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Staff stories

Returning to work

Looking to come back to work after a career break but not sure how you’ll balance work and home commitments?
Read our interview with staff below.

The nurse returning to work after a career break

Becky, community psychiatric nurse (currently acting senior mental health practioner)

How long have you worked in adult mental health? 

Since 1996

Did you join Adult Mental Health from school, after qualifying as a mental health nurse or have you returned after a career break? 

I returned in 2013 after a 5 year break

–What made you choose to work with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust over other trusts or organisation? 

I chose Oxford Health as I had worked for the trust previously and felt valued and well supported in my previous role. 

On returning to practice I was fortunate enough to have a placement within my field of nursing and was given support and confidence to return to a role similar to that I had previously done.

What is rewarding about working in adult mental health? 

The challenges, the people that you meet. I like working with people in general and feel this area gives me opportunity to see the person as a whole.

What are the challenges? 

Never knowing what you are going to come across each. The role can be diverse in nature.

What type of person do you need to be to do the job? What skills do you need? 

You need to be open minded and non-judgemental. You need patience and time for others. You need empathy. You need to work well as a team member. I would be lost without my team.

What in-work support do you get with development and in your job generally? 

I get regular supervision, both clinical and managerial. We have recently started a peer reflective practice group. 

There are endless opportunities to further professional development with excellent modules being offered by local universities. 

Since returning to work I have completed 2 level 6 modules with support, allowing me protected time to complete these. The trust supports flexible working which was crucial to me on my return as I had a young family to consider. Where possible employees are supported in flexible working requests and I have felt very well supported in this area.

What are the main job benefits? 

Making a difference to people’s lives and health. Working with fantastic people. 

The team that I work with are very supportive which is very important to me. 

The job offers lots of training and development opportunities and staff are supported in their professional development.

What would be your advice to someone considering adult mental health as a career after school/a newly qualified adult mental health nurse/someone considering returning to adult mental health after a career break? 

I would advise them to go for it! I was very nervous when I returned from a 5 year career break. I never thought I would get back into it so easily, but I found the return to be a lot easier than I thought. 

The trust and Brooke’s University have an excellent relationship and I felt supported  throughout my return to work.

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Call the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Helpline if you need help with a mental health problem, but it is not an emergency. Learn more…

  • For adults and older adults call 01865 904 997
  • For children and young people call 01865 904 998