I would like to study nursing because I feel it will lead me directly to one of the most emotionally fulfilling careers available, as well as giving me the chance combine helping people’s mental well being with their physical health. It would give me the opportunity to study something that involves both academic and practical study, which I feel would suit me best.
One of the areas I am most interested in is mental health nursing, a career that needs patience and empathy, and which could be especially rewarding in terms of the help I could give. Having parents who have both worked as social workers has given me an open minded knowledge of what work in this area really entails. I am also interested in the contrasting portrayals of mental health within the media and especially enjoyed reading both Jeffrey Masson’s take on psychotherapy in ‘Against Therapy,’ and Ken Kesey’s portrayl of a mental health institution in the 1950’s.
Whilst helping to further my sister’s development I attended one day Makaton and Numicon sessions, learning how to teach and use both effectively. I was particularly interested in how much practicing different communication methods could make a difference in the lives of those with learning disabilities and their families. I have also sat in on both group and one on one speech therapy sessions and was able to see the effects of these over time. It was interesting to see how the sessions were adapted to suit children of different ability and ages. It was also informative to see how much the parents were involved and taught to carry forward the techniques so just one session would be effective for a much longer time.
For work experience I spent a week at Amwell View special school in Hertfordshire. For the first part of the week I worked with a small class of children of similar ability, and was able to see how play, art and music were used to help their educational development as well as how the children were taught to develop socially. For the second part of the week I helped with organising the school summer production; this time working with a group of children from all years making the art and scenery and practicing lines and choreography. Although challenging at times, I found this work extremely rewarding. It sparked a passion for working with people, especial after seeing the progress that could be made in just one week, how the parents were supported and involved and seeing how much good the school could do.
My strong mathematical background has given me problem solving and logical skills I feel will be essential for nursing, as well as giving me a good understanding of the mathematics involved in nursing. Further Maths and Physics taught me to apply a range of methods to solve problems with no obvious solution, and to apply mathematical and logical techniques to everyday problems. I also study history, giving me analytical and essay writing skills often involved in a nursing degree, and have learned to draw conclusions from many different ideas and interpretations. This could help me to get to the bottom of a patient’s problems and will be especially useful whilst working in mental health.
I practice yoga twice a week, and on Saturdays I work at my local Oxfam shop giving me a chance to meet many different people whilst having the satisfaction of knowing I am making a difference. I am involved in my schools ‘Amnesty International’ group, helping to organise a party to celebrate “human week” as well as raising a general awareness of Amnesty International’s work.