Meet our NUMs: Emma from Banksia

This week we spoke to Emma from Banksia, our mental health ward. Emma told us about her passion for mental health nursing, her love of travel and the most rewarding parts of her role.

What makes your ward and the patients you care for different from other wards? 

Banksia has an amazing team of multidisciplinary staff that are all passionate about working together as a team to achieve the best outcomes for the young people we care for. We specialise in delivering care to a range of young people experiencing significant mental health concerns that present at increased risk or can no longer be effectively supported in the community setting. We see a very wide range of presentations, and meet so many inspirational young people and staff in this field. No day is ever the same!

Tell us about your RCH journey. When you joined, the roles you’ve held here. 

I started with the RCH as a graduate nurse almost 15 years ago, I am still here and still extremely passionate about mental health nursing. Over the years I have been a Banksia nurse, Community Group’s clinician, an Associate Nurse Unit Manager, a psychiatric nurse consultant, and the Banksia Nurse Unit Manager for the past six years. Throughout this time I have continued my studies in the areas of Advanced Practice Nursing, Management and Leadership, and Developmental Psychiatry.

Talk us through what a typical day looks like… or what you’re doing today. 

A typical starts with the Banksia multidisciplinary morning ward round and handover. The multidisciplinary approach ensures a holistic view of the young people and families we care for. From here we review access and referrals to the ward, and throughout the day will review this with our access coordinator in line with the changing demands we often have. I connect with the ward, and attend multiple meetings throughout the day. I connect with many staff on the ward throughout the day in regards to care planning, ward challenges, and staff needs – every day is busy, and at times challenging, but very rewarding.

What is the most rewarding thing about your current role?

Watching young people improve and recover from the thoughtful, excellent care provided by the Banksia team.

What is your favourite RCH memory or achievement? 

Our wonderful pre-Christmas lunches that we hold each year in the ward, the week before Christmas. This includes staff and patients all coming together to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company – definitely some favourite memories!

In five words, tell us what you love you about your work? 

Promoting hope for young people.

How do you relax after a long shift?

Enjoying great food, wine and friends!

Can you tell us something about yourself that your staff might be surprised to learn?

I lived and studied nursing in South Korea for six months. I worked in a hospital that used a model combining the best of Eastern and Western medicine. It was so interesting.

If you weren’t a nurse, what would you be doing instead?

Something to do with overseas travel – for those who know me, most of my annual leave requests over the past 15 years have included an overseas trip.

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