From Art to Mental Health Nursing – The Next Step in my Career Plans

As you may know from my previous blog posts, I studied Contemporary Art Practice at Gray’s School of Art, and graduated last year.

So, what have I been up to after graduating? Well, I am back at RGU studying Mental Health Nursing. I have always loved art and helping other people and wanted to combine the two, so I decided to go for it. I got accepted and was over the moon.

Uniform

Mental Health Nursing is definitely a lot different from being at Gray’s School of Art. Gray’s had so much freedom, so much that you could walk around Gray’s in your slippers. Being in the health building is different, it’s a lot more structured, as you have to wear a uniform. For example; sometimes you have clinical skills and have to wear a white polo shirt, black or navy sweat pants that are loose and full length, white, navy or black wipeable shoes, a fob watch, minimal jewellery and make-up and hair off the collar. This prepares you for when you go onto placement in hospitals or communities.

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Placement

The mental health nursing placement involves going to work in a hospital or community and you have a supervisor to help you, so you can learn from your environment and get to utilise the skills that you have learned. Gray’s had week trips each year and they do offer placements but most of the time you are encouraged to see art shows and galleries yourself.

In the mental health nursing course, be prepared for late lectures. There are times when I can finish at 6.30pm which doesn’t bother me too much because I used to prefer working late when I was at Gray’s.

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Going back to lectures

I am not really that used to lectures. At Gray’s, we only had one lecture a week for one hour and that seemed like a lot but now I have a lot more. You do get used to this though. Before each lecture I have notes printed off and take additional notes throughout the lecture. Sometimes the lecture hall can be quite warm and make you feel sleepy, but I have extra strong mints and they wake me right up. I really enjoy lectures now, I feel like I am getting a lot of information from them.

Studying

There is a lot of self-studying. This isn’t too much of a change because almost all of my time at Gray’s was self-study except for being taught things like printing, photography, sculpture and film.

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You still get a tutor. You get two tutors for your class in mental health nursing. They are easy to get into contact with and always happy to help. When I was at Gray’s there was your course tutor who was in an office near your studio area most of the time and then a personal tutor given to you and maybe 10 other students for one to one time. In mental health nursing there is two tutors, one for half of the class and the other tutor for the other half, both are very willing to help.

I am excited to continue my course. It is definitely a lot different from my previous course but they both have their own good points. I loved my previous course and I am loving this one too. I don’t think I was quite ready to leave RGU. I feel like it has so much more to offer me. Here is to another 3 years of RGU.

Rebekah

 

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