Award-winning Mental Health Clinician explains why her unusual nursing role is #EMAZING

Award-winning Mental Health Clinician explains why her unusual nursing role is #EMAZING

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Mental Health emergencies are rapidly becoming one of most common calls received by our 999 call handlers, and so we continue to develop our control rooms to ensure that patients in crisis receive the best care possible.

Our Clinical Assessment Team, comprising paramedics, nurses and other clinicians is a vital part of these control rooms and in recent years this team has expanded to include Mental Health Clinicians to ensure patients with mental health issues get the support they need.

Ellen, 34, is a Mental Health Clinician based at our Lincolnshire Emergency Operations Centre and relishes the opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives every day.

She said: “My dream job was to always work for the ambulance service or to become a nurse and it was something I wanted to do for a very long time. Due to an eye condition I suffer from I was told I wouldn't be able to achieve my dream job of becoming a nurse but was determined to prove I could.”

And she did. After qualifying 13 years ago, Ellen started out as an acute nurse on a challenging behaviour male forensic unit before taking up other similar roles across her local area.

Then a Mental Health Clinician role at EMAS came up – which would combine her two dream jobs of nursing and working for the ambulance service.

With a wealth of experience, Ellen jumped at the chance to try out for the role at EMAS and she succeeded.

She said: “An important part of our role is to ensure that patients who have mental health needs are triaged in a timely manner and signposted to the correct service needed or receive an ambulance if required.

“The job is challenging but knowing you are there for a patient, giving them that validation and all-important time to talk to someone is one of the most rewarding parts, especially at the end of the call when they say they feel supported, valued and listened to.

“Throughout the day, jobs do vary where you might get a patient who can be easily signposted to help, all the way through to a highly emotional and charged situation with someone who is at their most desperate and frightened state.”

Ellen’s dedication and experience was rewarded in 2020 when she received a Police Chief Constable’s Commendation Award from Lincolnshire Police for helping to save a patient’s life. Despite the call coming in the last twenty minutes of her shift, Ellen stayed on as she recognised the severity of the situation and after two hours and twenty minutes on the phone she was able to get the patient the help they needed.

As Ellen continues to thrive in her dream job, she thanks her colleagues and family for the support so she can continue to take on challenging situations every day.

She said: “I am very lucky to be able to say I am in my dream job, my advice to anyone considering the Mental Health Clinician role is to go for it.

“You will of course face challenges on a daily basis, it is a really good job with so many different experiences.

“I am very lucky to have a supportive team and colleagues within EOC and the CAT team alongside my very proud family. I know that I can always turn to them if I need to talk when it has been a challenging day and I am lucky to have them. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

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Please remember as we head into our busiest time of year that Ellen and her colleagues in both our Bracebridge and Nottingham control rooms are working tirelessly to get ambulances to those patients who need them most.

If you're not feeling well, but it's not an emergency, you can help your NHS by using alternative NHS services near you or visiting NHS111 online at