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Mental Health Nursing PgDip: What our students say

Student profiles

Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.

Name: Matthew Adlem

Mental health nursing graduate Matthew talks about the journey from being a student to a qualified, practising nurse.

"I decided to train to become a mental health nurse after being a support worker for deaf children with mental health difficulties. I enjoyed the teamwork involved in caring for young people, and the way the whole team focused on the best interests of the person.

"I hadn't been in an education environment for some time and as a mature student, felt a little unsure about my academic ability. Kingston University had lots of support networks in place ranging from maths help, to support with writing styles and money management. I found I was able to tap into lots of resources to help me through the study and learning process, helping me to grow as a person professionally and privately.

"I was eager to make sure I would stand out from the crowd when looking for a job, so I joined a nursing agency to earn extra money and gain more experience working in mental health. I used this work to network with prospective employers and ask about upcoming job vacancies, and made sure I left a good impression with the managers.

"My placement during the final semester was a 15-week elective placement, which meant I could choose which nursing environment I wanted to experience. I'd been on placements in enduring mental health, liaison psychiatry, adult rehabilitation services, community mental health services and acute adult in-patient services, so this time I chose an area that specialised in child mental health. I felt I might want to work in this area when I qualified, and thought this would be a good chance to network with potential employers.

"During the placement I sought to work hard, be professional and attend to the areas of my learning I felt I needed to improve. I did this with the help of my placement supervisor and liaison lecturer, who were both eager to support me.

"By the time I sat my final exams, I'd already been for two job interviews, two assessment centres for different mental health trusts, and had been offered two jobs. All I needed to do was to pass my exams and choose which job offer to accept, then I could start work as a registered mental health nurse. I feel it was good to start looking for jobs early on. It motivated me to work hard for my exams and made me feel more secure about what would be happening next.

"Once I passed my exams and qualified as a nurse, I decided to take a break before starting my new job – to relax and have some fun after all the study before refocusing on my career.

"The transition from being a student to a professional nurse wasn't too difficult. I'd accepted a job in the unit where I'd spent my final placement, so I knew how the unit ran and knew all of the patients and staff. My main focus now was learning all the clinical responsibilities and mastering the paperwork.

"I noticed the extra responsibility on my first day. As soon as I began my first shift, I had to manage a situation where a child was becoming aggressive. I had to make sure the staff involved felt supported, and document the situation fully. My communication of events during handover to other staff had to be concise and factual.

"I found that I could ask for support from my colleagues when I needed it, and that I adapted smoothly to the extra demands with the support of the team I was in. I was allocated a supervisor – someone I could meet with to discuss any issues I might be facing and receive help dealing with them. The biggest change was how tired I was – it took my body some time to get used to the focus and energy levels required, so I had to make sure I was looking after myself well physically and mentally."

 

Find out more

Admissions team, Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5735
Email us

Find out more

Admissions team, Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5735
Email us

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