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I work in a nurse led clinic service which was introduced into the older peoples Community Mental Health Team to improve access to mental health services for older people. The service was set up to provide improved access to mental health assessments and specialist interventions for both patients and their carers. I work under close supervision of our consultant psychiatrists carrying out outpatient reviews which has been successful in reducing outpatient waiting lists.
Registered Nurse - Mental Health
5 years post registration experience in a mental health setting.
Over the past four years I have successfully completed two Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses at Queens University relevant to my clinical area of practice. These included Post-Graduate Diploma in Specialist Practice in Older Peoples Nursing and V300 non-medical prescribing course. Both courses have been very beneficial in developing my skills and knowledge to work in older peoples mental health and dementia care. I have been working in older peoples care for over 10 years. My experience and training to date has helped me to gain insight into the functional and cognitive needs of older people which at times can be complex, especially in relation to patients with a diagnosis of dementia and associated symptoms. I have gained experience and training in both treatments and interventions which are tailored to meet the needs of patients I work with.
My job enables me to make a difference to the lives of older people and their carers. I have always been interested in this area of care. My job allows me to take a holistic view of my patients. It also allows me to meet the needs of carers. My job gives me a degree of autonomy and independence in making nursing decisions.
- Working as part of a Specialist Older People's Community Mental Health Team which has much experience and knowledge in Older peoples Mental Health. I learn something new from my colleagues on a daily basis.
- I enjoy receiving compliments and feedback from relatives confirming that I have made a difference and helped to improve the quality of their lives.
- I enjoyed completing the CPD courses as they enabled me to develop my skills and knowledge thus improving the care and support I provide.
- Time management as my role requires me to stay focused and organised in order to manage my work load and meet deadlines.
- Communication skills - timely communication with voluntary and statutory organisations as well other allied health professions is important in order to meet care and support needs of patients and carers.
- I meet many patients and relatives following a diagnosis of dementia for a family member, which can be difficult. This can be challenging as I am often faced with many questions some of which I cannot always answering immediately.
- Support of medical staff and other members of the multi-disciplinary team.
- Support and encouragement from managers.
- Support of university lecturers and colleagues.
- Continued professional development relevant to practice area.
- Networking with both voluntary and statutory sevices.
I would definitely recommend my role to any nurse interested in older peoples mental health and dementia care. My role involves a lot of commitment and dedication however is very rewarding with good job satisfaction.
- Assessing complex needs
- Risk Assessment
- Communication Skills
- Report Writing
- Organisational Skills
- Time Management
- Team Working
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