Mental health nursing student insight: Katherine Trist

First year BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) student Katherine shares her insight into studying at Plymouth.

What inspired you to study mental health nursing?

"I really want to help people and have a passion to support individuals in the best way I can. After working within the criminal justice system I saw for myself the difference a mental health nurse was making and how versatile the role was and thought I want to do that. I want to work within a nursing team environment, to make a difference to people’s lives and to help empower the individual and support their recovery.

"To be able to help and support people at a most vulnerable time of their life is inspiring. I feel very privileged to be able to listen to people’s stories and experiences. To use my knowledge and training to improve the desired outcome for patients."

What excites you about your course?

"I have really enjoyed clinical skills sessions, to be able to meet other members of the cohort face to face. I think it’s great that the lectures are still practicing clinicians so keep up to date with relevant information and can share personal stories about their experiences. The University has worked really hard to continue providing resources and relevant lectures for students despite the pandemic.

"I have also learnt academic skills such as being able to find resources and how to structure and reference essays. I have been very lucky to learn about open dialogue and to observe the trial which is currently running in my placement."

"Being on my first year placement has also been exciting, gaining new knowledge and speaking to people in the nursing role and hear their experiences. I am currently on placement in a community mental health team. It has been exciting to gain new knowledge in community treatment and to speak to people in nursing about their experiences. I've really enjoyed getting to meet new people and being able to communicate with the clients in a positive way. I have enjoyed the experience of observing and administering depot (long activating injection) to community clients in the hub setting."

What are your future ambitions?

"I would love to be supervising and assessing new student nurses to develop their knowledge and to share my knowledge, passion and experience. 

"But I would love to still be in a role which is patient centred. Working within the criminal justice system such as prison nursing, liaison and diversion within the police service would be amazing. In 20 years’ time I would like to think that it was common practice to have a mental health practitioner role based within a street triage car working directly alongside the police staff."

What advice would you give to students considering nursing?

Go for it! Don’t let anything such as your age or experience stop you from trying something you want to do. You can only try your best!