Nursing came to me at a later age, I was going to be a teacher but oh my goodness I hated it so much. No the kids. Kids of all ages are pretty great if you spend time with them, but the politics, the snake pit staff rooms, the unflinching stone facedness of it all. So instead I ended up working in Social Care, and when the government decided I was surplus to requirements (as were the whole of my department) I decided to investigate nursing. I had worked with Mental Health and had some experience of it personally, and when I realised that I could work in that sector I put my heart and soul into it. I knew little about nursing as a profession or the three years of hell that would be ahead of me while I trained to be a nurse.
Honestly, I have respect for anyone that puts in the time, effort and courage to do a nursing degree, mental health or otherwise (although we all know that the weirdos that do mental health are the coolest people 😉 ). It’s 3 years, degree level, and incredibly hard work. Hours of full time work whilst maintaining the same number of hours of academic work is tough, especially On more than one occasion I had more work than I could manage during those three years, being a single parent and on a very tight budget didn’t help either. However. I put in a lot to my degree but walked away with a lot more.
I had the opportunity to get involved with the RCN for Students, I went to days where I learnt about how change happened in Nursing, how standards were raised, how they implemented new things all the time, how best practice was always evolving into something new and something different. I also had the chance to mentor nursing students through their first year which was fun and invited a lot of reflection on my part. You get out what you put in, even when the basics are exhausting.
Me now, service lead nurse, hands on work, and just a passion for implementing change in the workforce (one notoriously difficult to implement change in) and making things change for individuals with mental health difficulties have a smoother, more accessible and meaningful experience of services.
I have a particular special interest in Personality Disorder, I think because a lot of the practice is still emerging and work with this diagnosis and the people who hold it is still so flexible and developing it means practitioners can really work with the individuals they are caring for and develop best practice. I also have developed a more recent interest in older adult functional care, service users are getting older, where as before they wouldn’t, in a majority, didn’t live in to old age, our focus on physical health and well being has improved and lengthened lives but we don’t have much to support older age care outside of the organic sphere.
I hope to explore a wide range of topics throughout this blog, as well as looking at documents, research, and all kinds of stuff both mental and physical health. Any suggestions?