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High emotions and wonderful milestones all part of life in IVF clinics



Conn also helps counsel patients if they are upset about having multiple unsuccessful IVF cycles.

"There's a lot of financial and psychological burden that comes with nurse patients through their pregnancy journey with the knowledge of their difficult background in conceiving and falling pregnant," she says.

She believes the key to doing her job well is having a big dose of empathy.

"They may be coming from 10 or 20 years of infertility and treatments. Sometimes these patients do not have a lot of trust in health professionals if they've had multiple cycles and were unsuccessful. of a positive experience, "she says.

It's not only those formal healthcare roles that play a part in careers in the reproductive services industry. Conn's colleague Elise Stapleton is Dr Sgroi's practice manager. She worked her way up to the role after a job in a GP's office, then a stint as a receptionist and patient liaison officer at Melbourne IVF.

She agrees the role can be more emotional than a typical practice management, especially as the IVF clinics often get to know many of their patients well.

"The doctor advises the patients, but our staff debrief quite a bit if there's bad news that comes in," she says.

Still, high emotions are part of the environment.

"The IVF process is very emotional and IVF patients are going through always to be aware of what every patient may be visiting us for and stay professional in all situations," Stapleton says.

Given Stapleton's role involves liaising with staff and patients in the clinic, as well as other specialists and hospitals, a ability to multi-task is mandatory.

So is good listening: "A practice manager can take on a lot, from being there to support the patients to managing emotions and the different personalities that come with having a team of staff," Stapleton says.

Despite the challenges both Conn and Stapleton say being part of the IVF process is very rewarding.

"IVF is a very complicated experience so I enjoy bringing the positive in and 'normalising the abnormal' so patients can enjoy all those little milestones like ultrasounds," says Conn.

For Conn, who also helps Sgroi deliver babies, there's also the ultimate pay-off.

"It's a gift being in the room when a baby is born," she says.

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