Working Life: Margaret Naughton - Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation

I go for a quick run with Jasper the dog (he runs, I walk)

Working Life: Margaret Naughton - Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation

Margaret Naughton, specialist children’s liaison nurse, Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation


I go for a quick run with Jasper the dog (he runs, I walk) to rid myself of the guilt of leaving him cooped up for the day. I also do the school run — my husband leaves for work before me. I have one Leaving Cert student, Orla, and my son Eoin is in second year.


I head to the maternity hospital in Limerick for a multidisciplinary team meeting, where the different health professionals involved in the care of a particular baby meet up. The child has a severe neurological condition and will require care 24/7.

We have a good system in place with the HSE and there’s no red tape to cut through. It’s agreed the child can be allowed home next week with in-house nursing support which Jack and Jill can provide within 24 hours.

I attend a discharge planning meeting — we make sure everyone knows what they are doing in preparation for the baby’s discharge. I have a nurse in mind who would be a good match for the family.


I visit a house where the mother is concerned about the PEG site — where the feeding tube is placed directly in the tummy. She wants someone to see if she is doing the right thing.

When children have life-limiting illnesses, parents are expected to take on a lot of nursing tasks that they may have no experience of. They usually just need a bit of reassurance.

12 noon

Lunch is often in the car, listening to the latest Brexit drama on the radio. I use the time to make a few phonecalls — I don’t bring my phone into people’s homes.


I visit a family who are finding the paperwork involved in applying for allowances lengthy and confusing. Some [families] are not even told about allowances.

When we visit a new family, we always bring a checklist to see if they are aware of their entitlements.


I return to the car and engage in a long phonecall with a mother whose child is starting in a special needs playschool. It’s a fair distance from her home and she’s very distressed.


Jasper gets another runabout. I live near the Burren in Co Clare so there are lots of opportunities for hillwalking.


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