Midwife Heather outlines her journey to PhD

Health Science

"I realised I wanted to continue in the area of research, so WIT had a great programme to offer that allowed me to explore an area that I was very interested in which will hopefully improve the services that we provide to parents in relation to DDH."

Heather Jennings, a midwife and part-time lecturer details the sacrifices she made to obtain her research PhD in the development of Dysplasia in the hip

What is your PhD in?
I am doing a research PhD that focuses on the development of dysplasia in the hip. So we run a specified DDH clinic in University Hospital Waterford and it is really looking at the instance rates and how well we are supporting parents through diagnosis of DDH. 

What made you come back and do a PhD? 
Well I suppose the first thing I achieved was becoming a general nurse and then I went on and specialised in midwifery. I realised I wanted to continue in the area of research, so WIT had a great programme to offer that allowed me to explore an area that I was very interested in which will hopefully improve the services that we provide to parents in relation to DDH. 

Are you still working? 
I still practise as a midwife and I also do some part-time lecturing as well as completing this PhD so it’s been a busy few years. 

How did you manage to juggle it all?
I think, obviously you need to have some level of academic abilities but also perseverance is the main thing, you have keep your sights set on the goal at the end of it all and persevere and make a few sacrifices along the way. 

Was there any big sacrifices you had to make along the way? 
Well I have a young family so there was sacrifices made there in terms of time spent but going forward it’s going to be a good quality of life for us all and it was job satisfaction and life satisfaction for me as well but I’m glad to be at this point of it now.

Was it worth it?
Definitely worth a few extra wrinkles but definitely worth it.

Interviewed by Ian Bradley at Conferring 2018

Related Courses

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  General Nursing

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