New midwife, nurse meet on job after career shifts - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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New midwife, nurse meet on job after career shifts

3 Jun 2021

A midwife and a nurse who recently graduated from USC with near-perfect grades are together helping bring new lives into the world at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

Former health administration officer Michelle Bishop, 42, and former practice manager and occupational therapist Alison Megson, 51, have bonded in the SCUH operating theatres during Caesarean sections.

The women, who both received University Medals for Academic Excellence when they graduated from USC last month, were over the moon to gain graduate positions in their chosen careers at the hospital.

Michelle, of Palmwoods, whose Bachelor of Midwifery GPA was 6.9 out of 7, previously worked as an administration officer with Queensland Health for almost 10 years.

“This degree has been an exciting career change for me,” she said. “I love to provide woman-centred care, listening to women’s stories, supporting them in decision-making and facilitating their health care journey through the maternity system.

“I love welcoming new life, seeing a family unit come together with their new little member, and helping women to experience the best maternity care available.”

She said the application process for the role was competitive and intense over several days.

“But I remained focused on my goal, and I now have a rewarding career ahead of me in a vital industry. The graduate year involves working in the antenatal clinic and education, birth suite, postnatal ward, breast feeding support and home visiting service, plus neonatal unit.”

The Nambour State High School graduate was delighted that her two children, aged 11 and 7, and her husband Chris, a clinical nurse consultant at SCUH, were able to watch her cross the stage.

“I was hesitant to have a career change as a mature age student but I’m enjoying it, and so pleased I took that step to study. I bring maturity and life experience to the midwifery role.”

She said the study experience at USC Sunshine Coast was satisfying.

“I’m a total study and research nerd, so I attended every class in the front row, immersing myself in assignments and engaging in conferences, workshops and online learning.

“I thoroughly enjoyed placement, providing care and education to mothers and babies across the maternity care continuum, and of course ‘catching’ babies in birth suite.”

Alison, of Alexandra Headland, gave the graduate address at the USC ceremony, describing how she achieved her lifelong dream of becoming a theatre nurse.

In her 20s, the graduate of Centenary Heights State High School in Toowoomba had worked as an occupational therapist after gaining an OT degree from a Brisbane university.

More recently she was a practice manager for a private orthopaedic surgeon and an assistant in nursing at SCUH while studying at USC.

“My clinical placements were fantastic, especially my internship in theatres at the hospital, and some of my lecturers and tutors made a huge impact on me,” Alison said.

She gained a GPA of 6.84 out of 7 for her Bachelor of Nursing Science and proudly received the medal in front of her partner, her two adult children and her father, who has a PhD.

“I now work as a scrub/scout nurse in theatre and was fortunate to get this graduate training program position, which was extremely competitive, as it will set me up for a wonderful career as a perioperative nurse,” she said.

“Working in theatre with a team of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and orderlies, I assist by preparing the sterile field for surgery and passing instruments on and off the surgical field.

“I love that we can hopefully make an impact on a person’s life by offering restorative and, in many cases, life-saving surgery.”

USC will hold its interactive online Open Day on Sunday 18 July. Register for the event at www.usc.edu.au/open-day

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