My husband was offered a job opportunity in January 2019 this meant we spent three months living in Richmond VA for three months as a test to see whether we liked it enough to emigrate. During this period i wanted experience working inside a hospital environment. I was fortunate enough to be find a volunteering position within Retreat Doctors hospital working on the front desk, This gave me insight into the differences between the delivery of healthcare and facilities in the United Kingdom and in USA.
Since emigrating to the USA December 31st 2019 I have spent time volunteering for Handson RVA, helping out during the Corona virus pandemic. I have utilized my spare time by volunteering with the community based meal delivery service, delivering meals along school bus routes to children who would usually be attending Richmond public schools and receiving meals during the school day.
As a mental health nurse i have the ability to empathise with clients who are feeling vulnerable. Due to clients being vulnerable i am aware of the safeguarding process and importance of raising any concerns i may have and following up any actions.
Working with clients experiencing mental health conditions requires mulitdisciplinary team input, therefore i have gained good communication and listening skills from attending: ward round meetings, professional meetings, child in need meeting, serious incident case reviews and tribunals. I know to work within my limit, to ensure client safety. If i feel a procedure is out of my experience/qualified remit i would seek support and advice first.
Safety and health precautions are vital within mental health, everything needs to be risk assessed, documented and handed over to other colleagues if a risk is identified. I have managed violence and aggression, and am aware of the policies and procudures in doing so.
A large portion of my job in the past has been to administer prescribed medication. I am aware of of the 6 C's when administering medication.
As a mental health nurse, physical health is also important, and understanding physical health symptoms has helped me historically to manage clients having epileptic seizures, complications with diabetic disorders, respiroatory disorders and cardiac disorders etc.
I was a charge nurse at the Priory Hospital, a 10 bedded locked rehabilitation and recovery services for female clients. I supported clients with a primary diagnosis of psychosis and/or affective disorders who may also have co-morbidities including PTSD, substance misuse issues, physical health difficulties and emotionally unstable disorder. I enjoyed the challenges of this role, but due to my husband getting a job opportunity in Richmond Va, I left in December 2020 and we emigrated to USA.
My main role as a nurse on this unit was to support clients to develop confidence, skills and independence whilst managing their mental health symptoms, in order to achieve a life worth living in the community or the least restrictive alternative. The approach i utilized was a recovery based model of care recognizing the seven principles of care: hope, a secure base, a sense of self, supportive relationships, empowerment and inclusion, coping strategies and purpose.
During my time as a student nurse i joined temporary staffing as a nursing assistant within the NHS Trust working on a variety of wards when they were short staffed or had challenging clients and needed my support. Once i qualified i changed my job role with temporary staffing from a nursing assistant to a registered nurse. Allowing me flexibility to pick up overtime on other wards when i had days off working on the Child and Adolescent ward. I worked on male and female acute inpatient units to begin with, but soon realized that i needed experience working with clients who had learning disabilities such as autism to enhance the level of care i could deliver to certain clients on the adult units. I then branched out and gained experience working as nurse in charge on secure forensic units, dementia and rehab and recovery units. This helped to build my confidence as a nurse as i was placed in lots of situations where i was held responsible for managing risk and client safety. During these two years i gained knowledge on how to manage violence and aggression to ensure staff and client safety. After working for two years on different units i decided to apply for a job on a Rehabilitation and recovery unit.
I was a nurse on a child and adolescent unit, the unit was mixed-sex, mental health assessment and treatment center for 14-18 year olds. This job opened my eyes to safeguarding and the principle of ensuring everything has been documented and reported to ensure clients overall safety. Children on this unit were detained under the Mental health Act, court orders or were there under an informal admission status. After becoming successful with this job opportunity my ward manager signed me off successfully to work independently as the nurse in charge of the unit without having to have another nurse on duty with me. This taught me delegation skills, time management skills, improved my communication and built my confidence to manage a team. I managed my own caseload and sought advise from management when i felt necessary advice was needed.
This qualification exposed me to numerous placements, whereby i worked alongside mental health professionals in the community, on units and in a prison.
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