AN Omagh student midwife who has been sent to the wards earlier than expected due to Covid-19 is happy to be playing her part in the crisis.
Hayley Edgar has just started working at the maternity unit in SWAH, Enniskillen.
A former student of Omagh High School, Hayley attended Queen’s University Belfast for both adult nursing and midwifery training.
Hayley was supposed to be finishing her placement this month but she has been forced to start her midwifery career earlier than planned due to the Covid-19 outbreak and started on the Maternity ward in SWAH yesterday (Wednesday).
She said, “Although I was due to end my placement with the Community Midwifery team, a change of plan meant that midwifery students were sent to maternity wards in the hospital.
“I am just happy to be playing my part in the fight against Covid-19 and helping in any way that I can.
“I hope to settle back into the midwifery role and develop my skills and confidence further.
“I feel I always knew from my early teens I wanted to become a midwife – I would have come in from school and watched my favourite TV show ‘Baby Tales’ and rarely missed it!
“The prospect of being present when new life is brought into the world is truly remarkable and this motivated my decision to become a midwife.
“I completed my adult nursing degree in 2015 and the aspiration to become a midwife hadn’t left me and I am eager to complete the course in the next few weeks.”
Hayley was inspired to follow in the footsteps of family members who are also medial professionals and said she received fantastic support from the teams she has worked with.
She said, “My Dad’s auntie Lily is retired now but she had worked as both a nurse and a midwife.
“She helped me prepare for my nursing and midwifery interviews when I finished secondary school and I am very thankful to her for that.
“My auntie Valerie works as an A&E nurse and my sister-in-law Alice works as a nurse in theatres.
“I would also like to thank the amazing maternity teams in Omagh, SWAH and Altnagelvin.
“In particular my mentors, Lauren Harrington, Judith Hayes, Tracey Kelly, Nuala Stevenson, Karen Barr, Caria Cooney and Brenda Given for their help and guidance throughout my training.”
While Hayley is starting out on her midwifery career at challenging time for healthcare workers, she is feeling optimistic about the future.
“Everyone is trying their best during this pandemic, keeping our family and friends safe is the ultimate goal.
“All we can really do is what we are told through government advice, embrace the positives and try to maintain close relationships with our loved ones as best we can.
“Luckily PPE has been available and that helps us feel safe.”
“Thank you to all the incredible key workers keeping the community going during this difficult time.”
So while Hayley starts out on her new career, she has urged people to continue to adhere to regulations to help save lives.
“The figures being released show that we may be past the peak of this disease but we are not out of the woods yet. I urge public not to become complacent and remember to ‘stay home, stay lives’ and protect our NHS,” concluded Hayley.