Mental Health Nursing
Mental Health Nursing At Newbridge
“My name is Emma Blackburn and I am currently a staff nurse working at Newbridge House.
“I have worked a Newbridge for over four years, joining the bank as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) during my first year of my Mental Health Nurse training. Although I was training to become a nurse, this wasn’t my plan as I had been studying psychology and had been off travelling the world since leaving school, so I was completely new to the world of healthcare. I hadn’t had any previous experience as a healthcare assistant so I decided to join Newbridge to gain the much the needed experience to support myself within my future nursing career.
“Eating disorders had been an area of interest to me, as my mother is also a specialised CAMHS practitioner nurse within eating disorders and she had inspired me to start my career within this challenging but very rewarding area of mental health.
“From the moment that I joined Newbridge I knew that I was working within a very special team of caring, skilful and passionate people. I instantly felt like part of an extended family with the team always providing me with lots of support and encouragement. I was always given support on and off shift and was always aware of who I could go to if I felt I needed this.
“Although I have a brilliant supportive team around me I was also entering a very specialised area of mental health, which at the time and knew very little about. The first few months at Newbridge was spent finding my feet and learning (very quickly) how to become a good healthcare assistant that could support these young people in the most difficult time of their and their families lives. I was given the opportunity to shadow experienced healthcare assistants whilst they completed their day-to-day role and given time to get to know the patients so I could begin to work with them effectively.
“During my time as a HCA I have been given the opportunity to attend copious amounts of training, including specialised training for the area of eating disorders, which really supported me in my development as a HCA but also a student nurse. Newbridge has always supported me whilst I have been training as a Mental Health Nurse and has given me opportunities to develop professionally before and after qualifying in August 2012.
“Since qualifying, I have been able to develop both professionally and personally within the past year. There are no great words of wisdom I can give to any newly qualified nurse as this is a time that is filled with mixed emotions with feelings of excitement about the career you are about the embark on but also feelings of worry and anticipation about the enormity and responsibility your role now entails. All I can say that you will get through that first few weeks and everything will become easier within time; so don’t be too hard on yourself! Give yourself time to reflect and be away from work, ensuring you have time for your home life too!
“The first weeks after I received that all-important PIN number were some of the most emotionally filled weeks of my life. Luckily for me I was surrounded with supportive colleges that helped me through that initial difficult period. Unfortunately when I became a nurse a Newbridge it was a challenging time for the unit with increased numbers of patients and an extension that was being carried out on the building. As a stand alone unit the incredible team really pulled together and managed this challenging time excellently, whilst continuing to provide the best possible care to the young people at Newbridge, whilst also supporting myself a newly qualified nurse.
“I was given the opportunity to input into my perceptorship and develop a comprehensive action plan of skills I wanted to develop within my preceptorship period. I was given a mentor and was supervised by the experienced nurses within the team which provided me with practical one to one support whilst on shift as well as structured supervision with my mentor. Over the next few months I became more confident and skilful within my role, whilst being able to develop my professional role in becoming joint lead of our clinic, providing training for staff and developing many other areas of the unit.
“Working within eating disorders is a challenging but rewarding job, where the young people and their families that you meet always inspire you. We are a close knit team of experienced, skilful professionals that often go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that our young people are receiving the best possible care that Newbridge can provide for them. As I student, I worked within teams that didn’t have a close connection the way that Newbridge has, which will effect patient care and service you provide. Newbridge has an excellent team ethos that shines through to provide a excellent service for young people with eating disorders.
“Over the past four years, I have seen a huge difference within myself, not only professionally but also personally. I feel I have grown as a person in being able to become more confident and passionate about an area of health care that I truly enjoy working within. Professionally I have been surrounded by an amazing team that supports each other to bring out the best in people and provide a growing exceptional service.
“Newbridge is currently supporting me in increasing my skills and knowledge by allowing me to complete my degree in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. I am able to bring this knowledge back to practice and develop this within our clinic. I am also working towards a senior staff nurse level, with the support of the management team.
“Eating disorders is a challenging but rewarding area that provides diversity and surprises, with no two days being the same. As Newbridge continues to expand and develop, I feel that I am a huge part of this and am a valued member of this team. If you are looking for a career within an expanding specialised clinic within mental health that has an exceptional, supportive team ethos with exciting training and professional development opportunities then Newbridge is the place for you.”