MIDWIVES and teachers are two of the most thankless jobs in the world. Often midwives are left to clean up all the gross, messy stuff that comes with childbirth and teachers have to deal with troublesome school children, but one mentoring midwife from Nepean hospital has been recognised for her hard work as both a mentor and a midwife.
Sandra Lyness, a resident midwife at Nepean hospital, has been crowned the 2016 University of Technology Sydney Mentor of the Year for her teaching and mentoring work with young student midwives.
She beat out a competition of 58 other mentors to be crowned Mentor of the Year, and says mentoring is all about having an open heart.
“You have to be supportive because you’re dealing with people from lots of different backgrounds,” Ms Lyness said. “A lot of empathy goes into it.”
After being in the industry for the last 20 odd years, Ms Lyness says there’s been a lot of changes in the ways in which midwifery has been taught.
“I trained in the hospital based system, these girls are coming up through a university based system and they don’t become a RN [registered Nurse] first they just do a midwifery course, so things change and we have to change with that,” she said.
“As a mentor we need to go through a lot of the basics, general skills of an RN, because they’re not learning everything with the midwifery course,” she said. “I need to work harder to teach them, so they get the most out of the mentor-ship.”
Ms Lyness said she’s proudly been a mentor because she wants to share her own life experiences in hospitals with the students so they can become better midwives themselves.
“I’ve been working in nursing for a really long time, in my heart I look back and see the people who were really kind to me when I was first doing my training, and want them to get a similar experience,” Ms Lyness said.
“I just really enjoy fostering their learning. I have all this information and experience I want to pass it on to them so they can use it,” she said.