Posted on: 1 February 2024

Maliqa began working at the Trust as a student nurse three years ago at Coombe Wood, mother and baby unit based in Park Royal.

“I was there for three months and absolutely loved it! I had done all my placements with CNWL; at the mother and baby unit, acute wards, forensic wards, community and home treatment team and I’ve absolutely loved them all.”

Having initially not ‘knowing anything about CNWL’ it was at her first induction she was attracted to many benefits.

 “It was my first time working in the mental health hospitals, so I was very open and wanting to experience everything. To be honest when I first started the placement, I was a bit worried and asked myself ‘what’s a forensic or acute ward going to be like?’

It’s one of my first placements I felt like a proper nurse as a student.

The opportunities of career progression really enticed me. As a student, when you’re given some responsibility it’s amazing. I love putting myself out there, I got to be nurse in charge shadowed by staff, developed my leadership and management skills it really helped me a lot, which allowed me to feel more confident. So much so I’ve come back to CNWL as a qualified nurse now.”

Maliqa now works at Tasman Ward, a forensic low secure inpatient ward. The service is a forensic mental health service providing high quality holistic care and treatment in a secure setting.

“In all my placements I had such positive experience, so this was a huge factor for coming back to join the Trust. I really enjoyed acute wards and forensic wards the most, there’s just so much to learn, no day is the same day. The environment is really fast paced it’s so thrilling.”

Maliqa currently lives in Hertfordshire and travels into work, which at first was a concern for her.

She says: “The commute into work was one of my biggest worries. I spoke to manager and he has been very considerate to offer flexible shifts.

One of Maliqa’s greatest achievements during her student placement was setting up a chaplaincy service for patients.

“I spoke to my manager about giving patients the option to see different faith leaders. I set up a chaplaincy service within a day – which is still in use now.

I would love to continue working with patients alongside their faith and mental health breaking down that stigma. I think it’s really important, within nursing we focus on the mental health, physical health, emotional health and I think spiritual health should be considered too. In my current role, I’m really excited to be collaborating on a project running workshops on faith and mental health.”