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Yarra City Council

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Allison Ritter

Hi all, my name is Ali and I completed my Maternal and Child Health graduate year with City of Yarra in March 2020. As you may or may not know, to be a Maternal and Child Health Nurse you are required to be a Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife and then have additional qualifications in Child and Family Health Nursing. Here is a little sneak peek into a typical day for me as a Maternal and Child Health Nurse J

5.40 AM

Alarm goes off and I quickly get changed. I then walk to the gym. I try and go to the gym most mornings before work as it wakes me up and I feel energised throughout the day.

6.00 AM

Gym. Weights, cardio or a class with my partner and friend – whatever I am in the mood for!

7.00 AM

Home for shower and breakfast

7.30 AM

Jump in the car and drive to work. My drive to work normally takes 30 mins. Also if I am in the car at 7:30am that means I can play Jase and PJs birthday balls (you’ve gotta be in it to win it right?!). Works car park is literally a 2 minute walk to my desk – so convenient, and it’s free parking! (Anyone who works in the hospital will know what a game changer this is).

8.00 AM

Walk into my office and start work for the day. One of the perks of working for council is they have flexible working arrangements. So I chose to start at 8am and finish at 4:06pm. I do this purely for traffic reasons, so I can get more out of my day! 

From 8am I have one hour of general clinical admin time. So this means I can catch up on my documentation, check my emails, see if we have received any birth notices, look at my appointments for the day and liase with my colleague. This hour is one of my favourite parts of the day. I just find it really sets me up for the day and gets me organised.

Yarra City Council Graduate Ali starting the day

9.00 AM - 12.00 PM

Appointments. We do Key Age and Stage appointments that go from 30 minutes to 1 hour in duration from birth up until 3.5 years old. This involves completing developmental and physical assessments. It is also my role as a Maternal and Child Health Nurse to promote the health and well-being of the child and the family. I do this by discussing family wellbeing, safety, immunisation, feeding, nutrition, sleeping and so much more! I work in a highly vulnerable centre, so I also closely liase with: the Family Services team, Child Protection, GP’s, Occupational Therapists, Paediatricians, Speech Pathologists and Dietitians.

All of our notes are documented on an online system – SO QUICK!

One of the best parts of being a Maternal and Child Health Nurse is the continuity. You get to know the families very well and you can pick up where you left off at each appointment. I find it incredibly rewarding.

Yarra City Council Graduate Ali family

(It’s amazing how quickly you can assess a child’s development and parent interactions with toys in your room)

12.00 – 12.45 PM

Lunch time! Usually on our lunch break myself and my colleague will sit in the waiting room and eat our lunch and then go on a walk around the block. My lunch always consists of leftovers, it’s just easier and so delicious! This walk is one of my favourite parts of the day, it gets you away from your desk and up and about. It’s also a great excuse to get some sun, get my steps and catch up with my colleague. 

Yarra City Council Graduate Ali lunch

12.45 – 1.15 PM

30 minutes of general admin time (we get 90 mins each day). This allows me to finish completing all of my notes from the mornings appointments, reply to emails and once again check to see if any birth notices have arrived. I also use this time to follow up on vulnerable families and referrals.

Afternoon of appointments. Just like the morning, the afternoon is full of appointments. Completing developmental and physical assessments as well as promoting the health and well-being of each family; referring as required. Sometimes in the afternoon I have a group; typically this would be a New Parent Group. Where parents with their first baby, meet at the centre to form friendships and receive education from me as one of their Maternal and Child Health Nurses.

Yarra City Council Graduate Ali afternoon appointments

(Picture of the pram parking for New Parent Group)

4.00 PM

Quickly save all of my notes. Trying not to panic if I don’t have them done as there’s my admin time tomorrow morning if I need. This is one of the things I fell in love with about the job – your work is there for you the next day! It’s so hard at the hospital handing over isn’t it?!

4.06 PM

Home time! Drive home, usually 30 mins. I usually listen to the radio or a podcast or call a friend.

4.30 PM

Go on a walk around the block with my partner to ‘switch off’ and debrief about our days and sort out our dinner plans

6.30 PM

Dinner time! We usually watch the news and then continue our current Netflix addiction

10.00 PM

Bed time and get ready to do it all over again.