Isabella Meek BSc Mental Health Nursing student case study 2018 400x400

Isabella Meek

I decided to study at the University of Leeds because of the level of expertise and research specialism the staff have within the school of healthcare.

I chose to study mental health because the feeling of supporting an individual who is struggling with their mental wellbeing and knowing that you have made a difference to somebody's life, even in a small way, is an extremely rewarding feeling. It is important to me to be studying mental health because mental wellbeing is a topic that not enough people are comfortable or confident in discussing and therefore I aim to help promote reducing this as a taboo subject and allow more people to access help.

The highlight of being on the course so far has been the incredible people I have been lucky enough to have met during my studies including patients, my peers, and staff members. The patients I have worked alongside during my studies will be people I remember for the rest of my career and I value the time they have given me so greatly because these are the people who have taught me so much during such vulnerable periods in their lives.

The experiences I think will particularly help me in my future career are ones where I have learned to work within a team that involves a range of individuals who all come from different backgrounds and walks of life. An amazing part of being a mental health nursing student is that your fellow course mates will be people of all ages they will have such different previous practice experience. This has taught me the importance of discovering and valuing others' strengths and weaknesses and how to promote the success of us all in our caring professions. 

If I were to talk to someone who was thinking of coming to study at the University of Leeds I would say that this course is supported by a wonderful team of highly expert professionals who are both academically and emotionally supportive of your experience throughout. Having such excellent lecturers and tutors makes this often challenging process of training to be a nurse such a supported one as the staff have always been there to help me every step of the way during practice and in academic work.  

The city of Leeds is an incredible place to study as the opportunities for people both during their training to be a nurse and time spent as a student are huge. 

My most rewarding placement so far has been at a placement was when my initial thoughts were negative and I was worried concerning being allocated this placement. I ended up absolutely loving it in the end, despite being disappointed and originally not interested in this field of work, and now I would almost definitely find myself applying for a job in this specialism when I graduate. It was so rewarding because it highlighted to me that experiencing a wide range of clients and specialisms is so important in finding your passion. 

I have been in the memory services working with patients who are; in the process of being assessed for a memory problem, receiving post-diagnostic support, and those with a pre-existing memory problem who need further support. I have been in the acute dementia ward setting with patients who have memory problems who required expert nursing support with dementia-related behaviours that proved challenging to be cared for at home. I have also been on placement in the forensic low secure ward setting, working with patients who experience mental health problems that are linked to offending and dangerous behaviours. 

To be successful in practice students, the most key attribute should be open and accepting of all experiences available and offered during your time as a student. This is your chance to grasp and absorb as many different experiences and learning opportunities as possible.