14th October 2022
“This group of graduates have continued their training during the unprecedented times of pandemic. They have contributed enormously to delivering the highest possible standards of care in mental health services in that time. They have both our sincere appreciation and admiration for their commitment,” commented Irene Ryan, HSE South East Community Healthcare (SECH) Nurse Practice Development Co-ordinator at their recent graduation.
Four years of study in South East Technological University (SETU), featuring 80 weeks of clinical placements in HSE/South East Community Healthcare mental health services, was marked in two ceremonies recently for 39 graduates of SETU’s B.Sc. (Honours) in Psychiatric Nursing.
Concluding their fourth year of the course and a 36-week continuous internship with HSE/South East Community Healthcare (SECH), 18 of the students in the Waterford and Wexford mental health services were presented with their qualifications at the St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre, Waterford. A similar occasion was hosted for 21 students in the Carlow, Kilkenny and South Tipperary mental health services at St. Canice’s Hospital in Kilkenny.
Having begun in September 2018 and on completion of their training in the HSE in the coming weeks, the 39 participants will register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland as Psychiatric Nurses.
Speaking at the Waterford ceremony, Ursula O’ Neill (SECH Nurse Practice Development Co-ordinator for Waterford/Wexford) said: “We are delighted that these students chose this career. Psychiatric/Mental Health nursing is a specialist field within the health care profession. It involves an interpersonal, caring process that acknowledges the uniqueness of each person. The Psychiatric Nurse is concerned with the promotion of mental health, the prevention of mental illness and the provision of care to those with mental health problems.”
The ceremony in St. Canice’s Hospital was also addressed by SECH’s Carlow-Kilkenny/South Tipperary mental health services area Director of Nursing Avril Nolan, in addition to the respective Clinical Placement Co-ordinators Emer O’ Donnell (South Tipperary), Claire Fitzgerald (Kilkenny) and Helen Heffernan (Carlow).
The ceremony in St. Patrick’s Gateway was also addressed by SECH’s Waterford/Wexford mental health services area Director of Nursing Kasia Nolan and Clinical Placement Co-ordinators John Fitzgerald (Waterford) and Marilyn Vereker (Wexford). Also in attendance were Joan Croke Power (Asst. Director of Nursing) and Colman Noctor (Lecturer, Dept. of Nursing and Health Care, SETU).
HSE/South East Community Healthcare works closely with SETU in facilitating clinical placements across a diverse range of mental health services. This includes working in the Dept. of Psychiatry acute mental health inpatient units, the residential units for Psychiatry of Later Life and Rehabilitation Centres. There are also placements in other high, medium and low support residences, day hospital services, specialist nursing support in acute hospitals (e.g. the Emergency Dept. liaison services) and participation in Community Mental Health Teams and other community supports and services based in and from Primary Care Centres.