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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Noela Chitu Bachelor of Nursing, Mental Health, 2019

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Hi, I’m Noela Chitu and I’m studying Mental Health Nursing at the University of Southampton.

It was amazing to work alongside some incredible nurses and mentors. Placement actually helped me understand exactly what mental health nursing is, with all its rewards and challenges.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

My mentor went to the University of Southampton and he is a great man. I always felt like greatness was somehow imparted in these corridors of learning, so I thought to come and share in it too.

Can you tell us what led you to pursue Mental Health Nursing, and where your passion came from?

I love helping people and even though I admired the nursing profession, there were some physical aspects of nursing that did not appeal to me. However, I had the opportunity to work in the community with people who had mental health problems and the joy and satisfaction I had, helping them during this period directed me towards mental health nursing.

What is it like studying here?

It has been an incredible journey. I think that because the course is divided between time on placement and time at lectures, I have been able to have a balance, a steady pace of studying. Usually by the time I am finishing placement, I am just ready to be back in a lecture hall and by the time placement comes around again, I am eager to be back on the wards or out in the community learning in a working environment.

How do you rate the study facilities at the University?

I love the library. Using Webcat to locate any book I wanted in the library or Delphis to find journals and articles online made studying so much easier. Also, the IT guys in the library always sorted out any issues I had in no time, which was so good. I think too that having PATs (Personal Academic Tutors) was great because I knew exactly who my first point of contact was if I had any problems.

Can you tell us about your experiences on placement? Why is it important? How did your placements to compare to each other?

I enjoyed my placements more because I learn by doing. It was amazing to work alongside some incredible nurses and mentors. Placement actually helped me understand exactly what mental health nursing is, with all its rewards and challenges. It was interesting to see theory being put into practice and I have learnt so much.

Were there any modules you particularly enjoyed?

The lectures I enjoyed more were the ones that involved role play, because it kind of brought the lecture to life. The module, I really enjoyed was the Complex Care module and I think this was all down to the lecturer and her way of communicating the content of the lecture.

What are you most proud of from your time at Southampton so far?

In our second year, we had the opportunity to take part in a ‘Balloon Debate’ where you had to come up with a service idea, given that you had a million pounds to spend. My group mate and I did take part in it and even though we did not win with our idea of providing a centralized system where any specialist nurse could be contacted for advice or for an assessment, it is one of the highlights of my time in University. I am not one to speak in public, but coming up with a presentation and actually presenting it to about 300 students, is a memory that I will forever cherish.

How have the people you have met at Southampton changed your life?

We were divided into groups at the start of the course and I remember our Personal Academic Tutor saying at the start that this was a course you could not do on your own and that we needed each other to complete it. No truer words have been said before! My two group mates who have been through everything with me have been invaluable. I could not commend them any more for their help and support. In short, we will always be best of friends

What are your plans for the future?

To be the best nurse I can be and to continuously challenge myself to be and to do more.

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