A Day in the Life of Fertility Nurse, Katie Rees
In the first of our new series of blog posts, we talk to Katie Rees, Fertility Nurse, at the LWC Brentwood clinic in Essex. She talks to us about what her day to day job involves and why she loves working at the London Women’s Clinic.
My name is Katie Rees and I’m a Fertility Nurse at the LWC Brentwood. I’ve just bought my own flat and if I’m not there or at work I’m often found socialising with friends or in Portsmouth with my family. My family are very important to me and I love spending time with my one-year old niece.
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. I studied to be a midwife for a year and dabbled with some PA work before I finally decided to go back to college and study to be a nurse. After leaving university, my first job as a nurse was in an intensive care unit. I absolutely loved it and it was incredibly rewarding. I got to know my patients and their families well and spent a lot of time with them during an intense and difficult time in their lives. I still bump into many of the families and we still remember each other’s faces. Although what I was doing was so fulfilling, it was so sad when patients passed away. When I saw the advert for a Fertility Nurse role at the LWC Brentwood I thought it was the perfect job for me! I’ve now been here for 8 months and enjoy every minute!
A day in my life
As the only full-time nurse in Brentwood my days are always busy! I start the day by checking any blood results that have arrived and answering any emails that have been sent from patients overnight. Following all the doctor’s initial consultation appointments, I see the patients to go through a basic overview of their fertility including what was discussed in the consultation and what happens next. I try to reassure our patients that they are not alone. Infertility affects more people that you realise (1 in 6) and I want to support them through their journey at the LWC.
Once the patient is ready for treatment, I talk them through their treatment plan and arrange a medication teach. During IVF for example, this often means attending the clinic for a baseline scan on day 2 or 3 of their cycle and starting their medication. Over the next couple of weeks, the patient will be expected to come in to the clinic for several scans to monitor how the medication is working before their egg collection takes place.
Following the doctors plan, l will explain to the patient what medication she needs to take and when. For many women, this includes taking injections everyday - normally twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. It’s hard to inject yourself every day, even if you have the help of a partner, so it’s important that I reassure them and provide advice on how it all works. I also pick up our on-call phone, so all patients know that if they are anxious or have any questions they can call anytime.
The best part of my job
Giving people the result of their positive pregnancy test is by far the best part of my job! I know that a lot of patients are anxious for their results. It’s so satisfying to follow patients throughout their whole journey – meeting them at initial consultation, planning their treatment and then telling them their positive news. I’ve only been at the LWC for 8 months so I’m still waiting to hear from for the first patient that I’ve met to have their baby. I can’t wait to meet the babies that I’ve had a hand in helping to create!
As well as passing on the good news to patients who have had a positive result, I also must tell people that their treatment has been unsuccessful. It’s so hard after everything they have been through to deliver that news. We are always there to support our patients after a negative result. We often have patients who give us a call when they are feeling anxious or having a bad day who pop in for a cup of tea with me or one of my colleagues in the clinic.
I love working at the LWC Brentwood and I’m keen to develop my skills further. I’m already trying to learn more and have just spent two weeks in our Harley Street clinic working in theatre to gain some more experience. I also want to learn how to scan and do a training course so that I can start to do insemination procedures for patients having IUI. We’re hoping that we can then start offering this service in Brentwood soon.
If you’d like any information about our LWC Brentwood clinic, you can come along to one of our free information seminars which take place monthly. Katie and her nurse colleague Charlotte Murray provide an introduction to fertility treatment and are available with some of their team to answer any questions and help you make the first steps towards treatment. For any further questions, or to book your first appointment at LWC Brentwood you can call them on 01277 289 401.