Introductions: Betty Mavhunga, 1st year, Mental Health Nursing

Betty Mavhunga

Faculty: Health, Social Care & Education
Department: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing
Category: Nursing and midwifery

31 July 2013

Prior to starting my nurse training I lived in Sittingbourne, Kent which became my second home. I have had previous experience of working in the health sector as a support worker and it was during this experience I realised the need to do something for myself and my children to secure a better future for them and myself.

I thought about applying for universities, however considering the fact that I had been away from studying too long to cope with the academic rigour, I decided to enrol on an Access to Health and Nursing course. Whilst doing  the course I had Midwifery in my mind, but  during the  course I did a module in Psychology. Coupled with my African background, where mental health is deemed a stigma, this made me change my mind to go for Mental Health Nursing rather than Midwifery.

I want to learn more about mental health, be an advocate and help my community to understand what mental health is all about. I attended North West Kent College in Dartford which I enjoyed and I was able to achieve good grades.  I enjoyed my time in college but when you have children and are in full time education it was difficult financially.  Halfway through the college course I almost dropped out, but my tutors and friends supported and helped me through that. This made me determined and preceded with my course, of which I had excellent grades, this got me accepted into Anglia Ruskin University.

I can’t believe that I am nearly finishing my 1st year of Mental Health Nursing.  This year has been amazing and gone so quick. It has been hard work and had bumps along the way, but I feel privileged and blessed, and I’m looking forward to an amazing future for me and my boys.

The theoretical side was tough as you know, exams, essays and placements, but I managed it very well and passed all my modules with good grades.  My 1st placement was in an Acute Ward at a local hospital. I enjoyed the placement and was given the opportunity to work with some nurses and doctors who have become my role models. I was able to understand the medication that is used in mental health, side effects, drug calculations and was able to do drug rounds under the watchful eye of my mentor.

I am currently on my 2nd placement (which finishes in August) and am with Rehab and Recovery in the community.  During these placements I have had some magnificent feedback and this is helping me to become a respectable nurse. I have wonderful results on my modules, of which I want to do more and achieve more in the 2nd year.
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