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Career profile: Nancy Gatawa, Northamptonshire

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Nancy Gatawa Nancy Gatawa

How did your career as a nurse begin?

My mum was a nurse and I always admired how much she enjoyed caring for people. I knew from a young age that I wanted to follow her. After school, I started work caring for a young quadriplegic lady in Kent. But there was always this drive in me to become a professional so I went to college, eventually became qualified as a mental health nurse, and then went straight to work for the crisis team in Kent. It was our role to help patients with their mental health at home. We came into the home for intensive visits to monitor medication and mental state. I absolutely loved the work.

Why did you choose to specialise in
mental health?

In my family I have seen people suffering from these issues. I thought people did certain things on purpose so I wanted to learn about why those things happened. I now have the knowledge and skills to understand mental health and to help someone going through that. It’s a lifelong illness that people must come to terms with — it’s not like a wound, for instance, which you could just treat with antibiotics.

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