Childhood experiences lead student to a career in mental health nursing


Brandon Collings was launched to nursing as a 10-year-old baby, after his father was critically injured in a motorcar accident.

It was nurses, he recalled, who briefed the household once they arrived on the hospital following the accident and likewise after each single one in all what appeared to Collings like a lifetime of surgical procedures. Nurses have been there to replace them on his father’s situation, to help Collings’ father as he relearned to stroll and to lend a supportive ear when Collings and his mother vented their feelings.

“Day by day, the nurses wouldn’t solely give incredible care to my father, but additionally to my mom and me,” he stated. “At the same time as a toddler, it was clear to me that these nurses have been skilled, caring and galvanizing.”

That have would later inspire Collings to earn an undergraduate diploma in nursing, which he did at SUNY Plattsburgh. There, because of his professors and the supportive studying setting, he gained a strong basis in nursing and as a pupil chief.

Collings is now constructing on that basis, combining his love of nursing and curiosity in psychiatry, and inching nearer to his dream of turning into a psychological healthcare supplier. In his second yr at Binghamton College’s Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Collings will graduate in Could 2022 with a master’s degree in nursing in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) specialization.

Whereas it was his father’s accident that introduced nursing to Collings’ life, it was his mom who sparked his curiosity in psychological healthcare. She was a substance use counselor and psychological well being group advocate, and Collings continuously helped with outreach applications in his hometown, discovering himself fascinated by the work.

“The one factor that all of us have in frequent as people is the acutely aware thoughts. With the ability to discover that, uncover what makes different individuals tick and assist them alleviate struggling — possibly to their very core — may be very fascinating to me,” he stated.

Like most college students in Decker’s grasp’s-level nursing applications, Collings continues to work as a nurse. He beforehand labored on an inpatient psychiatric unit, however now works in a telemetry unit at Lourdes Hospital.

As well as, as a part of his required medical hours, Collings gives psychological healthcare on the Decker Student Health Services Center clinic on campus. Overseen by Ramona Mazzeo, MD, a psychiatrist and director of psychiatry companies on the College, Collings performs affected person intakes and completes preliminary affected person assessments, collaborates with the physician and affected person to develop a remedy plan, after which sees sufferers for his or her follow-up appointments.

“Brandon has been an awesome addition to our workforce,” Mazzeo stated. “His expertise working as a nurse already makes him very succesful with medical interactions from the beginning.”

Mazzeo added that PMHNP college students assist the Decker Pupil Well being Providers Clinic present student-patients with a psychiatric medical expertise with continuity, because the nurse practitioner college students can comply with sufferers for one to 2 semesters.

“The [PMHNP] college students being right here helps the Binghamton college students they see as sufferers get entry to care rapidly and conveniently on campus by means of their pupil well being profit,” Mazzeo stated. “It’s a win-win for [our] college students throughout.”

Collings has additionally been working with Mary Muscari, affiliate professor of nursing and coordinator of the PMHNP program at Decker School, on a repository of on-line stress-management sources for undergraduate and graduate nursing college students. Obtainable on Brightspace (the College’s learning-management platform), the aim is to offer college students with internet sources on quite a lot of matters.

“Brandon was a part of the brainstorming course of for the web site and was particularly useful in constructing the time-management part by arising with apps that college students can use to be higher organized,” Muscari stated.

The net useful resource is an offshoot of Collings’ capstone venture, “Social Media as a Vector for Well being Promotion in Immediately’s Period of Psychological Well being,” which is a synthesis of current analysis on the topic. It additionally gives insights on how psychiatric nurse practitioners can use social media to current details about matters comparable to bipolar issues and melancholy or spotlight native psychological well being companies.

Collings posited that folks use social media as a main supply of data in at present’s society, so why not use it as a manner to offer correct details about psychological well being?

“I’m at all times thrilled when college students give you new concepts for capstone papers, and his was unique,” Muscari stated. “Nonetheless, this is a vital matter given each the recognition of social media and the quantity of disinformation on it.”

Following commencement from Binghamton, Collings hopes to enter Upstate Medical College’s Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Fellowship program. This initiative gives superior, intensive coaching in psychiatric look after nurse practitioners and psychiatry residents. It additionally gives college students with the chance to spend time in a number of psychiatric subspecialties.

Collings, nevertheless, already is aware of the place he desires to focus: dependancy psychiatry. He enjoys working with this affected person inhabitants and feels it fits his get-right-to-the-point method.

“I’ve at all times had the mindset that actual acknowledges actual, and I’ve observed that most people I work with who battle with substance use issues actually respect that method,” he stated. “I’m not the sort of individual to stroll right into a room with a white coat on and say, ‘Hello, I’m Mr. Collings, from yada yada workforce.’ I want to stroll in and say, ‘Hey, I’m Brandon. That is what I do. Let’s speak about it.’”

Collings believes that folks brazenly speaking about psychological well being is likely one of the few optimistic results of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Folks have been remoted and it introduced out what some individuals have been struggling with secretly and silently for years,” he stated. “It’s a blessing as a result of persons are extra cognizant of what they’re feeling and considering. They’re extra okay with not being okay, they usually’re searching for assist.”

However, as extra individuals attain out for psychological healthcare, what was a big want for suppliers earlier than the pandemic is now a extreme scarcity. Collings hopes the current highlight on psychological well being and the notice that psychiatric psychological well being nursing is, at its core, merely serving to people who find themselves struggling, will drive individuals towards the occupation.

“The pandemic definitely made us conscious of the necessity for extra available, accessible and acceptable psychological well being sources to help with the consequences of this catastrophic disaster,” Muscari stated. “That is significantly true for marginalized populations, rural individuals, and our frontline and important staff. Nonetheless, it additionally confirmed us the necessity for higher psychological well being promotion basically. Far too many individuals lack the essential coping expertise wanted to handle on a regular basis stressors, not to mention a catastrophe — one more reason why I feel Brandon’s capstone is so vital. “

For these working in healthcare and different serving to professions, Collings has some recommendation: “Have one thing exterior of your occupation that you simply actually love and care about. You possibly can’t be there for others in the event you don’t have one thing for your self.”

His shops? Being open air and enjoying and listening to music.



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