Mental Health Nursing Experience Watch

FleurBrewster
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Hi there,
I recently visited the University of Greenwich to have a look at their BSc Mental Health Nursing program. When I was talking to the tutor, he mentioned that I would have to have experience in the field in which I am looking to study, so in my case, mental health. I was aware that I would need experience, however I was not aware that it had to be in the relevent field. This worried me for a number of reasons, firstly, I visited UEA the day before and spoke to a mental health nursing course tutor and a student. I asked about experience and both of them said purely in a health care setting and that it was not relevant for it to be in a mental health care setting. So I am wondering, is UEA a one off, and will most other universities look for experience in that setting (for the record I am looking at: UEA, Kings, Hertfordshire, Surrey and City, London)? Secondly, if I am required to have experience in the relevant health care setting, does anybody have any recommendations of places to look as I am under 17, as many places that I am able to travel to (I live in a small town and rely on my parents or public transport to travel, so travel can be difficult and expensive) will not take under 18's. I realise this differs from place to place but if anybody has any experience in this or any recommendations I would love to know.
p.s I live in Suffolk
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IMakeSenseToNone
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Hi there Fleur! I can't give you much advice for local places but I really doubt they would mind if you had just general healthcare experience, everywhere I asked said they prefered it but weren't going to hold it against you much. I've got in with mental health experience as my college was kind enough to arrange for me to do work experience at a mental health charity. Does your college help in setting up work experience?

Care homes would be a good choice to look into (due to dementia etc) although it may be hard to get them to accept you with your college helping out. You could also try and find any local drop-in and day centres, meals on wheels, work at AGE or a Mind shop (I know it's not as good as hands on experience but it shows you're passionate about the issue) or any other charities in the area. Some churches also have a programme where they have an OAP club or a service where they visit them in their homes to talk to them, may be worth a look if you wouldn't mind it

Also if you have friends or family with mental health you can put about caring for them in your personal app, nearly everyone I met at the interviews had done the same and had limited to no other relevant experience so I wouldn't worry too much. In fact I think there was someone at one interview I had who had no health care experience at all but still got to that stage, so I doubt you need to stress too much over it.

Btw it's great that you're so keen to enter the field, it can be a pain but it's well worth it
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moonkatt
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I'd maybe suggest something like the Samaritans but I think you may have to be 18 for that. If I were an admissions tutor interviewing for MH nursing I'd be impressed with someone doing that, a lot of mental health nursing is about therapeutic communication.

There's other stuff too though, like St John ambulance and so on..
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FleurBrewster
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(Original post by IMakeSenseToNone)
Hi there Fleur! I can't give you much advice for local places but I really doubt they would mind if you had just general healthcare experience, everywhere I asked said they prefered it but weren't going to hold it against you much. I've got in with mental health experience as my college was kind enough to arrange for me to do work experience at a mental health charity. Does your college help in setting up work experience?

Care homes would be a good choice to look into (due to dementia etc) although it may be hard to get them to accept you with your college helping out. You could also try and find any local drop-in and day centres, meals on wheels, work at AGE or a Mind shop (I know it's not as good as hands on experience but it shows you're passionate about the issue) or any other charities in the area. Some churches also have a programme where they have an OAP club or a service where they visit them in their homes to talk to them, may be worth a look if you wouldn't mind it

Also if you have friends or family with mental health you can put about caring for them in your personal app, nearly everyone I met at the interviews had done the same and had limited to no other relevant experience so I wouldn't worry too much. In fact I think there was someone at one interview I had who had no health care experience at all but still got to that stage, so I doubt you need to stress too much over it.

Btw it's great that you're so keen to enter the field, it can be a pain but it's well worth it


Thankyou so much for taking the time and effort to not only reply but give me such a detailed one I am currently in sixth form and they do not tend to help students arrange placements unless it is specifically for a course or subject they are doing (so for example last year I was helped to get a placement at a local nursery as it was needed for my Health and Social Care coursework) so I would have to sort this out by myself.
I'm glad i'm not the only one that's heard that they don't necessarily need it in that field, I was beginning to think that I'd heard everyone wrong! Thankyou so much also for your advice about where to go for work experience, this has really helped and I am in the process of contacting an old people's home in a town not far from where I live. The drop in centres sound like a good idea too and I will be investigating and contacting the relevant people so that I can get information. Right now anything I can get will be worth it to me, I just want to be able to show how passionate I am about it in more ways than just writing it on a personal statement or on an application form.
I was not aware that I would be able to use family members as relevant experience- I regularly look after two boys with autism (and can get proof of this from their mother) will this count?
Again thankyou so much for your advice, it has been incredibly helpful. Are you studying Mental Health Nursing or looking to study it soon? If you are already, where are you studying and what kind of places did you look at, and if not, where have you been looking? Thanks again!
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IMakeSenseToNone
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(Original post by FleurBrewster)
Thankyou so much for taking the time and effort to not only reply but give me such a detailed one I am currently in sixth form and they do not tend to help students arrange placements unless it is specifically for a course or subject they are doing (so for example last year I was helped to get a placement at a local nursery as it was needed for my Health and Social Care coursework) so I would have to sort this out by myself.
I'm glad i'm not the only one that's heard that they don't necessarily need it in that field, I was beginning to think that I'd heard everyone wrong! Thankyou so much also for your advice about where to go for work experience, this has really helped and I am in the process of contacting an old people's home in a town not far from where I live. The drop in centres sound like a good idea too and I will be investigating and contacting the relevant people so that I can get information. Right now anything I can get will be worth it to me, I just want to be able to show how passionate I am about it in more ways than just writing it on a personal statement or on an application form.
I was not aware that I would be able to use family members as relevant experience- I regularly look after two boys with autism (and can get proof of this from their mother) will this count?
Again thankyou so much for your advice, it has been incredibly helpful. Are you studying Mental Health Nursing or looking to study it soon? If you are already, where are you studying and what kind of places did you look at, and if not, where have you been looking? Thanks again!
Ah a fellow Health Care student, suffered burnout yet? We were all rather close to a nervous breakdown by the end.

That's a bit of a shame, at ours we could contact the person who arranged it and ask if they knew anywhere which could offer as well as use the bulletin board or help with college charity events. It's a long shot but if your college has a learning disability department you could be able to help out there during dinner or something. The teachers could also recommend some places and then if you said you were in their class they may be more likely to offer you some experience.

I think that would be a great thing to put on your CV! They never asked for any evidence for my mum (who has severe OCD and anxiety) and it shows you have a wide base of experience. Quick tip, put in your CV how this or any other experience you have has helped you learn how important communicating with the family is and getting them involved and uptodate, one lecturer mentioned this when I talked to them so it's worth trying to fit it

I've been very fortunate and will be starting this September in Manchester! Really chuffed as it's the nearest one which allows for commuting. I looked into Uclan, Chester, Salford, Edge Hill, Keele and Manchester. All were really impressive although Edge Hill and Keele have difficult travel (especially Edge Hill which is in the middle of nowhere and requires a train to Liverpool). I went to a 'Nursing Discovery Day' in Manchester which was a full day with mock lectures etc and I think really boosted my chances so have a look and see if any other Unis do one near your way As for the interviews they're nothing to worry about if you can do your Maths/English as you're basically repeating your H&SC essays.
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FleurBrewster
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(Original post by IMakeSenseToNone)
Ah a fellow Health Care student, suffered burnout yet? We were all rather close to a nervous breakdown by the end.

That's a bit of a shame, at ours we could contact the person who arranged it and ask if they knew anywhere which could offer as well as use the bulletin board or help with college charity events. It's a long shot but if your college has a learning disability department you could be able to help out there during dinner or something. The teachers could also recommend some places and then if you said you were in their class they may be more likely to offer you some experience.

I think that would be a great thing to put on your CV! They never asked for any evidence for my mum (who has severe OCD and anxiety) and it shows you have a wide base of experience. Quick tip, put in your CV how this or any other experience you have has helped you learn how important communicating with the family is and getting them involved and uptodate, one lecturer mentioned this when I talked to them so it's worth trying to fit it

I've been very fortunate and will be starting this September in Manchester! Really chuffed as it's the nearest one which allows for commuting. I looked into Uclan, Chester, Salford, Edge Hill, Keele and Manchester. All were really impressive although Edge Hill and Keele have difficult travel (especially Edge Hill which is in the middle of nowhere and requires a train to Liverpool). I went to a 'Nursing Discovery Day' in Manchester which was a full day with mock lectures etc and I think really boosted my chances so have a look and see if any other Unis do one near your way As for the interviews they're nothing to worry about if you can do your Maths/English as you're basically repeating your H&SC essays.

Ahh health and social care, the bane of my life! I believe I have suffered burnout, 100 pages writing about effective communication and 100 pages about health promotion campaigns makes for a rather stressful time! (i think that maybe i exceeded the recommended limit of 50 pages for each?)
The only issue with the learning disabilities department is that I want to be very clear on the difference between mental health and learning difficulties and i do not want to accidentally get experience in a learning difficulties setting when I will be applying for mental health! Have you found that the two cross over often?
Thankyou so much for this advice, and for affirming a few things which had crossed my mind before, your advice is second to none! You are so lucky to be studying at Manchester, I looked at the University in depth and absolutely fell in love with it, however I found that it was just that little bit too far away for me Which is a huge shame as it's such a good university and the course sounded brilliant! My cousin studied at Edge Hill and was really out in the sticks when she was there and I think she found this quite difficult!
How did you find the interview process? What were the interviews like and what kind of things did they ask you, if its not too much to ask? I was told that at some uni's for the Children's Nursing they often have young children in the interview to see how the candidate responds and acts to them, did they do anything like this with your mental health nursing interview?
I think I should be okay with basic maths and english. Maths has never been my strongest point but if it's basic calculations etc then I think I should be okay, and I take english literature AS level so hopefully that will help me.
Thankyou again!!!
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IMakeSenseToNone
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(Original post by FleurBrewster)
Ahh health and social care, the bane of my life! I believe I have suffered burnout, 100 pages writing about effective communication and 100 pages about health promotion campaigns makes for a rather stressful time! (i think that maybe i exceeded the recommended limit of 50 pages for each?)
:console: If I have to write about good tone of voice and pace again I think something is going to get murdered.

The only issue with the learning disabilities department is that I want to be very clear on the difference between mental health and learning difficulties and i do not want to accidentally get experience in a learning difficulties setting when I will be applying for mental health! Have you found that the two cross over often?
I've never had an issue, you could always just say how you're showing a knowledge of a big service user range and you could say how it shows you know that people with mental health problems can also have different needs due to other learning disaiblity and physical conditions such as dyslexia etc.

Thankyou so much for this advice, and for affirming a few things which had crossed my mind before, your advice is second to none! You are so lucky to be studying at Manchester, I looked at the University in depth and absolutely fell in love with it, however I found that it was just that little bit too far away for me Which is a huge shame as it's such a good university and the course sounded brilliant! My cousin studied at Edge Hill and was really out in the sticks when she was there and I think she found this quite difficult!
D'aw, you're as sweet as punch <3

Aw that's a shame, the complete uni guide did a ranking for nursing which may help: http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...tion&s=Nursing. You're probably best to look at it through who has the best student satisfaction but there's a good few which are nearer south that should be worth a look.


How did you find the interview process? What were the interviews like and what kind of things did they ask you, if its not too much to ask? I was told that at some uni's for the Children's Nursing they often have young children in the interview to see how the candidate responds and acts to them, did they do anything like this with your mental health nursing interview?
I think I should be okay with basic maths and english. Maths has never been my strongest point but if it's basic calculations etc then I think I should be okay, and I take english literature AS level so hopefully that will help me.
Thankyou again!!!
I found it surprisingly easily although the wait is the worst bit! Can't give any specifics but most questions I got are on here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Nursing_Interviews

My advice will be to learn all about the uni before you go, learn about what they scored in uni stats, show you -really- know the course and then prepare answers in your mind for what questions you think you'll get. I'm not great off the cuff but thankfully they pretty much expect for you to stammer a bit so just deep breathes and think before you speak, they won't mind if you take a while to talk. Also, practice good communcation Your college should let you practice mock interviews with them nearer the time, didn't do it personally but if you think it helps then give it a go.

I can see that happening with the child/learning disability nursing but the closest I got was at one of the group interviews we had a professor and a service user giving us scores.

Yeah you'll probably be fine, there is a NHS demo of some Maths questions which you can try out but it depends on the uni, Chester was basically infant school level whereas Manchester/Salford was fairly more advanced although at Salford you could get away with skipping a few questions.
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