Lorna Lawther

Dr

  • Room 05.330 - Medical Biology Centre

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

20152024

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Particulars

Dr Lorna Lawther joined the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast as a Research Fellow in 2017 working on the APPLE Project - a PHA funded evaluation of the implementation of the Getting Ready for Baby Programme in HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland. Lorna took up a role as Lecturer in Midwifery (Education) in July 2018  and was also appointed Disability Officer for the School. This involved supporting students with a disability to recieve the support they required to progress through their education. It required meeting with students and offering them 1-1 support for academic and clinical aspects of the programme. Lorna is currently Deputy Programme Lead for the BSc Midwifery programme (2021 - ) and Professional Midwifery Lead for Simulation (2021 - ) working with colleagues across the Faculty of MHLS. In this role Lorna oversees the quality of Simulation Based Education across the BSc and MSc midwifery pre and post registration programmes and is chair of the Midwifery Education Simulation Working Group, and is a member of the Faculty Intersim Governance Group, Cross Faculty Teaching Group and HealthSkills Hub User Group. In all of these roles Lorna is concerned with ensuring team working, collegiality and interprofessional working to assure the quality of education.

Currently Lorna is a module coordinator for two undergraduate public health modules and a post graduate critical care module which she co-designed in conjunction with clinical partners. Lorna is a  link lecturer for the SEHSCT, a personal tutor, an MSc and PhD supervisor, and an external examiner for the University of West Scotland. 

Lorna obtained a PhD from Ulster University in 2016 and was supervised by Professors Helen Dolk and Marlene Sinclair and Consultant Neurologist Dr Jim Morrow on a project entitled "Preconception Care for Women with Epilepsy: a qualitative study." Lorna was awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching (PGCHET) and acheived the status of Fellow of the HEA in 2021.

Prior to joining QUB, Lorna was a midwife in clinical practice working in the SEHSCT as a parent education coordinator (2002 - 2007), Labour Ward midwife (2007 - 2016), Community Midwife (2016 - 2018), Early Intervention Project Midwife (2016-2017). Lorna was also employed in NIPEC as an Associate Professional Officer (2017 - ) and led on a project to review the Link Nurse role in Northern Ireland and was a member of the review team for non- NMC approved modules in Higher Education. 

She began her midwifery career in 1996 graduating from Thames Valley University (now University of West London) and taking up a role in St Marys Hospital Paddington where she was placed during her studies. Lorna worked in St Marys as a clinical midwife, Labour Ward Sister and Breastfeeding Coordinator and introduced the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative into the Trust in 1998. Lorna returned to Northern Ireland in 1999. 

 

Teaching

In my teaching I draw on constructivist theory in the development and implementation of an evidence based approach to teaching. My experience of the ARCS-V model (Keller,1979) informs my teaching and  I have been influenced by expertise within the midwifery teaching team, and experience of this model in research that I was involved in  and a publication  illustrating the application of the ARCS-V model. Ultimately my teaching focuses on supporting students to gain knowledge and confidence in readiness for providing safe and effective care for women, children and families and the ARCS-V model enables this by: utilising strategies to hold students attention, highlight the relevance of the learning to the student,  adding confidence building stratgies into teaching, and embedding the evaluation of student satisfaction to inform ongoing development of teaching.  My current teaching profile consists of public health modules for year 1 and year 2 of the BSc Midwifery Programme. These modules sit within the Public Health thread in the BSc midwifery programme which I co-designed in conjunction with practice partners and service users in the curriculum development process in 2020. In implementing the curriculum I have focussed on supporting students understanding of public health in midwifery practice with the use of a range of evidence (e.g the Lancet Series, 2014 & 2023), embedded in a salutogenic approach (Antonovsky, 2019). This strengths-based approach recognises the dynamic nature of health and the determinants of health and moves away from pathologising behaviours and offers students a framework which they can use to provide empathetic health promoting care. In addition, I have developed skills and expertise in Simulation Based Education which is supported by scholarly activty and research both in my personal profile and drawing upon the expertise in the Faculty. 

Research Interests

I  have an interest in public health in midwifery practice and research, early intervention, preconception care, antenatal education and simulation based learning and education

Research Focus

My research focus is in:

Public Health: I am currently supervising a PhD student who is exploring a non-pharmacological intervention for women with perinatal mental health disorders. This theme extends to my work in education and supporting students with their own personal health and wellbeing which is also an area of scholarly activity. In relation to antenatal care, the role of the midwife in the provision of high quality, safe and effective care is enabled by the midwife's role in public health. I am supervising a MSc student to explore the midwifery workforce profile, skill requirements and confidence for the provision of level 2 critical care. 

Education: I have extended my clinical expertise and research in this area towards early intervention approaches and antenatal education.  I am supervising a PhD student who is developing an educational resource for clinicians to improve outcomes for women with pre-eclampsia and I am also working with colleagues from the School of Psychology at QUB on an educational workshop for undergraduate nursing and midwifery students. Through my role as Professional Midwifery Lead for Simulation I have  created opportunities for scholarly activity and research in conjunction with colleagues in the Faculty of MHLS. 

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

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