How it all began

It wasn’t my plan to work in community mental health services after qualifying. I wanted to start on a ward and then move on after gaining some experience there. But because I injured my knee I was unable to restrain patients and this just never happened. I was left with no job and growing concern about the future. I was eventually offered a role in community adult services, but staff shortages and no formal induction meant it was a rocky start.

When I did eventually start I went to condensed hours to try and maintain some work-life balance. The commute to work meant sitting in traffic for over an hour, and so condensing them seemed sensible, as I would often be at work early and leave late to avoid the rush hours.

Monday is always a busy day, and returning from annual leave makes it feel busier. Catching up on earlier work before starting the next task seems to be a constant theme. On occasion I check emails while on leave just to stay caught up, taking the pressure off returning.

The last six months have felt like a whirlwind crash course, a mixture of learning new skills and finding out I’m doing things wrong. I start each day looking at my emails, my to-do list and calendar. I try to prioritise my day but know that I will not be able to fit everything in. Still, I try to get them into some kind of priority order.

The office is a large open plan room. And while I find working in this environment difficult, it is also helpful. There is always a vast array of experienced staff on hand to support and answer questions I might have. The team atmosphere is good and they have been very welcoming, which is part of the reason I have stayed in this role.

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