MY PROFESSION -
COMMUNITY PSYCHIATRIC NURSE

Sudha Chavda. Hillingdon

LIFE AT BEXLEY HOSPITAL

Bhai dropped me off at Bexley Hospital and left me in the hands of the home warden. I was given a room in the nurse's home and later in the evening she took me to the canteen for the supper. I did not know what sort of food to order, as I did not see my curry and chapatti and rice. Finally I ordered meatball dish in gravy, as it looked a bit similar to mum's meatball curry. I thought it also tasted good only to be told later by a Mauritian girl that if I am a Hindu, then I have committed a sin as I ate beef. I thought, "fine time to tell me, mate! I have eaten it." I felt real bad for days. I confessed in my letter to Ba only to be comforted by her gentle words. She wrote,
"Don't torture yourself - as long as you didn't eat an Indian cow it is fine." I must mention at this stage, that the first few months in England were full of dilemmas as everything I saw was so different. I tried to adapt to the new culture under constant protest. I was so naïve and smiled and greeted nurses when I met them in the hospital's canteen or corridors, but most of the time they had such long miserable faces and refused to acknowledge my presence. They looked at me as if I was from another planet, meaning I was an alien. I found that very strange but like everything else I was learning about English culture, the people, the language, along side my nursing education and facing the miserable weather. At times I was feeling quite apprehensive of the new ways I was encountering. But, I must say I have gradually changed my attitude and behaviour as time went by. Psychiatric nursing has broadened my views and I now perceive people's problems in a different spectrum.

Folks, after working for 32 years in mental health field, especially providing service to the ethnic minority clients, I have gained a world of experience. I would love to share my knowledge with my community members. I will write more next month. Bye for now.


Introduction Background Life at Bexley Hospital
Part2 Part3 Part4 Part5 Part6 Home Profession