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Meet Avril Marshall! Staff Midwife

Meet Avril Marshall! - Midwife

Avril Marshall 2.jpeg

Hi, my name is Avril Marshall and I am a Staff Midwife in ward 50, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

This ward is a 16 bedded postnatal ward and we care for women and babies who can go home within 6 hours of birth. The mothers and babies have had no complications in pregnancy, during the birth and in the immediate postnatal period. The care in ward 50 is very much midwife led and most of the midwives are trained in the Examination of the Newborn. This role was previously the role of the neonatal medical staff and I am very proud to say Ward 50 won an award for commitment to this role, multi disciplinary team working and effective practice!

I have been in post since 2007 and worked in the postnatal setting since 2010

Welcome to my day!

7.30am – 9.30am

At 7.30 am I will attend the staff handover and listen to the report from the night staff. I will be allocated the women and babies I will be caring for, begin to make a plan of care and prioritise my workload. I will then introduce myself to the mothers and babies and explain my role. As I said I will already have a plan and prioritising care but listening to the women’s priorities and personalising the care to meet the needs of individual women is imperative and one of the fundamental principals of providing excellent midwifery care. Some women may want infant feeding or baby care advice and some women may want home ASAP. 

9.30am -12.30 pm

In the absence of the Senior Charge Midwife I may attend the Safety Brief or “Huddle” and feedback to the ward staff any issues we may encounter on shift such as problems with IT systems and what is happening around the rest of the maternity unit. Increased activity in labour ward will have a direct impact on our ward therefore we will always be prepared. I will go back to the mothers and babies and commence some newborn examinations, postnatal examinations, give advice on baby care, personal care, what to expect once home, answer questions and give information on community midwife visits. I will admit some new mothers to the ward and discharge mothers and babies home.

12.30 pm-15.30 pm

I will ensure that all mothers who require medication are attended to and this is a good way of checking in with the women if I have not already done so. I will complete some more newborn examinations and chat to women about going home, discharge women from my care and admit some new mothers. There tends to be visitors at this time so it can be a good time to catch up on blood results, paperwork or emails, make sure TRAKcare is up to date as well as the Scottish Birth Record.

15.30 pm -19.45 pm

At this point I will be considering if there are any other women who would be eligible for home. This is a possibility for some of the admissions from the earlier part of the day. I will be going around the women and babies in my care again to offer help, support, advice and make sure they have had their needs met. I will also be preparing the staff handover for the nightshift midwives. I think it is fair to say that the workload in midwifery is unpredictable and varied. There are many comings and going within the ward all day long. Seeing women grow in confidence as the day goes on and any worries that they had at the beginning of the shift now beginning to be alleviated is very rewarding. A highlight for me is seeing women I have cared for in the past come back with another addition to their family. It’s just great to see the baby from a couple of years ago running around being the big sister or brother and getting to catch up with the family!

Career Pathway

I trained as a RMN between 1990 and 1993. My first job as a staff nurse was in the care of the elderly setting and then I moved to Child and Family Psychiatry in the former Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill. My first encounter with midwifery was as a student nurse as we had to complete an obstetric module which I thoroughly enjoyed. My first post as a qualified midwife was in the same ward I had been as a student nurse with the same SCM just many years later! I have rotated round all midwifery departments and had a short spell in the community setting.

I gained a Bachelor of Midwifery on completion of midwifery training and went on to do a BSc (Hons) Midwifery. I became a Supervisor of Midwives in 2014 after completing 2 modules at Masters level at the University of West of Scotland and participated in the NES Best Start Leadership programme in 2015. I was also seconded as a Practice Development Support Midwife for one year.

The next thing for me is to complete is a Masters...

Best wishes,