Issue: 32

Interview with Sita.D

logoSita. D, a charge nurse on Cardigan ward at Caswell Clinic, has been nursing since 1980.

Why did you enter mental health nursing?

My first training was with people with learning disabilities. I really enjoyed that. Once I qualified I worked in a residential home called St. Barnado's, which was for children with learning disabilities of varying degrees. I then decided I'd apply for a job in a learning disabilities hospital in the Birmingham area but didn't cope well with the residents' treatment. The care was very regimented and institutionalised. An example of this is they'd use one flannel to wash everyone's face. I tried to introduce different ways of working without getting much support and around this time I started looking for jobs and found that there was training for mental health nursing advertised so I applied.

What's the most challenging aspect of your job?

I guess it's looking at all the different aspects of the job and balancing all the different parts of it. Balancing patient care with paperwork, staff management, education & training and maintaining standards. All of these things pertain to maintaining a high standard of care. That's the aim.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The big part is the relationship with the patients – the humour. When you've seen people who've been really unwell and you see them improve, you feel a real sense of achievement for all parties concerned. Because the patient is the person who's had to deal with the difficulty of the illness, to know we've helped is great.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Retired and travelling. I've thought about a cafe... Someone suggested approaching pubs and other establishments to offer an alternative menu. But I think I'd like to, in my retirement, become a grandmother and do charitable work.

What's been your greatest life achievement?

Being a parent, helping to shape someone's life and career. The skills I have as a mental health nurse have helped me to be a better mother.

5 for fun

Mustard or Custard? – mustard
Corrie or Eastenders? – neither
Hip-Hop or Classical? – depends on frame of mind
Russell Brand or Lee Evans? – neither
Countryside or City? - city