Limerick woman becomes first ever midwife sonographer at maternity hospital

Fintan Walsh

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Fintan Walsh

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fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Limerick woman becomes first ever midwife sonographer at maternity hospital

Midwife sonographer Anna Gleeson, Kilteely, with Shineen Hoyne from Kilfinane who is going for her antenatal visit at the Ennis Road hospital | Picture: Brian Arthur

A COUNTY Limerick woman has become the first ever midwife-sonographer to practise at University Maternity Hospital Limerick.

Traditionally, healthcare professionals providing antenatal ultrasounds have come from radiography backgrounds. But this trend has changed amid a shortage of sonographers nationwide, influencing midwives to enter the field.

And Kilteely woman Anna Gleeson has been the first in the Mid-West to enter this new role, after 30 years’ experience as a midwife.

And while upskilling is a common feat of the job, Anna says an 18-month Masters in ultrasonography at University College Dublin is of a different order. “I have five children to look after but everyone at home and at work was very supportive and I decided I would take that opportunity. It was a big commitment as it involved travelling to UCD two days every fortnight for one and half years; and a lot of study and assignments in between!” she said.

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Who’s the nicest person in the hospital? The ULTRASOUND person (sorry, not sorry) ‍⚕️ . Meet Anna Gleeson, from Kilteely, Co Limerick, who has become the first midwife-sonographer at University Maternity Hospital Limerick. . “I was always interested in ultrasound and, in fact, I had done a short course on it in the UK in the past. Nothing came of that but when the opportunity came up and the hospital sought expressions of interest for a Masters in Ultrasound, I gave it serious consideration.” . While traditionally antenatal ultrasound was carried out by those with radiography backgrounds, the lack of sonographers nationwide has influenced midwifes to enter the field. . . Anna is pictured with Shineen Hoyne, from Kilfinane, who is in for her antenatal visit. Picture by Brian Arthur (@brianarthurphotography) . #GoodNewsDay #UltrasoundMidwife #UltrasoundAnna #Maternity #health #Limerick

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Ultrasounds can confirm the date of pregnancy, the gender of the baby and any anomalies that may be picked up. And the UL Hospitals Group has said that the role of ultrasound in improving mental health in pregnancy, in providing reassurance and in strengthening the bond with baby is also recognised.

Anna works in the main ultrasound department and in the early pregnancy assessment unit at UMHL. She said her role “helps labour ward staff plan the birth to ensure the specialties needed for the baby are present at the birth thus ensuring the best possible outcome”. UL Hospitals’ midwifery director Margaret Quigley said plans are in place for a second midwife to follow the same path.