I am quite a newly qualified nurse and this is a great place to work. I’m surrounded by people with decades of experience, no matter what band they are. They make life easy. We are a diverse team. If someone is new, the staff acknowledge that and are very patient and supportive. They go out of their way to help. It’s really important to take each day as it comes and not to carry things over. You have to be easy going.
Some of our patients have committed offences and some may have lost hope. For many, their engagement and outlook is focused on what will go wrong for them, it’s very negative and they aren’t able to see any potential progression in their lives. For some it is the only place they know. In this situation they get very scared about moving forward, for example into a community placement, and they may try to sabotage their progress because they are so anxious about change. But you’ve got to have hope that everyone in your care will recover and be able to move on.
Although it is challenging, there are many success stories. One of my patients had been here for a long time. It was time for him to move forward and he didn’t know how he would manage. He tried to sabotage his transition. But I knew this was due to his anxiety about change. We made a plan for him to take some overnight leave and then to come back, to give him gradual exposure. After five days of keeping in touch, he was so happy and he said it was the best thing that ever happened to him. The reward is you become a part of someone’s success story. These results may take a long time, but you have to have faith.
In the future I would like to manage a ward, but whatever I do, I want to remain in contact with the patients. Every day with them is different, anything can happen. At the end of each challenging day you’re tired and you reflect about yourself, the staff and the patients. Yet you still have the energy to get up and go back every day and that speaks volumes.