Midwife retires after 1000 babies


One of the city’s longest-serving midwives is retiring after over 40 years of service, having assisted in the birth of over 1000 babies during her career.

Broken Hill local, Jenny Coffey, commenced her first day of training as a Registered Nurse at the old Broken Hill Hospital on the 30th of January 1978.

Over 40 years of service later, her last working day will be Friday, 29 October 2021, before she takes 12 months long-service leave, and then plans to retire now that NSW has started to ease travel restrictions.

During her time with the health service, Jenny has worn many hats, including Community Midwife, relieving Nursing and Midwifery Unit Manager and even After-Hours Nursing and Midwifery Manager.

Although she has had a significant amount of management experience, her passion lies in working clinically with women and babies.

Midwifery Unit Manager, Alison Isaacs, said that Jenny will be missed by the midwifery team.

“Jenny is one of our most treasured midwives,” said Alison. “She is also a wonderful mentor, sharing her knowledge and experience with students and junior members of the team. Jenny is very much a midwife of the community, leaving behind not just a career, but a legacy.”

Jenny knew from the young age of 12 that she wanted to be a nurse, discovering her passion for nursing after completing a first aid course in year six. After an extensive nursing career at the Broken Hill Hospital, she completed her training and became a Registered Midwife in 1991.

Jenny was always fascinated with pregnancy and babies and finds going through the journey of pregnancy with expecting mothers to be super rewarding.

“I especially love working with Indigenous women,” she said.

Jenny estimates that she’s helped over 1,000 women birth their babies in her time at the hospital, and is now onto the second generation – attending births with women who she had ‘caught’ as a baby, many years ago.

“All we can ask in our lives is that perhaps we can make a difference in someone else’s, and Jenny Coffey has certainly done that, at least a 1000 times,” said Dale Sutton, Executive Director Nursing & Midwifery Clinical Governance.

“What an honour and privilege Jenny has had being a part of women and their families lives.

“We wish her all the best in her retirement to spend with her family and travelling.”

Having already travelled quite a bit overseas, Jenny wants to see more of Australia. She is also excited to spend more time with her family.

“I will definitely miss all aspects of working at the health service,” she said. “We have a great team and I’ve made lots of amazing friendships along the way. At this stage in my life, I want to spend more time with family.

“I’ve worked in many different areas, including palliative care, but I’ve always loved the maternity ward.

“It’s a happy part of the world,” she said.

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