Libby is in her final year of studying Mental Health Nursing here with us at Coventry. As part of our International Nurses Day takeover on UnCOVered, she wanted to tell her story about why she loves her course, her profession, and some of the experiences she has had along the way…
As I transition from student to qualified mental health nurse (hopefully!) I’ve come to reflect on my journey so far.
The thing I love most about mental health nursing is the fact we work alongside our patients, it’s all about empowerment and choice for recovery.
I’m in the privileged position of having studied a ‘normal’ degree prior to my Nursing degree so I really can compare! Something that has struck me throughout my nurse training, is the support from nurses and other students. There’s a true sense of community. There’s no doubt it’s longer hours, busier timetables and frankly, a very big commitment, but the rewards are worth every minute of that because you’re building a network of special people around you, that are there to support you through the good, the bad and the ugly.
You can do it
The road to becoming a nurse won’t always be easy, I’ve dedicated the last 6 years of my life to working in mental health, from voluntary sectors to training as a mental health nurse, but it was worth it because I love every minute of what I do. Despite the challenges of nursing, knowing that we have the privilege of joining patients in their journeys, from their most vulnerable to their strongest moments, is what inspires me to make a difference every day.
Coventry University has been an incredible platform for me to begin this journey, and if I can give you one piece of advice, it’s to know that you’re never alone. You’ll have your peers all around you, joining you through the journey and all the lecturers have been there too, so enjoy the rewards and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
I recently spent 8 weeks on placement in a community team for people with Dementia. I was so inspired by my mentor’s compassion and empathy, I had a front row seat for observing how she supported the patient, their family and carers, their friends and neighbours and sometimes, even their pets! Watching her treat each and every person she met with respect and dignity, embodied everything I believe to be ‘a nurse’. It’s not just about the time, the paperwork, the “politics”, it’s about making a difference and she really did. This experience has just reinforced every reason that I want to be a mental health nurse, I really believe that every single person deserves hope and it’s that hope which can help people through their darkest times. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life dedicated to mental health nursing.