A day in the life of a Fertility Nurse
Hayley Langton – Nursing Team Leader
Fertility Nursing is an exciting and diverse role, quite different to the duties of a Registered Nurse in a hospital environment. Although not a particularly physical role, It is emotionally challenging and a constantly evolving speciality.
And so the day begins
Our day starts early around 7.30am when we start welcoming patients into the clinic for their ultrasound scans. Ultrasound scans are performed by Fertility Nurses who have received comprehensive additional training and are proven to be competent in this specialised area. Ultrasound scans are an important part of a patient’s treatment cycle, during these scans the Nurse identifies the ovaries, counts and measures each individual follicle and assess the thickness and grade of the endometrial lining. The results are recorded in readiness for the Specialist to review at our afternoon results session.
During the morning we may also be required to assist the Doctor with egg collection procedures that are performed under a local anaesthetic at the clinic. It is the Nurse’s responsibility to prepare the room and equipment, to administer the local anaesthetic and reassure the patient throughout the procedure.
We also perform innovative procedures such as; Platelet Rich Plasma Ovarian Rejuvenation. This procedure is either performed under a local anaesthetic at the Fertility Clinic or in theatre under a General Anaesthetic. The Nurse arranges for the patient to attend the clinic before their procedure for a blood sample to be collected. Depending on the type of procedure, either 3 or 5 vials of blood are taken and handed to the Embryology Team for the plasma extraction process to take place.
Late morning, the Fertility Nurses are busy conducting consent appointments for IVF, Inseminations and Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycles. Any type of fertility treatment is an anxious time for patients. Generally, it has already been a long and difficult road for them before they even reach out to us for help. Being understanding and able to empathise with them is the most important and satisfying part of our role. Ensuring they are confident when administering their medications and providing support during their cycles is vital. Infertility often carries with it a rollercoaster of emotions; we are so very aware of the emotional, physical and financial stresses these patients may be experiencing, so our aim is to make their journey as pleasant and smooth-sailing as possible.
No rest for the wicked team
The afternoon is the busiest part of our day. The nursing team is split into two parts, with some Nurses assisting the Specialists with embryo transfers and egg collections, and the other team analysing blood results, liaising with the results Doctor and emailing instructions to patients and organising prescriptions.
Getting those results out – FAST
Once all procedures have been performed, it is all hands-on deck to ensure results are rolled out to patients as efficiently as possible. As soon as the results have been issued to patients, the Nursing Team continue to deal with queries from patients that have been received throughout the day via email and phone calls, along with tasks from the Doctors that need actioning.