Assistant Professor joins COVID-19 vaccine drive to help NHS colleagues
Friday 29 January 2021
She’s juggling teaching the next generation of midwives, working in a birth centre, giving out COVID-19 vaccines and home-schooling her daughter but Coventry University Assistant Professor Emma Whapples says she just wants to help people.
Emma works Monday to Friday as an Assistant Professor in the university’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health educating midwifery students.
She spends her Saturdays vaccinating people and her Sundays helping her students and former colleagues in birth centres.
For Emma, it’s a case of duty calling.
I’m responding to the pandemic and I think it is important and my duty to do so. We can take time off later - let’s get everyone safe first.
We’ve never been needed more. There are staff working seven days a week to keep the service going and I think if I can do little bit then it is one less shift they have to cover so they can be on the wards looking after the Covid and critical care patients.
Emma has continued to work at the birth centres after moving into teaching to keep her clinical skills and knowledge up to date to benefit her teaching at university.
She has seen first-hand that Covid does not just strike those in the risk categories as she urged people to be vigilant.
On the frontline it goes without saying that you do have women and babies that have Covid. Some are affected more than others, as with the general population. We do have women that end up in Intensive Therapy Unit needing to be ventilated, we do have poorly babies.
I don’t understand why some people are not taking this seriously but I just hope we can roll out this vaccine as fast as we can.
The NHS response has inspired Emma’s 11-year-old daughter Emelia to pursue a clinical career and for Emma, her students and the student nurses have been unsung heroes of this pandemic.
Working at the weekends has meant I see less of my daughter but what I do has inspired her ambitions to work in health care. She’s only 11 but wants to become a consultant psychiatrist now.
Our students and staff have also been phenomenal both in the hospitals and back at base with the curriculum changing and elements of our teaching moving online.
We get people qualified who are ready to hit the ground running. The students’ response out in practice has been phenomenal. Our practice partners have commended them and said they couldn’t have done it without them. I’m super proud of them.
If you have been inspired by Emma’s story and want to know more about joining the NHS visit our School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health page.