Rachael Torrance has joined the team on a six-month secondment as a practice development midwife. Rachael has been a long serving member of #TeamNWAS as she joined the service in 2001 as an emergency call handler. After some time, Rachael swapped to the dispatch side of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) and went from answering 999 calls to allocating ambulances to emergencies.
All EOC colleagues are given the opportunity to do an observation day with an ambulance crew, where they attend emergency incidents, this is where Rachael got her inspiration to further progress her career.
She said, “I found this day to be very rewarding, interesting and exciting. From this one day I decided that this was the career path I was going to pursue. I applied for the next ambulance technician course and was lucky enough to be successful in gaining a place. Following 11 weeks of training, I qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).”
After suffering an injury that required surgery, Rachael was uncertain if she would be able to carry on as an EMT. This is when she realised that another career path was in her sights, “Through my time with NWAS I realised I had always been fascinated and enjoyed attending maternity related incidents. After discussions with family and friends I decided to apply for a midwifery course at The University of Salford, and to my amazement and joy I was successful with gaining a place on a much sought-after course. I had discussed this future career option with my managers and human resources. NWAS supported me greatly during this time, by allowing me to reduce my contracted hours of 37.5 hours down to 12 hours per week. This support really helped as it meant while training to become a midwife, I was still able to keep my skills and knowledge current when attending emergency incidents.”
Rachael said, “My three-year Midwifery Degree course was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. There were plenty of tears, tantrums and several doubts about my career choice, but it has ended up being one of the best things I have ever done.”
After qualifying, Rachael worked at St Marys Hospital in Manchester, rotating round the labour ward, the Enhanced Recovery Programme and the postnatal ward, all while still doing one shift a week for NWAS. After a year, we offered Rachael a place on our paramedic course and after the training period, Rachael was able to add ‘paramedic’ to her job title and became a dual pinned clinician.
Her newest role allows her to combine all the knowledge and experience she has gained over the last 21 years and help support and deliver the Pre-Hospital PROMPT training package to our clinicians to help them deliver the best care in maternity incidents.
Dr Stephanie Heys, Consultant Midwife, added, “‘Having a practice development midwife role within the service allows us to build foundations for how we would like to offer flexible, quality-driven and multidisciplinary training for our clinicians. It’s great to have Rachael on board. Her journey to date highlights the breath of skills, experience and knowledge she brings to this role.”