“The highlight of my career has been improving my skills as a nurse, as a clinician, and working with colleagues from BME backgrounds."
Dennis Singson is a Community Mental Health Nurse and Nurse Prescriber working with the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment (CRHT) team in Hastings.
Dennis is originally from the Philippines, where his nursing career began. Talking about when and why he joined the NHS, and about his NHS career, Dennis said: “I was working as a general nurse in the Philippines and we had lead nurses from the NHS come over to the Philippines to carry out final interviews, encouraging us to try out and work in England and work with the NHS.
“Before I came over to England I had been working as a nurse for 10 years, mostly involved in the academic side, teaching student nurses but also focussing mostly on general nursing. I came over and met a lot of really interesting and supportive NHS clinicians that helped me decide to stay in England. I was happy working within the NHS and happy to make this my new home.
“It was a big transition from living in a hot tropical country and coming here in October in the grey gloomy weather. But the NHS staff I was working with made the transition smooth, were really supportive and made things a lot easier for us.
“I started out as a general nurse working in the stroke unit at Conquest Hospital in 1999. I decided to specialise in mental health and joined the Trust the year after.
“I started working as a staff nurse when the Trust opened a local mental health inpatient unit in 2000. The Trust has been really good to me ever since and seconded me to do my Registered Mental Health Nurse training which allowed me then to work in the community, and also seconded me to do my nurse prescribing course. I now specialise in crisis work for the CRHT.
“The NHS offers you a lot of opportunities. We are surrounded by people who are very supportive of each other, who work above and beyond what is expected of them and it’s a really good environment to work in.
“NHS staff are what makes the NHS really great. The people I work with make the, sometimes really stressful environment, bearable because we support each other. We help each other out and try to achieve our main objective, which is to look after patients, support carers and families and promote patient recovery.
“The NHS offers you a lot of opportunities, like in my case. I have developed a lot. I’ve done a lot of courses while working for the NHS. I met my wife who also works for the NHS, so that’s been really good.
“I think the NHS is a really good and supportive environment to work in. You meet a lot of really interesting supportive people and excellent clinicians. If you’re the kind of person who would like to excel in things in what you do, meet a lot of interesting people, I would highly recommend the NHS as a good environment for you to work in.
“The highlight of my career has been improving my skills as a nurse, as a clinician, and working with colleagues from BME backgrounds. The Trust has always been really supportive of me doing that. In the course of a few years of doing it I got awarded two awards, for my work in establishing the BME staff network for the Trust and supporting colleagues from different BME backgrounds. I think apart from the main focus of the job which is about supporting people we look after, it’s also really important for us to support our colleagues, because we can’t give what we don’t have. We support each other so we can support the people that we look after better."