Meet John Paul…
John Paul is one of the Mental Health nurses that makes up our Hamptons team in Preston. He’s been with us for over 6 years and has had a huge impact on both service users and staff in that time. Over the last few years, John Paul has seen many service users come and go, as they arrive with us from various settings ranging from living in the community to acute wards, and move on to the next stage in their recovery. John Paul points out that among our service users it’s unhelpful to focus on successes and failures, and instead to concentrate on ensuring we do everything in our power to get people as well as they could be at that time, through guidance and support.
“People are not products and this isn’t a conveyor belt, we can’t cure mental health but we can provide a place of safety.”
What is John Paul’s background?
John Paul started out as a youth worker, heading up media arts projects and supporting young people to discover their talents and channel their energy in a productive and exciting way. As the funding for this project came to an end, John Paul moved on to work in childcare, elderly care, and then different types of rehab facilities including drug and alcohol and mental health.
John Paul found his passion while working at a Mental Rehab service over 10 years ago, and had a conversation with his supervisor about what he could do to further his career –
“I asked what my next steps should be to get a promotion, and I was told to get myself up to the university and get my self qualified as an RMN, so that’s what I did!”
After qualifying with a degree in Mental Health nursing, John Paul spent 4 years working in different settings, before coming to Active Pathways 6 years ago! Luckily for us, John Paul has found a place he is happy to work, and grow both professionally and personally.
What does your job involve?
John Paul’s job is a challenging one, no two days will ever look the same, as each person has individual and varying needs. The Hamptons is classified as a locked rehab, but we encourage independence, creating community links, and relearning and practicing the skills that allow individuals achieve a higher quality of life. Embracing these values means risk assessments, staff allocation and careful care planning. These are all things that form part of the role of an RMN at Active Pathways:
“The first thing I do when I come in at the start of my shift is make sure the whole day is planned out, we want our residents to be able to take leave to do the things that are important to them, and we need to make sure that they can do it safely”
What do you enjoy about working for Active Pathways?
When I asked John Paul what he enjoyed about working at Active Pathways, straight away he mentioned his love for the challenging environment and the positive outcomes. Although we don’t follow people’s journey after they leave us, we are just one step on their pathway, it’s always fantastic to see the changes over their time at The Hamptons. John Paul described how a lot of people arrive at The Hamptons feeling isolated and introverted, and how a lot of their daily living skills have been lost following time on acute wards. Although secure hospital stays are needed for many people, the nature of that environment results in a need for some individuals to relearn skills that we may often take for granted, such as navigating a bus route, making sure you have the right change in a shop, or practicing good personal hygiene without prompts.
The need for these skills form an important part of someone’s person-centred care plan, this is where John Paul can see tangible positive outcomes in residents, as they become more independent and more equipped for their next step.
“We don’t have cookie cutter patients here, we just strive to see people leave us less troubled than when they arrived”
How do you see your role evolving over the next few years?
Covid changed the roles of the RMNs in services all over the world, and at times put a hold on admissions, discharges, leave requests and many other elements of life at a locked rehab service. Now at The Hamptons, whilst there are still remnants of Coronavirus restrictions, people are looking to the future and making plans with confidence.
For John Paul, his ideal next step professionally would be to play a bigger role in training other staff in the intricacies of medication and various diagnoses, not so that other staff can take on nursing duties, but so that they can better understand how those things can affect how an individual presents. He believes this will lead to better interactions and more trusting relationships, which will in turn allow service users to receive an even higher standard of care.
For more information on The Hamptons, or to make a referral to any of our services, please contact Lisa on Lisa.Mullineaux@Active-Pathways.com