Mental Health Nursing at UWE Gloucester (formerly the Gloucester Education Centre)
Why study at Gloucester Education Centre?
I initially did a year of general nursing training in 2000 but then had to leave to have my daughter. Also for a few years I worked in a college with teenagers with challenging behaviour so I always knew I wanted to go back to nursing.
Growing up in Gloucester I always knew that there was nurse training locally and I chose Gloucester Education Centre because it is convenient for my family life. The shifts can be quite unsocial hours so I knew I needed to have my placements near home.
I knew what to expect from the course from having done a year of training. So I knew when you are on placement, you can’t really operate normally; normal life goes on hold. Placements are very intense, but good fun and it can be quite tough at times, especially if the essays fall on the placements. When we’re not on placement it is really quite relaxed and it fits in very well, with holidays and lectures generally falling around school hours.
What is nice is the lecturers are easily accessible. They know our names, so it’s much more personal. The administrators also seem to know us personally, which is surprising, that’s good support.
Because our group is small it’s quite interactive in the classroom and everybody can get a chance to ask questions which I think if you’re in a bigger campus would be harder.
For me the best thing about the course is learning about mental health. I enjoy lectures and learning with the group. I like the placements because they reinforce the lectures. Our lectures are never just dry theory it’s always about what we’ve seen, so even if it’s quite academic, it’s applied to what we do everyday in placement or in a practice setting.
All placements are quite different, I think that’s the nature of Mental Health. It can be in such a variety of settings, in the community, in a hospital, or working with children or older people.
The feeling I’ve got on my placements so far, is that people working there like their jobs . It must be really nice to do something that you enjoy for the next 30 years. I find every week goes by really quickly when I’m on placement, even when I have to be there at 7:00am!!
I think by doing placements you have very realistic expectations which helps when you are applying for jobs - you know the sort of environment you’re going to be in and what your job will involve.