Another new segment- about something else I am extremely passionate about. Mental Health Nursing. For those of you who have read my blog for a little while, or who know me personally, will know that I am on the last leg of my Mental Health/ Psychiatric Nursing degree. Although the media has been a lot more positive & influential regarding mental health & reducing stigma, there still isn’t much talk about careers involved in professional services for mental health. This means that you may be like I was in 2014- no idea what a Mental Health Nurse does.
I am not going to sugar coat it, being a Mental Health Nurse is both physically & emotionally demanding- but it is also one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet (in my eyes anyway). For the case of this post, I will call us RMN’s. We work in lots of different environments: general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, prisons, community settings and even in the police force. The pressure & responsibility that comes with this important, & what I feel is well respected, role is enormous. RMN’s are involved in: crisis management & intervention, care planning, prescribing & administering medication, psychological therapies & therapeutic interventions, care co-ordination, family work, encouraging activities of daily living, multi-disciplinary team working & even attending courts & mental health tribunals (for example when a service user disagrees with their section)- need I go on? RMN’s work with people with & without a formal diagnosis, people of all ages & with a variety of different needs. People experiencing Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Personality Disorders, Bipolar, Phobias, Eating Disorders, Substance Misuse, Dementia, PTSD & many others may come into contact with Mental Health Services & receive support from an RMN. As you can imagine, although upsetting & emotionally draining at times, it is an extremely fulfilling job to work with people in order to get from what may be their worst experience to some of their best. We build genuine, therapeutic relationships with the people we care for & it fills us with joy to see people reach a point in their life that they are more than happy with. With our help, the majority of people are discharged & able to lead a life they want to live.
Unfortunately all I seem to hear on the news when discussing the nursing career is negative- well let me tell you, it’s not all that bad. We don’t live in a bubble- we understand the lack of staffing, the high level of responsibility & the risks that we take on a daily basis (granted many involve positive risk taking)- but why don’t we hear about all of the positive aspects? The days we feel like we have really made a difference to someone’s life, when someone tells you about their busy mental health history & how well they are doing now & the appreciation that the majority of people have for the team as they are discharged or working together for this goal. It can be difficult, but it doesn’t have a patch on what I imagine some service users experience.
I wouldn’t change working within Mental Health Services for the world.
Have you had any experiences with Mental Health Services- either as a service user or professional? Do you have any other questions about Mental Health Nursing? Comment below! Let’s talk about this rewarding career that often goes so un-noticed!
Kayleigh Rose x