My job

60 seconds with consultant midwife Yana Richens

This consultant midwife loves her job so much that she commutes hundreds of miles a day to see the women in her care.

This consultant midwife loves her job so much that she commutes hundreds of miles a day to see the women in her care.

Yana Richens OBE is a consultant midwife at University College London Hospital (UCLH). She trained as a nurse in 1979 and as a midwife in 1984. Married with three children, her daughter recently qualified as a staff nurse and works in an intensive care unit. She is the first midwife to receive the Mary Seacole Leadership Award. Professional global adviser to the Royal College of Midwives, she is currently completing a PhD on fear of birth.

Picture: Paul Stuart
What are your main work responsibilities?

Supporting a safe, effective service for women through clinical practice, clinical leadership and through leading and implementing midwifery research.

How did you get your job?

My career has been varied. I worked as a research fellow in Oxford for 2 years and realised how much I missed clinical practice, so when I saw the position for a consultant midwife at UCLH I did not hesitate, even though the commute is 200 miles each day.

Who are your clients/patients?

Pregnant women and postnatal women.

What do you love about your job?

I am fortunate to work with a great and diverse team of midwives, students and doctors.

What do you find most difficult?

Time management is not my strong point, especially when I am due to go to a meeting and I am with a student or woman in clinic.

What is your top priority at work?

Submitting my PhD.

How have you developed your skills in this role?

As I began my nurse training in 1979, I have had lots of practice.

What was your formative career experience?

My first nursing role was on an oncology ward. It gave me an insight into how to care and communicate effectively, something that I make sure I do every day.

What will be your next career move?

A clinical academic post would be perfect.

What career advice would you give your younger self?

Work hard, honestly and believe in yourself. Remember to ask for help – people are not mind readers.

This article is for subscribers only

Jobs