I start my day with a cup of tea while reading through notes and liaising with colleagues about any important updates of families known to us, checking if there any new referrals or families we have been asked to contact. I then make sure before I make any contact with a family to try to familiarise myself with important context and background, to ensure that our initial contact is supportive and sensitive as possible.
My contact with families varies from an informal introductions to having a protected time and space to speak privately and confidentially with parents about their NICU experiences and emotional support needs. I often emphasise with parents that our role is supporting families who are having completely normal reactions to abnormal circumstances, and that we can offer additional resources during these acute stress periods. I’m also here to support families in communicating their needs to their baby’s healthcare team and attend integrated care rounds where families’ psychosocial needs are discussed alongside their baby’s medical care. I’m passionate about staff training and supervision, and making sure all staff appreciate the key role they play with supporting families in the most difficult times in their lives.
A little about why you got into your profession:
I’ve always been fascinated by people’s ability to adapt to extraordinary circumstances and I wanted to support this in the healthcare setting. Often our work is supporting families in acute stress and can be more focused on prevention of future difficulties by getting families to engage with helpful and adaptive coping strategies now. It is a privilege to be supporting families who are often at the start of their parenting journey, and helping them to identify their parent values and coping strategies which will serve them well for years to come.