Hello, my name is Steve and I am a registered mental health nurse. I have been with 2gether for nearly 11 years.
Before I got into nursing, I wanted to be a music and drama teacher, but due to various reasons I didn’t have the confidence to go to university, so decided to defer this for a year . During this time, I got a job at a nursing home for adults with mental health issues, learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. I soon realised how much I loved working in this field. At the time, I worked with two very inspiring mental health nurses, Andrew and Barbara. They both encouraged me to do my training – so I applied and fast forward 3 years I was now a registered mental health nurse.
I have worked in a variety of different specialities since I qualified – in the private sector where I worked back at the nursing home but this time as a registered nurse and also in the NHS – I have worked on Kingsholm Ward at Wotton lawn Hospital, Mental Health Liaison, Mulberry Ward at Charlton Lane Hospital, community dementia services and I am now on secondment as lead nurse for the north locality and dementia services across the trust.
Its great being a mental health nurse, every day you get to make a real difference and you can really help people, whether that is sitting down chatting to someone who is depressed or holding some ones hand as they take their last breath – the people we are fortunate to meet and work with and who tell us their stories are truly remarkable and that is why mental health nursing is so special to me.
I have worked with lots of mental health nurses over the years and I have been lucky enough to work with some really fantastic people in different roles who have really enabled me to become a better nurse.
Mental health nursing is of course very challenging day to day for many different reasons, pressures on beds, huge caseloads and staffing issues, perhaps even our own problems but what we do is do the very best that we can do with what we have every day – with support of great colleagues, teams and managers.
One thing I don’t think we do enough of is looking after our own mental health or checking on each other enough, yes we are human and yes we have a mental health as well, its ok to not be ok but what we do about it for ourselves and each other is what counts. We must all remember to look after ourselves as well.
All the jobs I have had have one thing in common, the people that I have supported, nursed and cared for and their families / carers and the people I work with who have made the job for me. I love being a mental health nurse and I look forward to working with many more inspirational people in years to come and supporting the next generation of mental health nurses.
Happy #MentalHealthNursesDay 2019.
You can follow Steve on Twitter – @NurseSteve82