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Emma Thorns – International Day of the Midwife

Emma Thorns – International Day of the Midwife

Date of release: 5 May 2021

Say hello to Emma Thorns – she’s a midwife on New Cross Hospital’s Delivery Suite. 

Currently on secondment as a Delivery Suite Coordinator, the 29-year-old didn’t always know she wanted to work in midwifery. In fact, she wanted to be a planning consultant (working in housing and property), just like her dad!

But after a period working as a healthcare assistant at a hospital in Shrewsbury, she soon grew interested in the physiology of pregnancy and birth and decided it would be the perfect career to throw herself into.  

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Having officially joined the Trust in 2010, Emma completed three years of midwifery training before successfully qualifying in 2013. She has since enjoyed working in all areas of maternity services, in particular within critical care.

She explained: “On Delivery Suite you need to be ready to support with a range of scenarios, whether it’s dealing with high-dependency women suffering complications such as blood loss, to creating a calm and soothing environment for a ‘hypno-birth’ (a birth which uses visualisation and mindfulness to aid with pain management).

“We’re dealing with more complex conditions that you wouldn’t have seen years ago, so you’re always expanding your knowledge and learning every day.

“You have to be ready to support with holistic care, bereavement care, emergencies etc. – whatever the situation is, high-pressure or otherwise, we have to be ready to respond. We’re lucky to have an expert team of professionals at RWT who can help in these moments.”

When asked what the past few months had been like, following the situation with COVID-19, she replied: “We have all had to adapt the way that we work and revisit those general nursing skills we picked up at university – I’ve never looked after women with respiratory distress or viral illness so the clinical support has been different in that sense!

“It’s been challenging on the emotional side too because if you’ve got someone who is upset, you can’t just give them a hug or hold their hand. Plus, you’re covered in PPE and can’t see the facial expressions so we’ve been conscious of communicating effectively with our words – always trying to be kind, caring and sensitive in what we say.” 

But despite such moments of fear and anxiety, Emma recalls the moment where she received a card from a woman thanking the midwife for going above and beyond.

“It’s of course been difficult for the women when national guidance has meant not having the usual visitors around them during their time in hospital – so I helped this lady to video call her family and loved ones during key moments, ensuring they could experience it with her in some way. She sent me a card and told me how much she’d appreciated this – it was really lovely.”

For Emma, International Day of the Midwife is a key moment to stop and take note of our recent achievements.

“A campaign like this is important because we get so consumed in the busyness of our jobs, we don’t always appreciate the impact we have on others. We’ve all worked really hard this last year and it’s great to be recognised for it. I’m extremely proud of the whole team.”

Thank you Emma!

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham