This week, Professor Rab Houston speaks to Gerry Hastie, a mental health nurse. Gerry trained between 1993-96, when nurse training programmes were changing from being delivered by the Local Health Authority to Higher Education. He has always been a mental health nurse and has worked in care home settings, long term in-patient care settings, acute admissions, addictions and the community.
In this podcast he illustrates his personal journey to doing what he does, and what it takes to be a mental health nurse, focusing on values and personal qualities; skills and different remits and the many roles taken on by nurses with patients, their families and colleagues. Nurses are simultaneously therapists, advocates, teachers and researchers who within their own training and skill set but whose work is essential with other professionals. He offers a perspective on what makes nursing unique and how nurses complement the multi-disciplinary team.
Finally, Gerry tries to step outside and looks into his profession as an observer and use examples from clinical experience and popular culture to imagine what the public think mental health nurses do.