Sarah Tate

Neonatal Sister on Jersey Neonatal Unit (JNU). Formally known as SCBU. – Government of Jersey

What does a typical day look like for you? 

No day is the same, each day brings its own unique challenges. A day shift starts 07:30, with handover from the night team. Babies are allocated to their designated nurse. Babies requiring a more intensive level of care will require continuous observation, regular feeds, medication, and blood tests. It is also important to incorporate some time for skin to skin with parents. We can be called upon at any point to attend deliveries in maternity, and on occasion could be called to A&E. A baby could be born requiring immediate emergency intervention, so we are always prepared for those situations.  The shift finishes at 20:30. Coffee helps to keep me going! 

How did you get your job? / What training, degree, education do you need? 

I started my journey by attending Highlands College and gained an NVQ in Childcare. I was accepted onto the local Children’s Nursing course through University of Chester and gained a degree in Children’s Nursing. Following this, I commenced employment on JNU. I quickly learnt that neonatal nursing was the area that I wanted to specialise in. During my employment I qualified in the speciality and became a Neonatal Nurse. After gaining experience I progressed to the position of Sister on the unit.  

What are the most important skills needed for your role/job? 

The ability to work well within a team is a must. Critical thinking, strong communication skills, and emotional intelligence are some of the key skills required, to name a few.

Are there any future skills you will need to learn for your role? 

Being a nurse involves continuous learning and staying updated on advancements in neonatology. Staying updated on evolving medical research is essential in providing the best care. In the future I would like to progress onto an advanced neonatal practitioner, this means advancing my skills in areas such as neonatal resuscitation, widening my knowledge on anatomy and clinical examination.  

What is the best part of your job? / What motivates you in this role?

There are so many special parts of my job. I feel privileged to be a part of some of the most special moments in people’s lives. From helping a baby take their first breath, to facilitating parents holding their baby for the very first time, helping them grow and reach milestones until the day they go home is very rewarding.

What advice would you give someone interested in a career in your profession? 

I would recommend spending time in a clinical setting to get a feel of what our job entails. Being a neonatal nurse is a rewarding but demanding job. A common misconception is that we get to cuddle babies all day, we absolutely do get to enjoy cuddles, however this is a fraction of our job. If you have a passion for caring for the smallest and most vulnerable cohort of patients, this could be the job for you! 

Tell us a fun fact…

Famous premature babies: Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Jean Jacques Russo, Napoleon Bonaparte, Mark Twain, Pablo Picasso, Stevie Wonder, Jehan Goethe, Sir Winston Churchill. 

Related Posts