Growing up i have always wanted a job where i could help people, i went from a midwife, to a paramedic, to finally settling on a mental health nurse. I am currently in my first year at timg_20170106_080152he University of Derby and so far I am loving it. I’ve completed my first term (September – December) where i had to do four units; Evidence Based Practice, Integrated Mental Health Nursing, Foundations for Nursing, and Applied Health Sciences 1. During my first term, we were set assignments (which aren’t due to March/May), and i also had to do an Anatomy and Physiology exam. The pass mark for that exam was 40, and i was so lucky to have passed as i got 41, but either way a pass is a pass!

Foundations for Nursing

In this module we were introduced to the fundamental knowledge and interpersonal skills which will help us to develop as a mental health nurse. This module consisted mainly of lectures and seminars over a period of 8 weeks, and includes A LOT of note taking! The content included;

  • introduction of reflective models and their use
  • developing an awareness of effective learning
  • exploring core values of a professional nurse
  • impact of current policies
  • introduction to NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council)
  • exploring the 6 C’s;
  • introduction to ethical principles
  • developing compassionate and respectful communication skills
  • introduction to managing conflict

Integrated Mental Health Nursing

Another module is IMH where the main focus was to develop self awareness, communication skills, and reflective practice to make sure we work sufficiently with people with mental health problems. We are encouraged to promote service users independence, deliver promotion to mental health recovery, and use a range of evidence based interventions. As the placements we have are a part of this module, we got to gain experience with the inter professional team in a range of different care settings, as well as being able to work with service users, carers and their families. The content included;

  • values and philosophies that underpin mental health practice
  • recovery approaches
  • principles of mental health assessment including; introduction to Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act
  • protection of vulnerable people including safe guarding
  • introduction to care and interventions for a range of disorders
  • basic personal safety such as breakaway training
  • simulated practise learning activities
  • therapeutic communication including self awareness, barriers and models of engagement
  • basic psychological interventions
  • physical assessment and intervention for persons experiencing mental health problems
  • partnership working with service users, carers and their families
  • safe medicines management
  • essential skills clusters clinical supervision
  • portfolio learning activities to support practice

Evidence Based Practice

The next module i had to participate in was EBP which would introduce us to the principles of evidence based professional practise which underpins decision making when in a
clinical environment. We also developed basic problem solving and reasoning skills, and the module included an introduction to healthcare informatics, ethics and relevant legislation. The content included;

  • ability to locate appropriate evidence from a variety of sources
  • have ability to ask fundamental questions
  • discuss relationship between ethics, legislation and evidence based practice

Applied Health Sciences 1

IMG_20161019_142345.jpgThe fourth module i did was AHS1 which is designed for us to explore the health sciences applied to nursing. We were introduced to biological, psychological and sociological perspectives of nursing care and we began to develop knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, psychology and sociology which will help us understand the process of human health and illnesses. This was the most intense module for note taking and consisted of constant hand ache! This module content included;

  • overview of normal homeostatic mechanisms in the body and how they are interconnected through body systems
  • introduction to pharmacology
  • introduction to sociological perspectives on health
  • exploration of keys aspects of sociology and their effects on individuals
  • introduction to psychological theories and key aspects

Also in that term, i had to do a Hub and Spoke placement. However due to a delay of a occupational health meeting and a lack of placements, i was unable to go onto a Hub one. My spoke placement was then double in time so instead of doing it for 2 weeks, i did it for 4. I had the great opportunity to work with a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) working with older adults, mainly those who suffered from a Dementia type illness. I was able to get a great insight of this illness and was also able to develop my nursing skills. I was also sent on various training days such as Breakaway Training, Moving and Handling and PARIS Training.

Breakaway Training

Breakaway training was a full day activity where we learnt restraining techniques which we could use for self defence if needed. This was for our own safety when going out onto placement, and also so we could restrain in the safest way possible.

Moving and Handling

The Moving and Handling training was a full day session where we learnt how to use specific equipment to safely and effectively move patients up and down the bed, on and off the bed, in or out chairs, or up off the floor. The equipment we learnt to use were slide sheets, transfer boards, a variety of hoists and slings, turntables, and electric hospital beds.

PARIS Training

To be able to record service users details and take a look at their records, the programme they use is PARIS. We had a basic 2 hour training session on this so they we knew how to correctly document case notes, discharges, and review their details and history.

Thankyou for reading this post about my University course so far, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment, and please like this post!




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