BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing, 2014/MbR Mental Health Nursing, 2018
My current role is within Independent Assessment Services, who do assessments on behalf of the DWP for people claiming benefits. All Disability Assessors have some form of registration – we’re either registered nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists or paramedics. I assess three to four people per day, either in our Dundee office or in the claimants' own home and then send reports based on my findings. I investigate how they manage 12 activities of daily living, in terms of any mental health or physical health conditions they note.
I had some varied roles leading up to this one - I started in a functional over 65's mental health ward, then moved to crisis resolution within Dundee and Angus, then into a local community mental health team. I was so pleased to get into the NHS immediately after qualifying, and I enjoyed my time within the organisation, but I became frustrated at the way in which mental health services in NHS Tayside were being cut back. This lead to my current role, in which I have better pay and less responsibility!
As noted, my career path thus far has been varied and it was my experience at Abertay that gave me the confidence to try different things and the drive to apply for jobs which might not necessarily have seemed achievable - I had a senior band six role on secondment within nine months of qualifying and it was Abertay that provided the knowledge and skill set for me to feel able to do that. Being a registered nurse opens many doors and provides many options, but it's the experience you have as a student nurse that provides the motivation and the determination to be able to make the most of these opportunities.
For current students, I would say the sky is the limit. Use your time at Abertay wisely.Leah Hosie | Independent Assessment Services | Disability Assessor
I was lucky enough to be taught by staff who were all enthusiastic and knowledgeable. However, special mention should go to Linda Wood for her very memorable clinical skills sessions, and to Robin Ion and Kate Janik-Smith, who were both incredibly supportive when I decided to pursue a Masters by Research in Mental Health at Abertay. I completed this in early 2018 and I couldn't have done it without them.
For current students, I would say the sky is the limit. Use your time at Abertay wisely; think about what you want from nursing and identify the area of work that will best provide that for you. But equally, be open to new ideas and feel confident in knowing that Abertay will provide a solid foundation for any kind of nursing role that appeals. And if further education is an avenue you want to pursue, get straight on to Kate Janik-Smith - she will work very hard to make it happen.
As for the future...I'm content in my current role at present. I have a two-year-old daughter and the Monday-to-Friday, 9am-5pm work routine fits in well with family life. Further down the line, I'd be very keen to pursue an academic career. The results of the Master's project have been submitted to a nursing journal and my supervisor and I are hoping for publication in the near future. It would be really exciting to see my name in print and to know that work I’ve completed might make a difference to the future of nursing practice!
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