I took an unusual route to becoming a nurse. I originally did a psychology degree and worked as an assistant psychologist, but I found myself wanting to be with people on the ward more and more and realised I was naturally drawn to nursing.
I’ve been with Sussex Partnership for a year now and they will fund me to do my second year of family therapy training, which I began before joining them. I’ll be building on what I’ve started. Joining the team of Sussex Partnership nurses was such a friendly experience and I’ve become much more aware of my nursing skills. We’re solution-focused, we think about the priorities for keeping people safe. I was nervous to begin with, due to the high-risk nature of our clients, but there are no silly questions, people make the time to listen to your worries, to help you unpick your thoughts after a challenging case. I’m proud to be a nurse in Sussex Partnership, we are well known for our solutions and risk assessment. Others look to us for advice.
At i2i we provide an extra layer on top of the Tier 3 community clinic team; we try to keep people out of hospital wherever we can. People stay in our care for a few weeks and we provide an extra layer of scaffolding for them during that time. Our approach is working, I’ve only seen one person in the last year admitted to hospital.
Keep going back
You have to be resilient and tenacious because people might not want to talk to you when you visit, but you keep going back. I remember working with a young person who spent many of our meetings hiding in a hoodie, refusing to talk. Over time they opened up and in the end I received a letter thanking me, full of gratitude that I had kept going back, despite the silence. It meant so much to hear that.
Our work is short-term, intensive. We help get people back on their own two feet. They’re not 100% better, but the gains are massive. Families can be at the end of their tether and we hold the hope for them. For them, knowing that someone has hope when they feel they have lost it, is vital to moving forward. We talk openly and frankly, which normalises their problems and takes away the perceived stigma. People need to know they’re not alone.