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Within my current role as a Staff Nurse in Thompson House, I work with adults who have an acquired brain injury or neurological condition. My current role involves the delivery of both a range of clinical skills and a range of communication and sensory intervention skills. Skills which I have attained partly through my pre-registration Learning Disabilities Nurse education programme and also through my post- registration experience.
First and foremost my role as a Staff nurse is to ensure that, as a registered Nurse Learning Disabilities, I work as part of the Multidisciplinary Team to provide person centred, safe, effective care to people with Learning Disabilities and complex healthcare needs. This includes:
the development, implementation and evaluation of person-centred nursing care plans which are formulated considering the individuals strengths and needs
the delivery of fundamental nursing care including assisting with personal hygiene and mobility issues whilst adhering to manual handling guidelines
advocating on behalf of patients/clients
the safe administration of medications in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code
In my current role I have developed a wide range of clinical skills including experience in the care of Tracheostomies and Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) tubes which maintain optimum nutritional status for the client.
A key aspect of my role is liaising with patients and their families, advocating and safeguarding on their behalf. I proactively contribute to the multidisciplinary team discussions, ensuring that all the patients’ needs are met.
I am a Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities Nursing.
Prior to and during my Learning Disabilities nursing training I worked as a practitioner assistant in the Royal Victoria Hospital for 4 years where I gained invaluable experience. I then worked part time during my learning disabilities nursing in a variety of learning disability settings as a Band 3 Nursing Assistant to gain further experience. Since qualifying I have worked within a residential unit for people with Learning Disabilities with complex needs. I then secured a post as a Community Nurse Learning Disabilities where I worked for a few years before obtaining my current post. My experience to date has built my confidence and competence; it has developed me professionally, and has been invaluable in my current role as a staff nurse.
Being nominated and winning the Royal College of Nursing Student Nurse of the Year Award (2014) was the most memorable highlight of my career thus far and is also the driving force for my passion for my profession today. Also being nominated for the Rising Star Category in the Nursing Times Awards, (2015) despite being qualified only a year was an extremely humbling and memorable experience.
I would encourage all Learning Disabilities nurses to avail of opportunities to develop within their chosen area of practice, to gain experience, increase their clinical knowledge and gain expertise. I feel gaining experience within learning disabilities settings is invaluable as the in depth skills acquired are easily transferable and can be applied to any branch of nursing. I would advise Learning Disability nurses to continue to develop their practice, education and professional development to facilitate the delivery of safe, effective, compassionate, person- centred care to people with learning disabilities.
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