Being a Neonatal nurse at St George’s
“Opportunities to learn new skills” is just one of the reasons Hannah Temple enjoys working at St George’s. Hannah joined in September 2015 as a newly qualified nurse and says the exciting learning, training and career progression opportunities are what keep her motivated.
Hannah qualified as a paediatric nurse from the University of Nottingham after completing a four-year master’s course, and was attracted to St George’s because of our level three neonatal surgical unit.
Over the last five years, Hannah has gained experience in intensive care, special care and high dependency, as well as completed courses in cannulation, venepuncture and advanced life support.
Hannah now helps to manage our transitional care unit – a newly-launched service aiming to keep mothers and babies together on our postnatal ward. She also manages babies who may need additional care, such as antibiotics or assistance with feeding.
“It’s a privilege to have been given the opportunity to help develop and grow this vital service for mothers and babies.” Hannah said. “I’m responsible for managing a small team which involves organising rotas and mentoring junior team members. I also carry out procedures such as cannulations and lumbar punctures on the postnatal ward, reducing the amount of time babies are separated from their mothers”.
“The neonatal unit is a very supportive, friendly environment and I’ve been able to progress to this level because of the on-going encouragement to keep learning and developing my skills. I’m looking forward to seeing the transitional care service grow and develop with more neonatal staff so we can increase our capacity to keep mothers and babies together.’’
Rafaella joined St George’s neonatal unit straight from university in 2015, and has thrived in the unique environment here. Rafaella is now a Band 7 Sister – a role she was promoted to in August 2019.
“It is an exciting place to work, and the work is challenging, but also hugely rewarding,” she said.
“As a level three hospital, with our size and status as a trauma centre, and specialist facilities, we are caring for a wide range of babies, including some of the sickest. The relationships we have, with parents, other nurses and consultants are all vital day-in, day-out, and part of what makes the job so motivating and interesting.
“It is a very supportive environment, from induction, being mentored, encouraged and funded to take a specialist course, through to the day-to-day learning and support from people around me.
“It’s a great place to start and develop your career, with challenges and opportunities you wouldn’t get elsewhere. I’ve benefited from numerous training courses in my time here, including the post-graduate course, which lasts around nine months.”
Stephanie joined St George’s after graduating from university two years ago, and is now on track for a promotion to Band 6.
Stephanie chose St George’s because she wanted the opportunity to work on a level three neonatal unit and benefit from the high quality of teaching she knew we provided here.
“Right from the start with the structured induction, there has been lots of opportunity to learn and I’ve been supported throughout my training.” Stephanie said. “The staff have been incredible and really supportive throughout my journey.”
“I’ve had the chance to take part in plenty of study days, including breastfeeding, the special care course and the high dependency course, all of which have helped me with my time management skills, medical calculations skills, as well as my ability to care for babies.”
Stephanie started the intensive care course in September this year and is now looking forward to progressing to Band 6, with an aspiration of becoming a practice educator.
After joining St George’s four years ago as a newly qualified nurse, Harriet is now an experienced and valued member of the neonatal unit team.
Harriet studied General Nursing at Trinity College Dublin. After qualifying, she chose to apply for a role at St George’s because the neonatal unit offered the education and training needed to become competent and qualified in neonatal nursing. “There are so many reasons why I enjoy working here.” Harriet said. “There are clear routes for progression, lots of development opportunities, and most importantly a friendly, supportive team who support and look out for each other.”
Harriet was promoted to Band 6 in 2018 after completing the neonatal intensive care course, and is now enjoying the increased responsibility: “Managing the special care and intensive care rooms has been an exciting new challenge,” she said “I also mentor and help teach new team members which is a great role to take on.”
“I’m very proud to be part of a highly skilled, dedicated team that’s driven by continuous improvement. The specialist skills and cutting-edge equipment we have here makes St George’s neonatal units one of the best in the country.”