Celebrating International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in honour of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth.
For Jess Bainbrige, there was never any option other than becoming a nurse and midwife.
“All I wanted was to be a ‘baby nurse’ when I was a child,” she said.
“I used to love the TV series Saving Babies that was all about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women.
“I used to love watching the nurses and doctors save the lives of sick and premature babies. Every now and then I re-watch the episodes and feel so blessed that I get to do what they do.”
After finishing high school Jess headed straight to James Cook University to complete her Bachelor of Nursing Science and a Graduate Diploma of Midwifery, picking up some experience in the Neonatal Unit at the Townsville University Hospital along the way.
She’s currently in the process of adding a Bachelor of Nursing with Professional Honours Specialising in Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing to her list of credentials, while she spends her days taking care of patients at the Mater Women’s Unit where she’s been part of the team for three and a half years.
“I chose to work at the Mater Women’s Unit so that I could work in the Special Care Nursery,” she said.
“We have an amazing team and the family-centred care that we provide is something that you don't get in many other hospitals. That’s what makes Mater unique.”
She says that the reality of being a midwife has more than lived up to the dream she had of becoming a ‘baby nurse’ all those years ago.
“My favourite part is getting to know the families that I’m caring for,” she said.
“In such a short period of time you get to know them and you want the best for them just like you would if they were your own friends or family. That’s what drives my midwifery care.
“I love seeing families return as they have more babies and them remembering my face. I love seeing my past patients from the Special Care Nursery who were born sick or premature and are now happy thriving toddlers. It’s such a great feeling.”