Katherine Pelc, Health Visitor in Merton talks to us for #HVWeek

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Published: 28th September 2016
Katherine Pelc has recently started working as a Health Visitor for CLCH in Merton. Here's what she had to say about the profession and her role...


What inspired you to become a health visitor?
I always loved my role as a nurse, but after having my first son, I had the most amazing Health Visitor support me through the challenges of becoming a mother. She was patient and caring and listened to all my difficulties and provided me with the confidence I needed.

What is the best thing about health visiting?
There are many things which are fantastic in my role as Health Visitor, it's difficult to pin point one. Supporting people with breastfeeding, empowering parents with knowledge about infant mental health, providing support in the home for those with post-natal depression and mental health issues and general support and advice with parenting and behaviour issues are just some of the things I really enjoy.

Describe your average day
Wow - that's hard as no day is the same! Today I am going to visit a young mother at home who has 2 children under 2. I am going to complete the Health Reviews on the children and offer support for the mother as she has recently moved to escape domestic abuse.
Following that I am meeting another mother at the Children's Centre, who I cannot meet at home due to domestic abuse. I have been supporting her for some time with regards to this and her mood, as she feels that I am her "safe place to talk". Later, I'm going to the child health clinic which is generally very busy as a "drop in" service for clients in Merton to attend for health and developmental advice. Throughout the day I will be checking the computer for work which needs allocating out within the team.
Yesterday I completed 3 "new birth visits" to new babies to offer advice and assess for any health needs.

If you had to sum up HV in three words what would they be?
Rewarding, challenging, a necessity!

What kind of characteristics do you need to become a Health Visitor - what advice would you give to someone who wants to train?
You need patience, resilience, strength, a sense of humour, ability to work alone and in a team, be open to change and non judgemental.
If you are interested ask your local teams if you can shadow someone for a day and get in touch with the Universities who are providing the courses.

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