Third year nursing student, Carryon, speaks to us for Mental Health Nurses Day

February 19, 2021

Third year nursing students have played a vital role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting registered nurses as part of their extended clinical placement.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) reintroduced emergency education standards during the second wave to enable final year nursing students to opt-in to support the response. The decision followed a request from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, supported by the Chief Executive of the NHS, in response to the continuing, intense pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of Mental Health Nurses Day, we spoke to some of our third year nursing students about why they decided to take on this role and what drives them.

Carryon Kamba is studying mental health nursing at the University of Essex. She’s joined EPUT to aid our pandemic response and explains why she chose this career path.


What inspired you to get into mental health nursing?

I have family and friends with mental illness and I noticed the stigma which still exists within today’s society. This inspired me to study mental health nursing. I wanted to learn more about mental health to hopefully contribute to breaking the stigma.


Why did you decide to opt in to undertake this clinical placement?

After seeing the effects of the pandemic on nurses, I felt that it was time for me to use the knowledge and skills I’ve learned during my studies to help them face this pandemic. I didn’t want to hide in the face of adversity and I wanted to help in any way I could. I’m training to be a nurse to save lives and make a difference, so it made sense to start now at a time when support is needed.


How are you finding your placement at EPUT?

It’s great. Each day comes with its own challenges but my colleagues are incredibly supportive and there are lots of learning opportunities available.


What do your daily jobs include?

I check patient vitals regularly so that if a patient has COVID-19 related symptoms, we can act quickly following infection prevention and control measures. I ensure patient safety is maintained and that patients are treated with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect. I encourage patients to be involved in their care and to participate in therapy programs provided on the ward.


What do you like most about what you do?

I like being able to put a smile on someone’s face and I enjoy making a difference to a person’s life.


What are your hopes for your future career in nursing?

In the future I would like to specialise within my practise. I want to progress and continue expanding my knowledge.


What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting into mental health nursing?

If you want to study mental health nursing you have to be focused, committed and know what you want to achieve. I have children and I am currently completing this role alongside my studies which has been challenging, but if you put your mind to it, you can do it.


We want to thank all of our third year nursing students for taking on this challenging role at such a difficult time. We wish you the very best in your future careers and look forward to welcoming you as employees and registered nurses at EPUT in the future.