Career choice is a very significant aspect of an individual, this is because each and every career has qualifications that are needed, some careers may need different levels of concentration or even at times vast level s of perseverance. For one to qualify to join the military or the police force one needs to be physically fit., as it is one of the major qualifications needed to become a soldier on the other becoming a doctor does not require any physical fitness. With such vast qualifications, it is very significant that a person is aware of the qualifications needed to join a career that one is interested in so as to be able to ascertain if one is qualified to join the profession.
So as to be able to find out the requirements needed to become a mental health nurse, a career that I have longed to be since childhood I set out to interview a professional mental health nurse so as to find out the challenges, qualifications, requirements, sacrifices related to the profession. The reason for the interview was to enable me to make an informed decision about being a mental health nurse. Getting an Interview with a mental nurse was not easy; I had to let him know that I was a student and was just interested in carrying out research about the profession.
I had to postpone the interview severally due to some unavoidable circumstances. One such incident was when the nurse received an emergency call and had to rush to the hospital just when we were about to start the interview. The interview was postponed again when the nurse had to go to work to cover for a colleague who was supposed to be on duty but fell sick. Finally, I was able to conduct the interview (Anderson, pg 170).
During the interview with Mr. Jones from a local mental hospital, I was able to establish some crucial aspects of what being a professional mental health nurse. The first question that I asked was what motivated Mr. Jones to choose the career; I was able to find out that it was a passion for the mentally challenged people that pushed him to join the profession.
For one to qualify to become a mental health nurse one has to have a pre-registration nursing degree or a diploma but it has to be accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. One has to also undergo a three-year course that entails both practical and theoretical training. The nursing course can be taken in four different disciplines which include, children, mental health, learning disability, an adult. It is, however, important to note that as from September of 2013 diploma courses were phased out and only degree programs are available. Students spent the first year studying ordinary foundation modules, the next two years of learning is spent specializing in the discipline one has chosen. The degree courses, however, will take about four years to complete. Mr. Jones informed me that he received his training at one of the technical institutions but did not give the name (Anderson, pg 120).
Persons interested in becoming Mental Health Nurses have the option of taking part-time courses which can take from five to six years. This type of learning is convenient for those people who wish to learn and work at the same time. People with degrees in fields such as biology, psychology, and biomedical can take short nursing courses which usually take about two years. However, one has to at least have some interest in the nursing field or some experience which has been gained by either volunteering or taking care of a sick relative (Anderson, pg 150).
A mental health nurse should be a person who is sympathetic, and most of all non-judgmental. One should also be capable of managing extreme emotional situations, be a good communicator and willing to really help people with mental health problems. Having the traits will ensure that one is able to provide the best assistance to both the patients and their families (Anderson, pg 120).
Duties of a Mental Health Nurse
Mental Health nurses mostly work in hospitals or within the community, their main role is to provide support for the people suffering from various mental health issues. They also help the families of the patients suffering from mental issues take care of the patients in the best way possible, in so doing they play a very important role of building a good relationship between the patients and their families (Anderson, pg 140).
Being a Mental Health Nurse is not an easy task there are some sacrifices that one has to make at times all in the line of duty. One has to work overtime at times when the workload is too much, some patients suffering from mental illness can be very difficult to work with that at times they have to be restrained even physically so as to prevent them from injuring themselves or others (Anderson, pg 130).
Before choosing a career it is advisable that one carries out thorough research so as to enable one to make informed decisions about different careers. Being a Mental Health Nurse does not require only academic qualifications it also involves making personal sacrifices to the benefit of the patients and their families. Just like other professions, there are challenges which mean anybody choosing the career should be well prepared for the challenges.
Anderson, Rob, and George M. Killenberg. Interviewing: speaking, listening, and learning for professional life. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
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