Amymariecoco
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Hi, I have a conditional offer to study mental health nursing in September. I have a long history of mental illness and am thus worried about my occupational health assessment. I have emotionally unstable personality disorder and am on an antipsychotic depot injection fortnightly after I had a breakdown last summer and was sectioned. I am also on bruprenorphine (subutex) which is an opiate substitute and have had a bad cocaine addiction until very recently. This year has been a breakthrough for me as I have managed to get a job as a care assistant and get into university (my second degree) to do nursing and have managed to stay clean other than the medication I am taking.

I am worried about disclosing all of this, even though I am stable now, incase I fail the assessment and they deem me medically unfit to do the course.

Will they have access to my medical records and find this all out anyway? And do you think any of this would result in me failing the assessment?

Thanks
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KatetheLecturer
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I don't have any idea on how this would impact on your offer *but* usually with any professional courses (including nursing) there can be major issues if you are found not to have declared things: not because of the conditions themselves, but because of the questions it raises about integrity. So I would strongly suggest, from that aspect alone, that you do declare these things, as you are likely to be able to do any damage limitation (if that's even necessary, which it may very well not be) rather than be stuck with explaining later why you with held the information you'd been asked for. Your GP can't disclose your medical records without your permission to OH/the university, but if you were asked to give permission, and refused, it might raise further questions for them. I really would be honest about your diagnosis and your medication: about your previous addiction, I would personally only disclose that if specifically asked (or if it was likely to be referenced in some way on an enhanced DBS check) - but if they ask, definitely disclose this too (to avoid them finding out later, and it damaging your chances of being able to proceed with studies/career).

I would also suggest disclosing your diagnosis from an Equality perspective: you fit the Act's definition of someone with a disability, and this actually gives you additional protections if you tell the University - and also enables additional support to be put in place to help you complete your degree successfully too. It's very much in your best interest to be about up front for this sort of reason, not only because of the additional protection but also because there may be reasonable adjustments they can put in place as well.
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paub
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with your history i dont think its time yet for you to start nursing. mh nursing is probably the most stressful role in nursing the burn out rate is very high. having had mental health issues is not a bad thing. however your very much still being treated for your last episode. as your condition is life long it maybe not suitable for you.
your addiction would normally exclude you until a decent interval.
i suggest completing your detox from cocaine.
get as much coping skills as you can to help your personality disorder become more stable.

you absolutely must disclose this info as it posses a risk to others. im sorry i would love to say nursing will be perfect for you but at the moment i think it will do you harm.
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Amymariecoco
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(Original post by KatetheLecturer)
I don't have any idea on how this would impact on your offer *but* usually with any professional courses (including nursing) there can be major issues if you are found not to have declared things: not because of the conditions themselves, but because of the questions it raises about integrity. So I would strongly suggest, from that aspect alone, that you do declare these things, as you are likely to be able to do any damage limitation (if that's even necessary, which it may very well not be) rather than be stuck with explaining later why you with held the information you'd been asked for. Your GP can't disclose your medical records without your permission to OH/the university, but if you were asked to give permission, and refused, it might raise further questions for them. I really would be honest about your diagnosis and your medication: about your previous addiction, I would personally only disclose that if specifically asked (or if it was likely to be referenced in some way on an enhanced DBS check) - but if they ask, definitely disclose this too (to avoid them finding out later, and it damaging your chances of being able to proceed with studies/career).

I would also suggest disclosing your diagnosis from an Equality perspective: you fit the Act's definition of someone with a disability, and this actually gives you additional protections if you tell the University - and also enables additional support to be put in place to help you complete your degree successfully too. It's very much in your best interest to be about up front for this sort of reason, not only because of the additional protection but also because there may be reasonable adjustments they can put in place as well.
Thank you for your reply. I will definitely disclose everything (if asked) to avoid it coming back to hit me in the face.
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Amymariecoco
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(Original post by paub)
with your history i dont think its time yet for you to start nursing. mh nursing is probably the most stressful role in nursing the burn out rate is very high. having had mental health issues is not a bad thing. however your very much still being treated for your last episode. as your condition is life long it maybe not suitable for you.
your addiction would normally exclude you until a decent interval.
i suggest completing your detox from cocaine.
get as much coping skills as you can to help your personality disorder become more stable.

you absolutely must disclose this info as it posses a risk to others. im sorry i would love to say nursing will be perfect for you but at the moment i think it will do you harm.
I disagree. I am stable right now and holding down a demanding job and living healthily and happily. My depot is helping me stay on track, so it’s only wise to continue this treatment.

I think I’d flourish as a student mental health nurse, especially in that I’ll have empathy and understanding towards what others are going through also.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Amymariecoco)
Hi, I have a conditional offer to study mental health nursing in September. I have a long history of mental illness and am thus worried about my occupational health assessment. I have emotionally unstable personality disorder and am on an antipsychotic depot injection fortnightly after I had a breakdown last summer and was sectioned. I am also on bruprenorphine (subutex) which is an opiate substitute and have had a bad cocaine addiction until very recently. This year has been a breakthrough for me as I have managed to get a job as a care assistant and get into university (my second degree) to do nursing and have managed to stay clean other than the medication I am taking.

I am worried about disclosing all of this, even though I am stable now, incase I fail the assessment and they deem me medically unfit to do the course.

Will they have access to my medical records and find this all out anyway? And do you think any of this would result in me failing the assessment?

Thanks
Well done on getting and staying clean, as well as getting the university place That's a huge achievement.

You know that you have to disclose all of this - it would be totally inappropriate not to, and you would be setting yourself up to be in a very difficult position if you didn't disclose it. No-one here can tell you what the outcome of any assessment as to your suitability would be, but you obviously know that serious mental health issues, substance misuse along with being detained under the MHA only last summer is going to be quite concerning for anyone assessing your suitability.
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paub
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sadly i have to disagree.
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