Student profile
Natalie King

Natalie King

"On my placements, I'veworked in a community mental health recovery service, on a working age acute ward and with a home treatment team."

My course

I chose to come to Surrey because it offered a wider variety of placements than other universities and had a brilliant reputation – it was also close to home.

My mental health nursing course is challenging, but there is something new to learn every day. The course is set out brilliantly and there's so much help available from staff and from mentors on placement. The Clinical Simulation Centre is great and there's also wards and a flat to simulate working in the community.

On placement

I've met so many people while on clinical placement. I had no idea of what to expect before I started my first placement on an elderly acute ward, so faced many challenges, but by the end of the eight weeks I really felt like part of the team. I've also worked in a community mental health recovery service, on a working age acute ward and with the home treatment team.

I also completed an elective placement that I split into two parts. I spent the first two weeks in Ghana, volunteering in a local hospital and running wound clinics in schools to help prevent infection, as many of the children had infected cuts and bites. In Ghana the healthcare system is so different to home, and many of the locals can’t afford treatment. I met so many inspirational people who work so hard for the little they have. I spent the second two weeks at Frimley Park accident and emergency.

I'd definitely recommend an elective placement as it’s a great opportunity to experience another field of nursing. I gained so much insight into physical health needs during both of these placements. Comparing the A&E facilities in Ghana and England really made me realise how lucky we are to have the NHS.

My career and development

It seems clichéd, but I’m passionate about becoming a nurse because I love caring for those in need, and seeing patients recover. When I graduate, I want to dive straight into working in an acute inpatient ward.