Meet our graduate neonatal nurse Rachel

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Rachel works in our Special Care Nursery at Toowoomba Hospital as a graduate neonatal nurse and sat down to have a quick chat with us.

Why did you choose to be a neonatal nurse?

I’ve wanted to be a nurse and care for babies since I was around three years of age. It is such an incredible journey working with babies in special care. We see them come into the ward requiring life-sustaining intervention, struggling with feeding, battling jaundice, training their little lungs to breathe properly on their own, and then seeing that baby grow big enough and become strong enough to leave the hospital in their parents’ arms. Being part of that life journey drove me to become a neonatal nurse.

What is your favourite part about your role?

The babies, the parents, and the team in the nursery. I love being able to educate the families and watch new mum’s confidence grow as her baby is kicking goals.

My favourite moment so far occurred a few weeks ago when I was caring for a beautiful set of twins. Just before bath time, I got to share their first cuddle together since birth. The smallest little guy began sucking on his brothers face all over while he slept, and I was blessed to be a part of that moment.

What is the hardest part about your role?

I started my graduate program at the height of this health crisis, and I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous, but I hit the ground running. I am so thankful the team here has been supportive and made me feel right at home.

Neonatal Nursing is not just a job, it's a personal journey of the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical kind where you get to share the rawest and humbling moments with your patients.
I feel like I have taken a little piece of each baby that I have cared for with me already and I'm looking forward to so many more years to come of the same.

Who inspires you?

My daughter asks me about all the babies I have met each day and writes me notes about how much she misses me when I am at work, but she also understands that the babies need me.

Every night before bed she tells me she is proud of me. It makes all the study and workload worthwhile.

Do you have any messages for our community during this time?

To current and soon to be nursing students, keep going! Dreams do come true!

Thank you to the nurses, medical teams and staff behind the Darling Downs Health walls. Together we create an amazing, caring and authentic force. To my community, thank you for staying safe during this time.