Learning disability nursing assignment is the job profile that includes providing support to people suffering from learning disabilities. Learning disability is a reduced ability to understand the daily activities and tasks difficulty. The people suffering from this disability take a longer time to understand things, carry out daily activities, learn new skills, communicate with new people, etc (Ellis and Hogard, 2020). The learning disability nurses provide support and care to the people who are marginalized by society by undertaking the course and training which leads them to learn the various skills required to manage the learning disabled person and help them succeed in life (Lovell, 2017). The responsibility of the nurse lies in three main areas, to improve and maintain the physical and mental health of the person, limiting the barriers that would lead the person to live a normal life independently, and providing mental support to the person to have a fulfilling life (Mckenzie et al., 2020).
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While undertaking the course and practising, I realized this course is a skill to manage people with less intellectual ability. It requires a tremendous amount of patience as the person needs support with basic requirements and activities of life. The nurses are lifelong learners as every person with a learning disability has different challenges that need to be understood and managed accordingly. The course teaches us to make a reasonable adjustment in each case to support the client to reach their full potential. The job roles keep floating majorly between home visits, parent support, and psycho-education to young clients (Gillings, 2020). The best thing about the job is its flexible nature, fun, creative atmosphere, and continuous learning which makes every new day different from the previous one. Sometimes, when the case is profound, teamwork is essential to define the best technique to deal with the client. However, sometimes the slow response of the improvement in client and family emotional wellbeing leads the team into a frustrating and weak phase (Ellis and Hogard, 2020).
My understanding and experience of the profession are layered when it comes to handling individuals. The learning disability nurses happen to have the multidisciplinary approach as they also get to work with GPs, social workers, and also hospitals. They ought to have a person-specific approach to make sure that the patients get the kind of support and care they need.
From what I've learned, there are general principles of care that have to be followed throughout the service, say communication must be straightforward and any aid if required must be assessed. Visual imagery, a demonstration in a practical manner is quite helpful (Gillings, 2020).
With my exposure to the Learning Disability Nursing program, I find myself quite determined to help the special group of people that are usually marginalized in the society, who need special attention and care to live a quality life as they deserve (Hartnett and McNamara, 2020). However, I don't find myself alone in this journey as I'm accompanied by my prestigious institute under which I got to learn about the initiatives which could be implemented to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism (Sims, 2011). I could also realize how these people are discriminated against, face low expectations, and also that many of these people can fairly do well in their lives and live to their potential once when they begin to receive proper care. The supporting staff takes well care of the person and begins to provide support at the pace that the person is comfortable with (Gillings, 2020).
Support such as refreshment at intervals, active support, proper communication, postural care, decision making, etc are given under the guidance of the supervisor to the individuals according to their need and thus guidance around the risk-taking for participation is well received by the staff (Cigan et al., 2018). With exercising full commitment towards fulfilling the health, educational, and social needs of the individuals, effective support including postural care, enteral feeding, etc is ensured (Lovell, 2017). The professionals are well versed with CPD and also are compassionate enough to provide them with warmth and care.
I have learned the importance of teamwork while practising the learning disability as the discussion is required to deal with each case with precision and skills. As a beginner, I get to learn the skills of managing people, planning the requirements and schedules, supporting relatives of the client, discussing progress, maintaining reports and records, etc. there are several skills required for a proficient nurse in learning disability which includes teamwork, resilience, patience, care, compassion, empathy, and interpersonal skills (Mckenzie et al., 2020).
The key areas where I believed I can demonstrate my skills are assessing the growth of patients and determining the need for their treatment. To develop the expertise to evaluate the mental capacity of the patient is my main objective. Managing the supply chain of medications and other services timely is also handled by me. I have learned that to deal with such a multi-disciplinary field, proper planning is required and this shall be done by the team in unison (Green, 2018). To determine the timing and skills of working staff is very crucial to draw an effective plan for serving patients. In practical, it seems to be a little difficult owing to the changes in shifts of the working staff and lack of a communication structure which enables the team to take quick decisions and timely updating the information. For this purpose, I introduced a plan for reducing the complex communication channels and managing proxies in advance.
Spreading awareness about the need for education and training of the staff is very frequent in the workplace and we are taught innovative ways to assist our patients (Hartnett and McNamara, 2020). I have learned new techniques myself that are very effective in assisting patients and these techniques are playful and very engaging. I have also undertaken leadership roles in critical situations and I have inculcated a quality of remaining calm and assess the factors efficiently to make quick decisions. I have also learned that while working for Learning Disabled Patients, trial and error methods in management can lead to blunders so I offered a plan of regular analyzing of different situations that might happen and using simulation to plan for decision-making (Cigan et al., 2018). Segmenting patients based on their pace and then grouping them according to ranks have enabled us to serve them more accurately.
Motor skills development and cognitive skills enhancement are my favourite areas of service. I am a keen learner and I am always looking for better practices that can help me to achieve my goal (Hartnett and McNamara, 2020). I share my learning with other enthusiastic workers. We hold frequent meetings where we share what we have learned in the respective week. This is also a way to promote positivity on the field. Our patients are very supportive and we learn things from them too. I have a receptive and observing personality and it has helped me in multiple ways to make my management effective (Sims, 2011).
Team cohesiveness has been my major concern because workers come from different backgrounds and their continuous efforts for serving the patients make them so determined that they are not able to co-ordinate with the team. For this reason, liability on the team has been reduced to some extent to make such workers feel the need to work with the team otherwise they will be held responsible (Lovell, 2017). In management, controlling is also crucial for determining the performance of both patients and staff. The weekly assessment of the patient and his supervisor is carried out and the report is analyzed with past performance and the standards (Ellis, and Hogard, 2020). Physicians determined that in some cases the development of learning skills is not considered good and they might need better treatment and medications. I am worried about these patients because it means that the management is being ineffective if they are not able to catch up with the minimum pace of learning. For this, I have arranged a special team and a different plan has been laid out to increase the routine practices of techniques and more attention is to be given to each patient by the tutor (Cigan, et al., 2018).
The management focuses on three aspects to determine the requirement of Learning Disability nurses for the target. Clear visibility of people suffering from Learning disabilities and therefore a separate physical base was created in the hospital. Approachability is another major factor that focuses on gaining the confidence of these people that the staff is determined and dedicated to serving them (Cigan, et al., 2018). And the last one is the availability of nurses who are assigned to assist these people. This is done by proper recruitment and assessment of the personal and professional qualities of candidates. I am dedicated to serving people suffering from Learning Disability and I am determined to learn new ways and techniques of enhancing managerial skills and to tutor these patients (Ellis, and Hogard, 2020).
Cigan, G., Bray, L., Jack, B. and Kaehne, A., 2018. Experiences of clinical procedures for children and young people with an intellectual disability.
Ellis, R. and Hogard, E. eds., 2020. Professional Identity in the Caring Professions: Meaning, Measurement and Mastery. Routledge.
Gillings, S., 2020. Learning Disability Nursing.
Green, J.L., 2018. Peer support systems and professional identity of student nurses undertaking a UK learning disability nursing programme. Nurse education in practice, 30, pp.56-61.
Hartnett, L. and McNamara, M., 2020. Using the semantic wave to support intellectual disability nursing students to apply theory and evidence in practice. Learning Disability Practice, 23(6).
Lovell, A., 2017. Learning disability nursing in secure settings: working with complexity.
Mckenzie, K., Taylor, S., Murray, G. and James, I., 2020. The use of therapeutic untruths by learning disability nursing students. Nursing Ethics.
Sims, D., 2011. Reconstructing professional identity for professional and interprofessional practice: A mixed methods study of joint training programmes in learning disability nursing and social work. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 25(4), pp.265-271.
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