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Interview: My experience of being a nurse working in abortion care

News from MSI UK  •  12 May 2023  • 10 min read



London, Friday 12th May, 2023

Every year, 12th May marks “International Nurses Day”: a day dedicated to nurses around the world who work tirelessly to ensure that people have access to essential healthcare services. Our nurses and midwives in the UK are extremely passionate about access to reproductive healthcare and provide support to our clients throughout their treatment with us.

This year, to mark International Nurses Day, we interviewed Hannah Waters, Clinical Matron at One Call, our call centre in Bristol, about what being a nurse in abortion care means to her, and how she combines her clinical and communication skills to support our clients during their treatment.

We are here to provide that clarity, reassurance and guidance without any judgement.

Hannah Waters, Clinical Matron at our call centre in Bristol

How and why did you start working for MSI?

Previously, I worked in telephone triage (a method that assesses whether patients’ requests can be managed over the phone, or if they need a face-to-face appointment) for several years and loved the different challenges it presented. I had never worked in reproductive healthcare before (my background is respiratory and emergency medicine) but I am a Registered Nurse, and I remember thinking the role at MSI UK would be a huge opportunity to work closely with midwives and develop my clinical skills and knowledge in this area. 

I knew a couple of people who were working for MSI and had really positive feedback about their roles, so I went for it and for the last two years, I’ve managed the Clinical Team at our call centre in Bristol.  

Can you tell me more about your role as a Clinical Matron at our call centre? 

My role is Clinical Matron at our call centre in Bristol. I manage our Right Care team who provide support to clients with a complex medical history. I also manage our Safeguarding team. 

The third team I manage is the Clinical Practitioner Team (our aftercare team), who look after our 24-hour aftercare line for all clients who have accessed treatment with us, which includes abortion aftercare and vasectomy aftercare.  I manage 36 colleagues in total, so some days I may be working more closely with one team than another depending on the situation. 

I like to work to a list or plan if possible. Some days my plan goes completely awry, but I am very lucky to be working with amazing colleagues who ensure the plan is brought swiftly back on track. 

Can you explain what aftercare support is available for MSI UK clients?

In the aftercare team, we often receive calls from our abortion clients asking what they can expect during and after treatment and when to expect a full recovery (e.g. when will they get their period after an abortion, or when will their body to return to “normal”).  

Our vasectomy clients typically call us to ask whether it’s normal to feel pain after treatment and to find aftercare guidance like when to change their dressing, when they can start exercise again, and when and how to do their semen testing. Following an assessment with the Clinical Team we may arrange a post-op appointment at one of our main clinics in England. 

What does a day in your life look like at MSI?  

Essentially, I oversee the three teams (Right Care, Safeguarding and Clinical Practitioners) and ensure everything is working smoothly. 

Depending on what day it is, I have meetings with the other members of the Clinical Management Team regarding the  plan for the week ahead. Following this, I will attend various meetings throughout the day. Meetings may involve looking at improving policy and/or processes, and liaising with the Matrons (senior nurses) and their teams in the clinics.  

I also respond to client feedback as soon as I am notified as that’s exactly what I would want as a client, and ensure staff are supported in their roles. To me this is just as important as looking after our clients. 

Why is it important to provide aftercare support to our clients following their treatment? 

It’s essential all clients know we are here to support them. Once a client completes their treatment, their care shouldn’t stop there.  

Often, our calls involve reassuring clients and answering questions about their treatment, for example, how to take abortion pills for a medical abortion. A lot can happen between the initial phone call and going to collect the tablets or attend the clinic, and just like any other hospital appointment, people find themselves suddenly remembering lots of questions they need answered.  

We know that there is a lot of information to remember when accessing care, and sometimes it is a bit overwhelming. We are here to provide that clarity, reassurance and guidance without any judgement. 

What is your favourite part of the job?  

I think it is how rewarding this job can be. You really can make a difference with just one phone call, and whilst this job does have many challenges, I really do think that my colleagues provide the best support to our clients with whatever decision they choose.

It really cements what we are doing when we receive positive feedback from our clients. To hear a thank you or a positive experience simply reinstates why we do what we do. 

We treat all of our clients with the respect and dignity they deserve, and we’re so glad that they also feel that way.  

Why are you proud to work for an abortion provider?  

There are many reasons why someone may be accessing abortion care, and at MSI Reproductive Choices, we work hard to break down the barriers and stigma surrounding abortion. 

We believe that abortion should be available for everyone and easily accessible, and the same goes for contraception, including vasectomies. People need to start accepting and understand that abortion care is a part of basic healthcare.  

I am proud to be part of a fantastic team who really are here to help make a difference. 

Read more from our colleagues

At MSI UK, we love interviewing our colleagues to find out more about their work and how their roles contribute to our mission to deliver quality reproductive healthcare. Below, you can read some of our latest interviews: 

Careers at MSI Reproductive Choices UK 

At MSI Reproductive Choices, we are looking for pro-choice and passionate professionals to join us in our mission.  

MSI Reproductive Choices employs over 500 people in the United Kingdom alone, all of whom are dedicated to delivering the highest quality abortion and vasectomy care. 

We know that our most valuable assets are the people that work for us. By joining MSI Reproductive Choices, you’ll become part of a committed team that work to make sure we provide the best possible care and support to our clients.

If you are interested in a career at MSI UK, find our current open positions here: Join Our Team



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