Pauline Tarpey

I’ve been a midwife for 23 years. Over the last five years I've held the role of clinical midwifery manager, overseeing operations in labour, gynaecology, and early-pregnancy wards. This role involves extensive people management as well as the coordination of patient care. At present, I am working as a clinical skills facilitator.

The landscape in healthcare is always changing, and I wanted to improve my skills and academic knowledge. Crucially, I aimed to explore innovative leadership styles that bring people with you.

So I decided to return to study on RCSI’s Leadership and Innovation in Healthcare programme. It was a big investment for me, both personally and professionally. I wanted to develop my own leadership attributes, become a better problem-solver, and develop as a strategic thinker.

Using what I was learning on the course, I was keen to lead out on a project that would bring about improvements for patients in our care.

So I decided to identify the gaps in service provision during Covid, how it impacted our patients, and how we could best support them if they were going through the challenge of medical management of a miscarriage at home, rather than in hospital.

I completed the course – and it has enhanced my readiness to tackle the daily obstacles I encounter. This is especially true when addressing matters such as patient grief, recruitment, retention, and fostering teamwork. The course has provided me with a solid foundation of evidence for my decision-making. Moreover, it has significantly nurtured my creative thinking, empowering me to overcome challenges instead of becoming mired by them.

When it comes to trauma experienced during pregnancy loss, I used the empirical data I gathered on the course to develop a patient information leaflet on what patients could expect during that traumatic time. They would sometimes have to come back to A&E, so we wanted the information to reference what to expect, how to access support, and any phone numbers they might need.

I think it has helped to address a missing piece of support and, I hope, played some part in minimising the trauma experienced during pregnancy loss. 

It’s thanks to RCSI that I was able to get this off the ground.

Thanks to the course at RCSI, I feel much more confident about my career and my capacity to make a meaningful impact on patient care.

Learn more about the MSc in Leadership and Innovation in Healthcare here.