Working life: Mary McAuliffe, fertility nurse

6am

Working life: Mary McAuliffe, fertility nurse

 8am

At the clinic, I check department diaries to give me a clear idea of laboratory and theatre workloads for the day, as well as what the schedule is like in terms of fertility assessments and scans. After that, I respond to emails, before linking in with members of the patient liaison team as I like to consistently ensure that all of our patients are happy with our service.

11am

I meet with our laboratory manager to discuss specific patient queries. Today our discussion centres on a couple who lost a baby within days of delivery from a rare genetic disease they weren’t aware they were carriers of. They have come to CFC because we offer both Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS), and Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). PGS is an IVF procedure designed to examine embryos for chromosomal abnormalities. PGD enables couples who are at known risk of a specific genetic condition to avoid passing it on to their children. People who are candidates for PGD include carriers of single gene defects, such as cystic fibrosis (CF), or people affected by chromosomal disorders.

1pm

I catch up with colleagues in the kitchen for lunch. When I started 13 years ago, there were six staff and now we have grown to more than 50, so lunchtime is always busy.

2pm

The afternoon often involves attending patient clinics with the consultant. I talk patients through a cycle of IVF treatment from start to finish, what medications they will be on and the physical affects it may have. They always have lots of questions which I like to answer thoroughly so they have a good understanding of the process.

4pm

I respond to queries I’ve received through our self-referral fertility assessment service, Myfertilitycheck.ie. From the age of 30 onwards, women’s ovarian reserve starts to dip regardless of how healthy they are. I receive lots of queries from women about how a fertility assessment can help provide an insight into their reproductive health.

5pm

One final check of emails before heading home to make dinner and supervise homework. I like to unwind at the end of the day by taking my dog for a walk.

Mary McAuliffe is head of clinical services at Cork Fertility Centre

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