies!”
Why have you stuck with fertility nursing?
“It is an ever changing field of medicine and there are always new elements to it developing all the time. I am always learning new things, techniques and ideas. Each patient is different with a different background and I enjoy the challenges that each case brings.”
Do you know of any other nurses in the UK who carries out the procedures you do?
“As far as we know I am the only one in the UK that carries out all clinical procedures and director role.”
Why would you suggest a career in fertility nursing to a RN or midwife?
“It is extremely rewarding but not an easy job. The field of fertility develops rapidly but nurses have the luxury of retaining the patient contact and care element.”
What are the benefits of a nurse led practice?
“I think people relate to nurses in a way they don’t relate to other clinicians. People see nurses as empathetic, supportive and approachable. I think we are also seen to have the time to spend with patients. Patients can lean on nurses during tough times and nurses often become a listening ear, emotional support or confidante – especially in fertility.”
What are your thoughts about international nurse’s day?
“It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate nurses everywhere and the valuable work they do in all fields. I think the nursing profession should be celebrated and nurse’s day may also serve to encourage others to become nurses or even fertility nurses.”
What has been the highlight of your career – so far?
“There have been too many to mention! I love the babies when they come back in to see us after we have treated their mum! Makes it all worthwhile!”
Midland Fertility will be celebrating International Nurses’Day with the whole nursing team and would like to wish all nurses a very happy day.