Posted on Tuesday June 12 2018 by Ollie Herridge
Ever since I began my studies in nursing and worked in a hospital environment, I have grown as a person. I feel like I owe this all to my journey to becoming a fully qualified mental health nurse. A lot of people cannot grasp what it is like to be a mental health nurse, unless they have been one. Working in healthcare is a difficult career as it is, but I feel like nurses get most of the heavy work. I’ll be sharing how nursing has helped me grow as a person, and the upsides and downsides of nursing.
I do not take my life for granted anymore. I studied specifically in psychiatric nursing, and I don’t think people understand how fortunate they are to not have a crippling mental disorder. It takes over your whole life. I’ve started to become more grateful that I have a healthy mental state. Things like hearing voices, seeing things that are not there and dealing with severe depression is not for the faint hearted. I have begun to admire these guys because of their daily struggles within themselves. Ever since I was introduced to the real world of psychiatric nursing, I am so much more thankful and appreciative that I have good health.
My ability to empathise has grown. To be a good mental health nurse, you must be able to put yourself in the patient’s shoes. You can never truly understand their situation, but you can imagine what it’s like. I’ve seen some truly heart-breaking incidents so far, and it’s only motivated me to work harder in my course. Some parts of society may not comprehend what it’s like to have a mental illness, people are so quick to dismiss it because it’s not apparent, but it is just as difficult to deal with as is physical illness.
I’ve learned to multi-task and take on more responsibility. I think this is a brilliant quality to pick up. I’ve learned to become dependable, and all the responsibility you have as a nurse can make you more cautious. You’re more aware of your surroundings. You’re never idle, which I think is great.
Despite the many downsides to nursing, I still enjoy it and would recommend it to anyone who feels they are up for it. It is so interesting and it’s a great feeling to know you are really helping someone better their life.
By: Caroline Agoba, Mental Health Nurse
Caroline Agoba is a 2nd year Mental Health Nursing student currently studying in Ireland, Co. Limerick.
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