Mental health nursing student insight: Amber Knight

What inspired you to study mental health nursing?

"I chose mental health nursing because I loved the thought of being able to help and have an impact on someone’s life who is potentially at their lowest point. Through my own experiences I have proved to myself that I am a strong individual and therefore want to follow on and be able to provide that support to other people."

"There are many reasons why I love the profession, however by being able to work alongside other professionals such as occupational therapists, psychologists, support workers and many more is really fascinating as it shows in detail how all of these different teams work together to provide support to an individual. 

"The main reason I love mental health nursing is being able to have an impact on a patient’s life, for example delivering care and them remembering your name and praising how well you’ve done. To me that is so precious as it has shown that I have made a therapeutic relationship with the patient."

What excites you about your course?

"My favourite part of the course so far has been placement because I have been able to put my theory into practice. I have met some really lovely people that have made me feel very welcomed to the team. There have been many learning opportunities and I have loved every moment.

"The first time I realised nursing was my passion I was training on the second week of my first placement. I had a 1-1 with a patient to discuss their feelings and get to know them a bit more. The patient showed me that she trusted me because she remembered my name and was able to feel comfortable enough to tell me some distressing things. This is remarkable as it meant that I made her feel confident to tell me, especially as a student nurse. She held my hand at times, and she praised how well I did and how lovely I am to one of my supervisors. This will stay with me because it was the first interaction I had with a patient and it couldn’t have gone any better."

"I am still currently on my first placement which is OPMH Functional Team at Mount Gould Hospital, community nursing. This placement has benefitted me in many ways but most importantly by being able to develop and learn new ways to communicate with patients especially if they have an impairment such as a loss of hearing. I have been able to develop my skills by working as part of a team. This is vital as a nurse as you will be constantly working with different professionals. I have been able to learn many different things such as antipsychotic depot injections and how they have an impact on a patient.

"My proudest achievement on my placement so far is by receiving patient feedback that was very positive. This makes me feel confident that I have chosen the right pathway and that I am doing well. "

What are your future ambitions?

"I have many different ambitions for the future which is why I can’t wait for placements as they could have an impact on those initial ideas. Due to my previous experiences in my family, I would love to be able to support patients and their families who are facing an illness, especially cancer. I would also think about working on an impatient unit. After I graduate, I would love to go further into nursing and study adult nursing as well. 

"In 20 years’ time, I see myself working in a job that I love."

Have you enjoyed your time at Plymouth so far?

"Studying at Plymouth is just amazing. There are many reasons, but the main one is the different support systems they provide. The fact we get a personal tutor throughout the three years is just so good because it allows me to run to them with any issues without feeling judged. From all of the modules I have done so far, all of the lecturers have been so lovely and understanding. It has not only been hard for students, but it has been hard for the lecturers too as it is a very different learning environment for them. The course so far has just been amazing, and I couldn’t fault it. Placements have been very well organised even with the current circumstances."

"There are so many things that I have done so far on this course and I have only been doing it since September. Even with the current circumstances I have been able to meet some amazing people who I can proudly call my friends. I loved the clinical skills sessions we had as it meant I could see some of my peers in person. These sessions were so fun and interesting as I was able to develop me knowledge and add to it. I loved learning the theory for the first four modules. I was able to learn new information and be able to develop my writing skills for assignments.

"Before I started this course, I was quite shy and didn’t really feel confident to meet new people... however since starting this course I have developed into a confident individual and am open to meeting new people. I have been able to develop my communication skills and especially my academic writing skills."

What advice would you give to future students?

If that is what you want to do then follow your dreams and smash it. Believe in yourself that you can do it. No career is ever easy, but by having that challenge and completing it will show that you are determined and that you are in the right pathway. Always follow your dreams if you really want them to come true. Also take every opportunity that comes at you.”