Being bullied, Courage, Kindness, Midwifery and birth, NHS, Nursing, Women's rights

Speak Out 

Please do not see me as anyone special – my philosophy is to learn and to inspire  others to keep going – against the odds. To help others and to reinforce within myself the understanding that feeling shame is ok , that to be embarrassed is fine and to feel vulnerable is to be human . I am reading Brene Browns book Rising Strong and now realise that it’s ok not to be strong all the time. I try to stay humble and kind. 
Just recently I’ve been reading a lot about hierarchy and what it means . Some say social media does not flatten hierarchy perhaps it doesn’t but it does connect you to people you may never find the time to meet or talk to in person . 

THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 2007 I have heard of stories about bullying in the NHS and I have been on the receiving end – the word bullying to me dehumanises the people who are actually carrying out the behaviour and cruelty they are ‘bullies ‘

In May 2015 Marie Claire Magazine published an article about nursing and the bullying culture CLICK HERE to read – it has many parallels to midwifery . Sadly this issue is talked about and highlighted as wrong but still it continues . 

Jacques Gerrard is   @JacqueGRCM on twitter – Jacques gives a powerful presentation on how bullying and undermining behaviour can affect someone’s work and be detrimental to a midwives’ health. Also Jacques promotes the  RCOG & RCM JOINT TOOLKIT on challenging and identifying bullying behaviour . 

Bullying can include questioning practice , being gossiped about , being marginalised, ostracised Forcing to retrain when not necessary and being  

 given an excessive or inappropriate workload . It can also include things like not being valued for the work you do , and not being supported . It takes immense strength to challenge bullies and to let them see that you are not affected by them when in fact you might be – this is displaying a strong exterior . a person  on the receiving end of bullying may develop mental illness and physical symptoms . The following are some of the effects of being bullied 

…. anxiety, headaches, nausea, ulcers, sleeplessness, skin rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, tearfulness, loss of self-confidence, various illnesses of the organs such as the kidneys, thoughts of suicide…. 

People who are being bulliied  should be aware that their employer has a duty to protect them and make them safe . The Trade Inion Congress has solid advice on challenging and recognising bullying TRADE UNION CONGRESS – ADVICE TO HELP YOU IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED –

As today is #SpeakOut day against bullying I’ve been reading on this  ANTI-BULLYING WEBSITE how to train to become an anti-bullying ambassador and this training  involves school children and adults in schools, the workplace and the community . 

It’s time to challenge any form of bullying and to consider how we treat others . Do you value your colleagues or do you snipe about them ? Do you include them or leave them to flounder on unsupported and lonely .

Bullies make up about 20% of the workforce so we can out number them and challenge . Only two weeks ago I saw a fellow colleague blatantly being targeted and I did something about it . Don’t get me wrong it was hard to speak out but once I did I had feedback from others that they had gained courage to speak out . 

It’s time to address the bullies and help them to see that their actions and behaviours can have a  long term detrimental effect on A person , the whole of society and health . If you are beng bullied don’t be a victim speak out , seek advice tell your friends , keep a diary and get some support from your union representative . If you are not in a union join one . 

Let’s all be courageous and make the world a better place to be in 

Thank you for reading 

Jenny ❤️

Courage, Kindness, NHS, Nursing

Listening and initiative 

Sometimes you may be told or asked to do something within your role at work . You have choices 

1.obey do as you are told 

2. Question why and discuss the options with the other person – you must  give sound évidence and / or explore feelings as to why you feel this way 

3. Decide against it – investigate the situation on your own and show initiative – keep safety and kindness as your prime outcomes  and aim 

Éveryone in every organisation should have a valid and listened to voice – sometimes others see things or situations that others might not be aware of . 

If you are the person being challenged take time to listen , appreciate that the other persons story is just as valid as yours . A senior role does not signify a reason to avoid being challenged . 

When the matter is resolved or not as the case may be – think carefully 

1. Is/Was either person showing initiative ? 

2. Did the challenge improve patient experience ? 

3. Did both parties feel equal in thoughts , voices and deeds ?

4. Was feedback positive or negative ? 

I have seen situations in my career where junior staff have challenged senior staff and been right but the matter has been brushed aside . In fact the junior team member was displaying leadership but due to the hierarchical view of the senior person no praise or feedback was given . 

This is a lost opportunity – to value a colleague to help them on their journey. Also to improve patient care .

When situations happen always look at the bigger picture . WHO is gaining ? WHO is losing out ? 

Are you developing leaders within your organisation or are you squashing them ? 

Listen to all voices matter how junior or senior – question in your own mind “would I ask that of myself ” evaluate feedback give praise and be thankful for initiative . 

Be a listening and compassionate leader 

Thank you for reading 


Cancer, Courage, Dying, Kindness, Midwifery and birth, NHS, Nursing

Dedicated to my mum Dorothy ❤️ you gave me courage 

I really care about kindness to others and I want others to feel it /share it  

 /learn it . I also want people to see courage in action in their working lives. Life throws some hard stuff at us doesn’t it ? We cant always choose how we begin our lives. 

As a midwife I know that skin to skin contact at birth or afterwards can improve & help to concrete the mother child bond . 

 I’m not trying to upset anyone by harping on – it’s just that I’ve had emails letters and cards from women who had skin to skin contact against all odds and how this small thing that is SO huge impacted so positively on them    – I try to focus on one family at a time and this gets me through my working day – patience with myself / patience with others – however courage is a huge part of me and here’s why …

If my beautiful mum had not contracted cancer , if she had not told me time and time again “I want to die at home” I would not be who I am today – this realisation has taken me years ! 

I have always (and always will)  do my best to step back & see the whole person – not their condition / status / experiences as separate entities but in fact parts of the jigsaw that makes them individual and unique .

 I was 17 years old almost 18 – at sixth form college studying Art /Ceramics & English Lit & Language – totally hooked by Shakespeare and clay , living a normal teenage life at college but at home helping my dad to run his newsagents shop because my mum was becoming less able to . I missed a few deadlines for “essays”  & was summoned to Head of English Dept & after a brief telling off I was “removed” from A level English Literature course  . I was devastated – this was my escape from life – poetry / romance / words / inspiration taken from me in one cruel blow – but I didn’t say to  my teachers “my mum is dying – she hasn’t  got long – help me ” I just carried on and went home and cried . At home I couldn’t ask my dad to help me – his heart was breaking – no one in my family had ever “gone to Uni” what was more important me or my mum ? I accepted my fate . 

I nursed my mum at home until she died -the district nurses taught me how to fill charts in and turn her from side to side so that new soft sheets could be placed under her motherly body – I learnt fast as I wanted to make my mum happy as this made me happy –  seeing her smile at me was priceless . I had finished my A levels and was waiting for results so I was free to be her carer whilst dad ran the shop and my sister Barbara (15) went to school . 

“Our mum” Dorothy fell asleep with me & Barbara lying beside her . It was September 22nd 1978 at 6 pm -she was 53 years young – she’d  lost the ability to speak because of the radiotherapy and brain tumour . She didn’t wake up – it was calm and peaceful – we didn’t scream out we felt happy . Her wish to die at home had been granted -we didn’t realise that  the hard part had only just begun. My mum was courageous – she knew she was going to die and she accepted that .I hardly ever heard her moan about it and she kept a strong smile for her family – I have only just started to appreciate that her courage inspires me through my own life . 

I have missed my mum every single day of my life since then – but I have also thanked her for the times I remember – her encouraging me to do impersonations from being young , her love of baking rubbed off onto me . I recall holidays at Butlins & Pontins with her & my sister  – my dad unable to leave the shop so he couldn’t come with us – what a treat an all girls holiday in the 60s ! We giggled all week and had angel delight & jelly pudding in the “chalet”.  Memories like going to see The Sound of Music , visiting Hornsea Pottery and also her perfume Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps(which I used to secretly pinch) live on with me  – her love of Shirley Bassey Click HERE for one of her favourite songs -This is my life and Elvis Presley  “Return to sender” that she used to sing whilst washing up Watch here she forged memories within me that I treasure every day ❤️

One day after my mum’s death a friend Sophie – who was an enrolled nurse said to me “why don’t you apply to be a nurse ? You were great with your mum and that way you can care for others like you cared for Dorothy” 

Sophie I don’t know where you are today but  “thank you so much” as without your words I would have floundered on what to do which career path to follow  – I became a nurse , then a midwife and I’ve never looked back – very occasionally I’ve imagined my life with my mum getting older and me as a famous potter which I what I wanted to do   – art & ceramics . Instead I work in the Art of Midwifery and I have two amazing children that I value & cherish – so when you read my story & realise there’s more to me than skin to skin – I’d like you to try and see that everyone’s story is different – life makes us who we are for a reason –  try to help others as much as you can -this will improves your quality of life 

I wonder what my mum would say if she could see me now ? 

This blog is dedicated to “Our mum” Dorothy Guiney née Graham 22.2.1925 – 22.9.1978   A wonderful woman, mother,sister,auntie, wife and friend 💛

Birth, Courage, Kindness, Midwifery and birth, Newborn, NHS, Nursing, Skin to skin contact, Women's rights

Skin to skin

This is my first blog day – blog sounds such a sad word it needs an injection of sunshine So here is my sunshine injection – all about Skin To Skin .
I want to inspire midwives to think carefully about the precious time before birth when the woman is approaching motherhood and the unborn child is about to become independent —- or is it?
Babies need their mothers love at birth they need to be held snuggled, have skin to skin and to feed – all those weeks inside and suddenly “POW”it’s lights, camera, Facebook,photos,text “what’s the weight?” Pressure to be back to normal for the woman (is there such a thing? Media pressure to run on a sandy beach holding a beautiful baby wearing white linen – this is not reality – reality is tiredness overwhelming love , sore perineum , visitors who don’t iron – midwives be honest – help the mother and child have so much skin to skin they overdose on love – talk about bed sharing honestly (Basis online is evidence based information about safe sleep for babies founded by Prof H Ball of Durham Uni is wonderful ) – remember we have become westernised – the cot , disposable nappies , and everything that goes against mammalian responses – let’s get back to nature and promote skin to skin for three hours – and let’s be real – let’s be human xxx #skinToSkin xxx