My name is Patience Ayeh and a graduate of University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana, West Africa. I pursued a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Study of Religions and completed in May 2013.
For my National Service, I was initially posted to Shama Senior High School in the Western Region, Ghana, to teach but the Assistant Headmaster said they needed someone who had pursued Biology instead and so I went for re-posting.
The re-posting procedure took about a week and the District Director upon seeing the stress I had gone through, decided by the mercies of God to post me to the District Health Directorate; thus, the Psychiatric Unit of the Shama Health Center.
For me, it was a dream come true because I had a natural ease with Psychiatric clients and my various internships at the Takoradi Regional Hospital’s Psychiatry was a plus for me to work with ease. As such, I never had a boring day at work and i got a lot of experiences as well as gained a lot of friends.
The only stress I encountered was during the registration process at the regional level; however, i had a great service year and even did extra work for about three months after service without any allowance. My District Director was always at my end and monitored my work among others.
With regards to benefits of the service, I had a lot. I still maintain a cordial relationship with all the nurses and staff of the medical center where I had my service.
During my service year, some Clinical Psychologists came from Yale University to meet ten psychology graduates and ten community health nurses in Accra for a workshop and I was made to represent my region.
Everything I learnt during my service year was and is still beneficial to me. I was able to stand before a crowd and give health talks and presentations. I could achieve the feat of calming aggressive psychiatric clients down even when others were backing off.
And so for upcoming Service Personnel, my advice is that you should give everything to the service with much passion and willingness as you do not know when such experiences will be beneficial to you.
For the betterment of NSS, it will be helpful if graduates are posted to their fields of study to gain field experiences which will enhance them when they start their actual jobs.