Cara is one of my oldest and dearest friends and is actually the most – I say this with all honestly – driven, dedicated and motivated people I know. Cara has a knack of seeing the best in everyone and wishing nothing but the best. If you say you can’t, she replies… ‘don’t be silly!’ She has been my guiding light through the hard, tough and ‘really, do I have to finish this assignment, it’s 4-AM’ times.
This quality is present (and a necessity) in her ever so interesting career thus far. Cara studied nursing straight from high school, with a dream to be a midwife and a passion for Women’s Health. On completion of her nursing degree she worked at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Intensive Care and then at the Pregnancy Advisory Centre. She was then poached to assist with a research project at Flinders University – this resulted in speaking at an International health conference demonstrating her skills in sexual health all while furthering her education and fulfilling that dream of becoming a Midwife. Cara now has 2 degrees and recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Public Health at Flinders University. Working as a Registered Midwife at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital she has stamped that dream on its head and is now reaching further into the medical world.
Cara Flynn, Registered Nurse/ Registered Midwife, Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Brief description of your role:
From preconception to the birth and postnatal – I guide, support and educate women through pregnancy.
So… what do you actually do?
It is hard for me to do hour by hour – my day will start at 7am, 1pm or 9pm. It is so unpredictable – I don’t do the same things everyday, except for coffee (maybe twice).
Basically no matter where you work, the first thing you do is handover form one shift to the other. Depending on where I am working, I could be caring for one woman or 7 women and their babies. And then you don’t sit down.
The beauty of the profession is having the option of working in a different area everyday. Depending what area you work in depends on what happens and how your day will pan out.
How did you get to your position of being a midwife?
I grew up in the country… I always thought I wanted to be a midwife. It wasn’t until I was in year 11, I did work experience in a hospital and witnessed my first delivery, I knew then that was what I wanted to do. Being in the county it was a requirement (at the time) to work in a country hospital you had to be a nurse and midwife, which is why I decided to go down that path.
I think I answered this question in my intro but… Have you always wanted to work in the medical industry?
What do you love about your role?
Helping people, hands down. And like the fact that I don’t do the same thing every single day – I like the variety.
In your career to date, what has been your biggest achievement?
When I worked as a research assistant and got the opportunity to present my research at an International conference. Also the fact that it will be published and I will be co-author, that is quite cool.
Whilst studying a Bachelor of Nursing I was lucky enough to win a scholarship to spend 6 months studying abroad in Kuching, Malaysia. This was a phenomenal experience of which I loved every minute as it helped to fuel my desire to work in Women’s Health and gave me a new found passion for Public Health.
Over your career, what has been your ‘love this’ moment?
The moments after birth and I get the utter most appreciation from the mother and watching the couple go through one of (if not the most) precious moments in their life.
When mothers are having trouble feeding… I put my hand on her shoulder and tell her that she is doing a good job and you can just see in her face, it is exactly what she wants/needs to hear. They are the moments that I think ‘I’m happy to be here’.
What would be the least favorite aspect of your role?
Night duty. Lose that naivety in life because you see some really horrible things. Life isn’t peachy all the time.
Any advice for anyone aspiring to work in the medical industry and/or becoming a midwife?
My advice to you (for nurses and midwifes) is to try and get experience in the field. A good place to do this is in aged care or rehabilitation facility, as it will give you insight to the profession, what the job entails and is a good introduction. As an added bonus it is something you can do in field while studying that is hands on experience.As an added added bonus – this will look VERY good on your resume.
You can find out more about Cara’s Career here
WOW… what an incredible career and journey. Any questions about midwifery, nursing or Cara’s journey in general?