My name is Iqrah; I’m in my second year of studying mental health nursing. In this piece of writing, I want to discuss my motivation for choosing this career path, my experiences with being a BAME individual working in mental health care and my time at Heathfield House which is a step-down rehabilitation unit in Stockport.
Mental health nursing is a career path which is both rewarding and challenging at the same time. Many people I meet don’t ask why I picked nursing but why I picked mental health nursing to be exact and my answer is that this is an area of health we all struggle with, some more than others. In saying that, if there is any way I could help break the stigma surrounding mental health and be a person who can genuinely care and support those struggling with it the most, then that’s what I want to do.
Furthermore, I am British Asian with my family originating from Pakistan making me part of the BAME community. Within my culture there is a huge stigma and lack of understanding surrounding mental health. This is a key reason as to why I wanted to go down this route of nursing, I want to help break stigma.
In my experiences on placements I’ve met people from all different ethnic backgrounds, but I’ve realised that the language barrier between patients whose first language is not English means that there is an extra barrier between staff and patients which can cause miscommunication and distress. This was something I witnessed first-hand on one of my previous placements, thankfully I spoke the same language as one of the patients and was able to help communicate on behalf of them to the staff and this helped ease their distress.
Finally, during my time at Heathfield House I’ve met so many wonderful people, my time at the unit has been very positive and I’ve been welcomed here by everyone. This experience has allowed me to see the rehabilitation side of nursing care and I’ve been able to speak to the clients here and have started to understand their experiences with mental health issues, both good and bad. It’s been an eye-opening experience for me and one I very much will not forget and now as my time comes to an end at the unit, I wish them all the best and will really miss them all.