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Male 24 - Considering not doing Mental Health Nursing - Please help Watch

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    Hi Sam

    I can't really tell you what's best for you to do but I can give you my take on things because I am currently a pharmacy technician who is hoping to get a place at uni to study mental health nursing.

    The reason I am leaving pharmacy is because the pay isn't very good, the jobs boring and there is limited progression for me. Pharmacy isn't even viable for a degree option for me either because there are too many pharmacists in the UK and people are struggling to find work after graduation. I've only worked in community pharmacies though, Is your interview to work in a hospital?

    Mental health nursing is different to your average type of nursing, there are lots of different options you can take after graduation which won't require you to give personal care to your patients, as a lot of mental health nursing is done in the community and patients are able to care for themselves. I really think you should research exactly what options are available to you if you decide to take that degree so you don't waste your time and the NHS's money.

    I can't give you much advice on medicine though because that's just something I would never want to do. I know how you feel though, I felt really lost for a long time on what I wanted to study and if I was doing the right thing leaving my job. I got a volunteer position at a care home which helped me decide that I really wanted to do nursing.
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    (Original post by Sam00)
    Hi thanks for your response. The apprentice pharm tech job is for a hospital pharmacy, and would require me to attend college 1 day a week for 2 years, I know what you mean though, I've worked part time as a pharmacy counter assistant and the work was quite boring, and I cant see pharm tech being much better other than more responsibility, I don't even regard being a pharmacist that interesting or rewarding, salary isn't bad though.

    To be honest nursing seemed really good a while ago because I suffered social anxiety and overcame a lot, so I wanted to help other who are less fortunate and burdened, but since I got my place all I've encountered is negativity about the profession, I get asked why would you want to be a nurse? The pays not near enough, the work is hard and stressful and you are undervalued massively in the healthcare environment. I am greatly interested in helping others, learning about the human body and enjoy science, hence why medicine is appealing for me, but I know its fiercely competitive and a lengthy time period.

    Still clueless about what to do
    If you're feeling negatively about it then maybe it's not for you.. Have you looked into any other healthcare careers?

    I would really try to get into medicine because even if you are 31 when you become a doctor that's not really that old, you will be working for another 30 to 40 years anyway so you might as well do something you enjoy. I have a friend who has applied for medicine at 34 and got into a top uni, It was a lot of hard work but worth it for him because that's what he really wanted to do.
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    Sam, I have worked as a healthcare assistant on various psychiatric wards and I know plenty of mental health nurses who absolutely love their job. Yes, some nurses do get burnt out and feel undervalued, but the same is also true of doctors - any healthcare profession is highly demanding and people don't always recognise and appreciate the effort that practitioners put in.

    Mental health nurses work in a very wide variety of settings. If you want to work with young people, then you could be in an outpatient clinic, a hospital, a young offenders institution, a special school - there are a lot of possibilities. Many MH nurses have the opportunity to train in CBT or another therapy post-qualification. It is a diverse profession. Have you thought about trying to get some experience as a care assistant/mental health support worker in order to see whether it's for you? You could also make a pro and con list for both nursing and medicine to see what appeals to you most about both. As for your age, don't fuss about that - I'm twenty-seven and quite a long way off reaching my eventual goal! I'm hoping to train as a speech and language therapist but it will be another couple of years at least before I can do so. But I've had lots of interesting experiences on the way, and that's the main thing - you should try to enjoy the journey rather than worrying too much about the eventual outcome. I know this is hard, especially for someone prone to anxiety (I've suffered from anxiety myself), but it really does help to try and focus on the present moment as much as you can rather than just craning ahead to your future job.

    One more thing - you probably will have to wipe a few bottoms as part of your training, but even if you don't specialise in the kind of nursing that requires you to do this on a regular basis, this practical aspect of the training will still help you. It can feel very degrading to people to need to have help with such basic and intimate aspects of their care - would you like it? - and it is a good way to learn how to think compassionately and sensitively, and to treat people with dignity. All this is important for a nurse, even if you never have to do any practical care work after you qualify. Remember that medical school will also include bits of training that you won't enjoy so much as others.
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    Caring for dementia sufferers and wiping bums are both things I never did in the time I was a mental health nurse. The areas I really enjoyed were psychiatric A&E and working with the top 5% worst scheduled patients in my area that suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder...they have often committed crimes and are all court ordered to be in the ward because they are unable to function in society, and/or they are resistant to medications. Even with those patients I never showered or attended any personal care of that nature. The most boring thing I did with them was make some of their beds. Anyway MH nursing is so so interesting and there are so many different areas you can get into. However many nurses burn out very quickly and it's always good not to get into this field in order to 'better understand' yourself or issues you've had throughout your life (not saying you are but it's something to consider).
    Maybe check out the forums on allnurses.com for some more experiences, most posters are based in the US but you will get the idea!
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    You don't have to working with people with dementia. But look at possibilities


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    (Original post by gen88)
    Caring for dementia sufferers and wiping bums are both things I never did in the time I was a mental health nurse.<snip>
    and other than having to demonstrate that you can and would do that in your pre-reg emi and general places it;s not going to be a regular feature unlike it is for the other branches
    (Original post by gen88)
    Maybe check out the forums on allnurses.com for some more experiences, most posters are based in the US but you will get the idea!
    there is a Uk specific board on allnurses -
 
 
 
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