SHARING in the joy of childbirth and caring for mothers is what inspires Bowen Hospital registered midwife Aleisha Johnson.
“I like to share in that joyous bit of life,” Ms Johnson said.
“Especially being able to do antenatal care with someone the whole way through. It’s important, and special to be able to have that rapport with people.
“I guess also, being in a small town, we get to know our mothers quite well.”
Ms Johnson’s love for her mums and bubs, as well as her willingness to provide care for patients with diabetes concerns, led to her nomination for a Clinical Excellence Award for International Nurses Day, last month.
The registered nurse, registered midwife and diabetes educator has 26 years’ experience working across four different states, but she has called Bowen home for the past 14 years.
She leads a team of three midwives, who run the women’s health clinic, providing all antenatal and postnatal care.
“We do clinic every day, and we also have a doctor’s obstetrics and gynaecology clinic one day a week,” Ms Johnson said.
“One of us is on call 24/7. We also do the postnatal follow-ups when women get home as well, because Bowen’s not a birthing hospital.
“When I started here 12 years ago, women went elsewhere for nearly all their appointments.
“Now we do everything here except births, though we do have a few unplanned births each year here.”
When Ms Johnson saw a need for gestational diabetes care in Bowen, she stepped up to do something about it.
“All the women that we had come to the clinic, who had gestational diabetes, were having to go to Proserpine to see a diabetes educator,” she said.
“So, I did the post graduate diabetes educator course through JCU, in Cairns. It’s one of the areas where we’ve been able to build up the care we can offer in Bowen.
“For the women who have gestational diabetes, it’s really cut down their travel, the stress for them and inconvenience because it meant taking days off work, just to go to Proserpine, Mackay or Townsville for a 15-minute appointment.”
As the only diabetes educator in Bowen, Ms Johnson also steps in to provide specialised diabetic advice to doctors, nurses and patients.
She also comes in to see diabetic inpatients that need ongoing monitoring – all in her own time.
Ms Johnson was one of the staff members nominated for an International Nurses Day Clinical Excellence Award, in the rural category, on May 12.