Fight Cancer Foundation celebrates International Nurses Day
To celebrate International Nurses Day we are sharing an insight into what it's like to be a BMDI Cord Blood Bank Nurse from one of the very best, meet Sue.
How long have you been a Cord Blood Bank Nurse?
I have been happily working at the Cord Blood Bank for 2 years.
Please briefly explain your working background and how you came to be a Cord Blood Bank Nurse.
I worked as a Nurse for 20 years and then qualified as a Midwife. Since then I have worked as a Clinical Midwife, Clinical Midwifery Teacher, Clinical Incident Coordinator, Associate Midwifery Unit Manager and a Research Midwife.
I was working as a Research Midwife alongside the Cord Blood Bank Nurses when I was informed that a position with the Cord Blood Bank had become available. I applied for the position and to my great delight, I was successful.
Tell us about your role and what a typical day could look like.
The process begins by screening pregnant women to determine if they appear to fit the strict Cord Blood Bank criteria. If they do, I then approach them and their partner to see if they may be interested in donating the cord blood.
If they meet the criteria, the process is explained to them and then the mother’s suitability to donate is clarified by asking her more specific questions. The required consent and other documentation is then completed in accordance with FACT and TGA requirements.
I must attend the birth of their baby and undertake the collection of the cord blood. Blood specimens are then taken from the mother to rule out the presence of any blood borne infectious diseases that could compromise the wellbeing of a transplant recipient.
A comprehensive medical, family and travel history is completed the day following the birth of the baby. The Cord Blood Unit is then quarantined for six months. We perform six month post-birth phone call follow-ups with the mother to inquire about her health, her baby’s health and her travel history.
In addition, I am required to order stock and equipment and ensure that it is in date and safely stored. Promote the Cord Blood Bank amongst midwifery and medical staff and educate them on the process and benefits.
I also attend Cord Blood Bank meetings with the medical, scientific, administrative, quality and nursing staff where information is shared and feedback around successful transplants is reported.
What do you love most about your job?
There a number of things I love about my job; I enjoy working with a like-minded group of women in a supportive and friendly environment, meeting lovely, generous couples who are very keen to help the cause of the Cord Blood Bank, seeing babies born – which I never tire of!
Knowing the cord blood transplants save lives makes this job a very rewarding one. I have learnt so much in the past two years and the learning continues.