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International Nurses Day – Interview with Hans Nelson Assanaba

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News, Nursing on 12th May, 2022

Hans (Haruna) Nelson AssanabaHans (Haruna) Nelson Assanaba is a Mental Health Nurse at the Russell Clinic in Exeter. He joined us last month from Ghana and is our first male international nurse. We spoke to him about why he chose to come to the UK and his experience so far.

What made you decide to come to the UK? And specifically DPT?

As somebody who has a passion for mental health, I’ve always wanted to help people who have mental health issues. I’ve always wanted to be part of a team who help people get their own lives back so they can resume daily activities.

I’ve always wanted to upgrade myself in terms of career progression. Doing some research, I realised I had no choice but to choose the UK, where there are a lot of opportunities for me to achieve my dreams. After choosing the UK, I had to find an organisation. After making a lot of enquiries about them and reading about them online, I realise DPT would be a very nice place to be because they have a lot of support, a lot of training opportunities which will help me upgrade myself quickly in order to achieve my dream.

Why did you want to become a nurse?

Initially, nursing wasn’t something I wanted to do. I didn’t have much knowledge about nursing but growing up I had a brother who suffered from mental health problems and then there was this mental health nurse who came to see him. How he was taken care of, how he got his own life back made me very very happy and I was so passionate to help people with such conditions. I saw that being a mental health nurse that is the greatest humanitarian factor of which you can offer to the community. If I want to do something for society, I wouldn’t look any further than choose becoming a nurse. That was where the passion developed and I try not to divert and I work towards it and here I am being a mental health nurse.

The reward isn’t about the financial gains, but seeing your client coming out very cheerful and seeing them go back to the community makes you feel very happy and complete.

How are you finding the role at DPT?

I’m really enjoying my role, I have a wonderful team who are willing to help whenever I have a problem. All the team members are welcoming and very sociable.

DPT is a diverse community where there is an inclusiveness, no matter your skin colour, no matter your race, people accept you and your views are taken into consideration. So I’m really enjoying my team so far and I hope to put out my best and to not disappoint them. I feel so happy. I’m very very happy working in DPT.

Did you have any concerns before moving to the UK?

I had a lot of concerns moving to a new place. Without family members, no friends, definitely you have challenges. Some of them include the kind of food, concern about weather conditions, work environment and the time shifts, the kind of technology we use here and the medication. These are quite different to where I was previously and so I was very worried about how I was going to adapt to this new environment. But with my inductions so far, I think I’m on the right path. I’m learning and all my anxiety is quite low now as I have people around me who are helping.

What support have you had since moving?

DPT has really helped me a lot. Before I started my processes for my VISA, plane ticket etc. I thought accommodation would be an issue because I had no knowledge on how to acquire it, but DPT have been really helpful. They actually gave me accommodation and have assured me if I have challenges I can come forward and they will be very grateful to help me and resolve. I would say so far, DPT has been very helpful and they’ve not let go. They are continuing they try to offer me more help to make me feel at home. So I’m very grateful.

Where is your favourite place to visit in Devon?

So far I’ve really enjoyed the sights of the Cathedral in Exeter city centre. It’s a very nice building. I really like the design. I’ve been to Exmouth to the beach, I really enjoyed it there. It’s a great environment and it helps you reduce your stress and makes you feel ok. So far those are the best places I’ve been. I know as time as goes on I will get to know other places and visit there.