A Day in the Life of Health Visitors
We meet the Health Visiting team at Ainsdale Clinic to find out more…
So, what is a health visitor?
Carmel Blake: A Health Visitor is a registered nurse or midwife who has undergone further training to gain a specialised knowledge of community health, child health, health promotion and education and works to support children and families during pregnancy, birth and through the pre-school years.
Lisa Wheelar: As a team, we are basically responsible for supporting the children and families within our area, with a focus on early years and pre-school children.
What does a typical day look like in your role?
Erica Sergi: We’ll generally go into the office first to check e-mails/diary appointments and for team meetings where we prioritise our visits and workload, before we head out to visit our different families.
Lisa Wheelar: A typical home visit involves providing regular child development reviews, as well as advising parents on things like breastfeeding, weaning, child behaviour issues or sleep problems, and healthy weight and growth. We also provide support to children and families with additional health needs and can signpost and refer children into other specialist services.
Carmel Blake: It’s a fairly diverse role, so every day can be a bit different depending on what we’re doing - for example, on Monday’s we run a baby clinic at Farnborough in Birkdale, which is a drop-in clinic for any parents in the area to access.
Erica Sergi: We also go to regular meetings around safeguarding and child protection issues, and we do lots of liaising day to day with other organisations since we work very closely with midwives, GP surgeries, Children’s Centres, School Nurses and local voluntary services to help parents access the various support they might need.
What do you like most about your job?
Carmel Blake: One of the great things about being a health visitor is that it involves bonding with families over time. We get to build strong relationships with families over time, because you see them on a regular basis and become a constant part of a child’s life in their early years.
Helen Coulson: It’s a challenging role but I think a lot of families really value the support we offer, because we’re supporting parents with advice to help the whole family to stay healthy, develop well, and avoid illness. And what could be more rewarding than that?!