Miriam - Mental Health Nursing at Glenside Campus

The university gives you a good variety of placements in areas such as: community, acute in patient, older person’s, crisis team, alcohol, and dementia. In my first year one of my community placements gave me a couple of patients to look after, which afterwards made me think “I can do this”. Each placement has taught me very different things - even the two community placements were very different. I’ve enjoyed all of them which I think is quite rare. I also took an elective placement and went to a drug and alcohol rehab in Devon.

Why UWE Bristol?

I took my A-Levels in Human Biology, Psychology and Health and Social Care, not knowing what I was going to do when I left schooI. I decided to take a gap year during which I worked with homeless people and the elderly and that helped me decide on Mental Health nursing.

I chose UWE Bristol because it was relatively close to home, but also because of its good reputation for nursing and the Glenside campus has really pretty surroundings.

The course is challenging and rewarding; but the lecturers gradually ease you in to the course.

The Placements

The university gives you a good variety of placements in areas such as: community, acute in patient, older person’s, crisis team, alcohol, and dementia. In my first year one of my community placements gave me a couple of patients to look after, which afterwards made me think “I can do this”. Each placement has taught me very different things - even the two community placements were very different. I’ve enjoyed all of them which I think is quite rare. I also took an elective placement and went to a drug and alcohol rehab in Devon.

You get mentors for each placement, they are always supportive and there are always other staff around to help if needs be.

It’s very challenging, especially when you’re looking at patients that are really quite ill - it can be quite emotional but it’s really rewarding when they say “thank you for helping me through it”.

I would say between the theory and practice on the course I’ve definitely learnt most on placements because nothing prepares you for when you actually meet the people you will be helping or working with. You can only learn so much from a textbook. Also it helps you see what placement areas you like or dislike, so that you are better equipped knowing what you want to go into when you qualify.

Student Life

Living in the Hollies across from the Glenside Campus was good as I got to know people who were on different campuses. I socialise at Frenchay Campus quite often as a lot of the societies meet up there. It is a good opportunity to meet other people doing different courses. The good thing about Glenside is that, because it is just Health and Social Care and it is relatively small, everyone gets to know each other.

I work as a student ambassador for the university and that’s good because it fits in and I work whenever I am free. A lot of students do have a part time job and I’d say it’s a good idea to get an extra few pennies. I have a bursary, a student loan and an overdraft. It’s worth asking the university what you are entitled to and make sure that you get everything you can.]

The Future

With a Mental Health Nursing degree you can work in a number of different areas:  Child and Adolescent, Drug and Alcohol, Acute In Patient, Forensics Services, Prison Work. There are so many doors open to you once you qualify.

Once I’ve graduated I think firstly I’m going to see where the jobs are but ideally I would like to go into drug and alcohol work, either working directly with people on the streets, working in a hostel, or alternatively in dementia care.

When on placements some mentors even say if there is a job coming up, recommending you’d be ideal to apply, and that’s quite encouraging. I’ve certainly learnt what I like and what I don’t like, but I think my problem is I like quite a lot of things!

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