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'Everything you do and say has an impact on how somebody feels'

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We talk to Helen Janiszewski, ward sister at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, who qualified as a midwife in 2003.

Helen Janiszewski

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

My mum was a midwife so I have grown up around the profession and always been extremely proud of what she did. When I was 15 I joined in the ‘Take Your Daughter to Work Day’ scheme with my mum and loved every minute.

When the time came to apply to university, midwifery was the natural choice.

Where did you train?

I trained at Nottingham University, working at Kingsmill Hospital for a year and then at Nottingham City Hospital for the last two years of my training.

What was your first job in nursing?

I was a midwife at Nottingham City Hospital.

What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?

I am a perfectionist and this can lead to frustration when things I do aren’t quite as perfect as I would like them to be.

From whom have you learnt most in your nursing career?

Everyone I have worked with or cared for has influenced how I am as a midwife.

What advice would you give someone starting out?

Everything you do and say has an impact on how somebody feels - never forget this.

What keeps you awake at night?

Hoping that my best is good enough.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

I love spending time with women and their families, helping them make that transition to new parents - I love sharing their journey and supporting them along the way.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Academically, it is a obtaining a MSc in midwifery, professionally it has been caring for and supporting close friends through the birth of their babies, and personally my proudest achievement is my own two small boys.

What is likely to change nursing in the next decade?

“We are now caring for women with medical conditions that, 30 years ago, would have meant they couldn’t have children”

Midwifery is constantly evolving and the needs of our women are becoming more complex. We are now caring for women with medical conditions that, 30 years ago, would have meant they couldn’t have children. These developments will continue.

What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?

I’d have been a psychologist.

What job would you like to be doing in five years?

I am a great believer in what is meant to be will be. Midwifery is in my heart so whatever I do, it will always be at the centre.

What do you think makes a good nurse?

To be kind, caring and empathic, while never forgetting that it is a privilege to be able to care for the people entrusted to us.

If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?

That there would be enough resources in place for midwifery care so women’s expectations could be met.

What would your ideal weekend involve?

Tea, cake and good company.

If you could spend an hour with someone, who would it be?

Mary Berry as I would love to be able to make cakes that are as beautiful as hers. I hope she could teach me everything she knows in an hour!

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