Nursing Diaries


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To whom much is given, much is expected!   I have now been officially given the chance to fight for my Licence. I feel like the final countdown has begun. But the expectation is massive. I feel inundated with tasks. The game has been raised but I am still the same. So how on earth can I cope?   In my head, I am officially undertaking “The climb” and trust me it feels scary.   Recently, my OH impressed something important in my life. It was like a gift…his words to me.   “You have to trust yourself”he began, “If you are in doubt of your abilities my child, then look at your history, within it lies your track record. You have always in the past felt numbed by challenges. But they never stopped you. In fact you always proved that the hottest part of the day brought out the adder. You have never really thrived without stress. It is like the pumping adrenaline has always propelled you. You have thought way more clearly under pressure than you ever have in calm situations. But my child, you have always started with what I see as stage fright. You were built for this challenge. Your whole decision to train for this licence has led to this year- this final countdown and road to success. I trust you my darling. You have never failed before and I know you will not start now. Just look inside of you for that strength”.   As he finished what sounded like a knight’s battle speech (a bit like something Archilles would have told the soldiers in troy),I sighed. All I could think of was ‘Psyching! babe don’t let these sweet words deceive you o!. Year 3 is not a joke o. Look at all the tasks and hurdles that lie ahead.I almost began to cry. I am coming to this man for support and he is here telling me all this.   Support…the word rang out like a keyword in my head. Support…   Isn’t that what he was doing? What was I even expecting him to say? Confirm my fears and then give me permission to quit, hang my boot and run? These feelings were like fight, flight or freeze response. I had encountered what my brain perceived as danger and I was in panic mode.   Girl, that is quite normal…   The worst thing to do right now would be to brush my feelings under the carpet. Talking about them was a good way of confronting them head on. There are hardly any confrontational experiences that are exciting. Self-confrontation was no exception. If anything, they were worse because one could not escape oneself.   I have got this…   I said to myself, reciting it endlessly like a mantra.   It is the climb….my climb.   No one climbs a mountain with one step from bottom to top. It is inconceivable to approach a mountain climb that way. It would make it impossible. That is exactly what I felt like I was erroneously doing.   But look at all the tasks that lie ahead…   Making my license aspiration about all the tasks that lay ahead was like focussing on the summit and looking only at all the height above, then contemplating climbing that height in one step.   Mountains are climbed with many steps…   Many strategic steps.   So first, we look at the whole mountain- the task Next, we work out a strategy- A plan. Within that plan, we tactfully break the whole process down into manageable steps that our feet can carry us through. We then accept that although it would not always be easy that would not make the process impossible.   In addition, we have to build in rests into our plan, to enable us rejuvenate ourselves when we are weak. We also need play, to keep us motivated. Lifelines will be good for times when we are struggling as well as being prepared to stay safe because we do not know what lies ahead. Finally, we ensure that our eyes are focussed on the top and avoid any distractions that may derail us from the summit.   Thinking about things this way, I immediately began to feel less anxious. It made sense.   This final road might be plied with herculean tasks but that does not make it an impossible road to travel….   I needed to get a calendar and spread out those tasks into steps with timelines to give me visual cues. The cues would serve as a map, a guide through my year. I was equal to this task. The university would not set me the challenge if they felt I was incapable.   Sometimes when we are in doubt of ourselves, we look outwards to find cues that help rekindle our self believe….   If my OH, my family and friends and even the university thought that I could do this, they could not all be wrong.   I would need to be extremely disciplined to keep myself on track.   One right step at a time and I would get there. By the grace of God like OH said, I had done similar stressful things before so I would do it again. He was not deceiving me with those words. The evidence lay buried deep within my history and I was about to add to that history.   So do you know what? Bring it on…Here I come…I am all fired up!   Not really!!!! Hahahah…   The good news though, is that I am more positive than I was at the start of this write up. That is a good thing.   So yeah, have you ever been in this position with anything in your life? Tell me what got you through it? How did you cope? I can think of very many ways to cope if I was not so anxious. Thankfully, I have you all for support. Please […]

Nursing Diaries: The Climb (Final Countdown)


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Loosing an article that I have written is a bit like losing a piece of me….   I pour myself into each article that I write. I don’t even know why I write sometimes. It is just an extension of my personality that I feel fortunate to possess the ability to express.   Sometimes I wish that all I did with my life was – write. I could do that you see, but maybe I haven’t yet figured out how to make it worthwhile.   Words have form and shape to me whether they are said out loud or written. That’s why I can’t stand it when people swear.   It’s not just about being polite but I literally see blood being splattered every time people prefix their statements with … bloody.   The worst is the F word.   I work around with images of coitus as the person speaks and vomits it within every statement. It’s hard to explain how upsetting it is to condone the psychological images people build into simple conversations.   So back to the article I lost which I was telling you about…..   So I said I love writing, remember?   Well, I can never really understand it when someone tells me that they are unable to write. I guess it is the same way that I can write that they can’t write. In my head, I just feel that if you can have an opinion and possess cognitive ability, then you should be able to write.   Right?   I guess I am wrong though because it may not be so easy.  Let’s use my husband as a case study. He never likes talking or over exerting himself.   A sort of cool dude.   So one day I asked him why he had constantly refused to come out of his shell.   “Well, there is no shell to come out of”,he said.   “How can you climb out of a shell if you yourself are the shell? Imagine if I asked you to be quiet and sit still how will you feel?”   “No way!”I screamed. “That’s impossible”.   “Aha!, do you see how you feel right this minute that you contemplated my “sit still” request?”,he asked   “Yes”,I said   “That’s exactly how I feel when you ask me to be as vibrant as you are”.   Hmmm…   That gave me some perspective. I have stopped asking that of him or anyone for that matter. People must all be allowed to exist and express themselves in the way that suits them.   So….Yes!   I digressed again as I always do.   I was telling you about how I wrote a juicy article this afternoon and somehow lost it. Well, that reminded me about when I lost another article in the past.   It was my portfolio assigment at university.   Oh that one was horrible.   I was set an assignment with 3 sets of tasks.   One was a 2500 word essay, a 15minute narrated powerpoint and another 2500 essay with appraisal forms.   I toiled to produce that portfolio.   I also decided in my very finite wisdom not to write any draft in a book first but to type it straight into my laptop. That was me finally succumbing to pressure. Everyone seemed to laugh at my out dated style of always writing in books before typing up my work.   I wanted to save time and it did feel good to type the work directly. Sadly, as my luck turned out, on the day I decided to save the final copy of the essay, I made a booboo.   Listen to this…   Instead of control C (Copy), I pressed control A (Select all), hit the back space (Delete) and clicked on control S (save). Then in splits of seconds, 2 months of toil vanished.   Seriously, who does that?   I had not even saved any other copy elsewhere.   Oh…   I even had a draft in my flash drive but guess what? I could not find it!   The submission date was 2 weeks away.  I also had an anatomy and physiology exam tucked in between the submission date and me. It was such a horrible time.   I went to the lake and cried.  I spent the next 2 days crying. I felt so exhausted. Where was I going to start? I had even lost my reference list because it was all in the same document. After the 2 days of crying, I managed to shrink the submission date by 2 days.   Next morning, while brushing my teeth, I looked in the mirror at my red eyes and thought   ….hey girl, you can’t just fail!   That was how I summoned the courage, plucked the strength and started all over again.   To this day, I feel that the new essay I produced was better than the first one. I learnt so much about myself doing that portfolio.   I learnt that I was resilient, a fighter and that I could not just accept defeat. I became very creative and my speed was super.   Who needs an easy life when we can use pressure and stress as free fuel eh?   Last minute essays are bad for you especially if you have not previously done any reading. But you knew that already didn’t you?   So although that ended well…   Let’s come back again to the juicy article I wrote this afternoon and managed to lose   That’s a different matter. An essay is academic and can have a happy ending when it is lost. But can an article enjoy the same fate?   An article is metalking without moving my lips.   Reporting what has happened or what I am thinking via a piece of paper/ media- whichever way you want to describe it. It’s very hard to get the second take of the article to be as emotive as the first one …I think. I have lost a piece of […]

Nursing Diaries: Losing a piece of work



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Oh dear tell me about it! Way before the start of this placement, I had caught the blues. Like seriously, I was so nervous about going into this placement one would have thought that I was in year 1. I had been to a fantastic placement before this one. I remember wishing that it was the final placement. I had bonded with but staff and patients. I felt like I had found my rhythm there. Then the next thing I knew, bam! it was over. 14weeks flew by so quickly it was unreal. Now harsh realities were kicking in. I was previously in a forensic setting, now I was going into an acquired brain injury setting. I did not know what to expect. I was more worried about the mentor than I cared to admit. Would my mentor be ok? Will it be a he or a she? Will we gel? Guess what, this was the placement that counted towards my final classification. A lot was just riding on it. We simply had to get along if I had any dream of passing. After the first day, I was even more anxious because my mentor was not available. So after all that anxiety, I did not get any questions answered. I was still like the proverbial chicken perching on one foot. Only by the time I got home both  the foot I was perching with and the one I had in the air were hurting. I knew that I had to be patient and let the days flow. So here are some of the things that helped me Disconnect from old placement relationships: Although it is difficult, it is important as a student nurse to learn how to disconnect psychologically and emotionally for the old placement. This would help you to be a blank slate ready to take on all the challenges and joys of the new placement. Nursing itself is all about building relationships. However, in my opinion, less is being taught about disconnecting from old relationships. It is alright to long for old relationships. But acknowledge these feelings and move on. Avoid comparison: This is a bit difficult to achieve after a fantastic experience. It just feels like every other placement will not rival the last one. However, it is important to judge each placement area on their own merit. Avoid comparisons. Things are not always the way that they seem. Just because a placement area is all I.T savvy and paperless does not mean that the new one filled with endless paperwork is not as good. Help yourself begin to see the benefits of being in the new placement by avoiding comparison. Give yourself time to get to know everyone: Time is always key. Remember that it took you all those weeks to build all the relationships in the old placement which you now long for. With time, you will start to get used to the rhythm of the new placement. When getting to know everyone, include staff not just patients. Remember, in the new area, they may have their culture, language and communication style. Expect that when coming to join a new team, there may be a few niggles. It’s all part of the adjustment process. Don’t write people off if they annoy you. Things may improve if you give it a chance. Read care plans: Within the first few weeks of arriving a new placement, make it a point of duty to begin to read patients’ care plans. This would give you in-depth evidence based information peculiar to the patients. It will inform you about the prescribed methods of care that have been agreed with the patients. Following the plans will also reduce friction between you and the patients when you start assisting with their care. Ask questions; Don’t forget that you are there to learn. Ask as many questions as you have. It is better than just trying and making mistakes especially if you are not sure. Build rapport with staff so that they can guide you. Be open to correction: Don’t take things personal when you are corrected. Take all criticism positively. Ignore negativity directed at you. Remember that some people communicate badly. They mean well but it may just come out wrongly. Learn to take the positives and fling away the negatives. Smile: Smile always. A smile gives you a positive aura and draws people to you. a smile gives you a welcoming attitude. A smile cheers you up when things get though.   I did all these things and now, in week 2, I am having a great time. By the time my mentor arrived, I had managed to overcome my initially skeptical attitude. So these tips actually work! Thank you for reading. Photo Credit: Pixabay You may also find other articles in this series useful. Please click here

Nursing Diaries: 7 ways to overcome the placement blues


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Learning disability nursing is a branch of nursing that tends to be understated. People with learning disabilities are as deserving of our compassionate care as the rest of our patients. Having a learning disability means that a person has a difficulty learning, understanding and acquiring  new skills. These may be social, intellectual and daily skills (MENCAP). As a result they may be slower and need lots of help and support with daily tasks. This does not mean that they cannot learn. The existence of this learning impairment means that a different approach needs to be used when delivering care and support to them. We are told in all the texts to avoid labelling people because every person is unique. The fact that people have learning disabilities does not mean that they are all the same. It does not also mean that a one size fits all approach will be suitable when delivering their care. Nurses need to be mindful during nurse-patient interaction because care delivery must be tailored to suit each patient as a unique individual. Patience, compassion and support should underlie every interaction that nurses enter with each patient especially when they have a unique way of interacting based on the existence of a learning disability. I was privileged to work on an end of life care ward for people with learning disabilities and mental health. It was surreal to see the elderly experience very life limiting conditions. The learning disabilities they possessed exacerbated the ability of staff to understand their needs. It also affected the extent of tailoring required to keep the care delivered person centred. The level of complexity experienced by the patients due to their severe physical health decline meant that lots of activities needed to be performed to keep the patients safe and comfortable. As a result, there was a high risk of adopting a blind approach to individualising care. Many of the patients had sensory needs, speech impairments, physical disabilities and mobility needs. The tasks had to be performed in a timely manner to maximise their health outcomes. It appeared as though attempting to personalise care could have made the tasks more cumbersome. It was difficult to support the individual wishes of patients because at times, especially when their mental states declined, it was sometimes nearly impossible to uphold their wishes. The nurses often experienced dilemmas when attempting to meet the patient’s unique demands. It was difficult to determine if it was really a patient’s desire to be cared for in a certain way when they were not very coherent? Did they fully understand the implications of some of their requests? Were these requests in their best interest? For example balancing the need to support the oral fluid intake of a dysphagic patient when they were declining water. I was a student nurse with minimal experience within a setting as such. I felt paralysed as I contemplated the enormity of the tasks I was to perform alongside staff. I wondered why my university had decided to send me there. As far as I was concerned, it was too early in my nursing programme to be there. I had only theoretical skills from all we had been taught at university. Surely, a slow admittance into this reality would have been better for me. I had never seen as massive a trolley as I beheld in the clinic room. How on earth was I to know where all the medicines were? Perhaps a ward with fewer patients, less hustle and bustle would have been best. As I came into the placement daily, I was very withdrawn. The more I allowed my inner fears hold me back, the more I sunk psychologically. I soon began to experience the fight, flight or freeze response. I was sweaty, thirsty and could feel the micturition bells ringing as soon as I arrived at the start of my shift. Luckily, one of the staff noticed my demeanor. With a warm smile, she took me under her wing. I spent the first few days on the side shadowing staff as they delivered this challenging care. I saw that how looking beyond the disease and finding the person shrouded by illness transformed the care. They were able to wait patiently for patients to communicate and valued the smallest non-verbal movements made by each patient. I saw first hand how all I had learnt at university came to life in practice. I learnt the importance of seeking consent before procedures and respecting patients’ personal spaces. I saw the theory of communication was brought to life. I remembered how McCabe and Timmins (2006) emphasised a lot in their text about how non-verbal communication was as important as verbal communication. For these patients, it was very true. Many of them were non-verbal and for some who could speak, they had varying levels of cognitive abilities, which impacted on their speech quality and content. In addition, I learnt to value every form of communication including when patients withdrew from communication. Frustration, exhaustion or satiety sometimes explained why patients withdrew from communication. It was important to be mindful of these reasons while accepting patients right to decline interaction, participation or stimulation. The unintentional nature of some forms of communication does not undermine their relevance as communication especially for patients with learning disabilities. I learnt not only to decipher these aspects but to practice different evidence based communication and care delivery techniques. Today, I am thankful for the opportunity I had within the setting that scared me at first. I now know first-hand that the practice learning opportunity is truly a valuable part of the nurse training. However, it is important that student nurses should take charge of their learning. Participating in care delivery under supervision is one of the ways to overcome the psychological barriers that may keep students from practicing their ability to care for patients. The demands on services can sometimes mean that students feel pressured to perform activities of care for patients when they do not feel ready. However, care must be taken by students not to allow fear stop the student from seeking out […]

Nursing diaries : Student Nursing fears



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I spent my day in silence. It was not even a planned silence. My boys went out of the house and suddenly, I did not turn on the TV or radio. I just enjoyed listening to the clock tick and the fridge making its own continuous noise on the side- the joys of open plan living. I have always hated clocks because of their constant ticking but today it did not seem to matter. I really needed the silence to help me organise myself. It had been a long year for me. I re-started higher education nearly a year ago. I made the decision to retrain as a nurse and it had been so hectic and demanding that I had absolutely no time to think or grieve…. Well, here I was on a day off work simply because my bag had been stolen the day before. It’s unbelievable how traumatising the experience was for me. I spent the day in a secure setting and left my bag on the side in a CCTV secure room. By the time I returned, the bag was not there. The speed with which it was whisked meant that I initially thought that it was a joke. Honestly. However,  a few minutes  into the search, I realised that it was not a joke. The bag was simply…gone! Panic! I had a lot in that baag. My keys… like all my keys. My lucky pen and my late son’s squidgy. I took it from his side when he died and had carried it on my person ever since. Even if I could replace everything I lost with the bag, how on earth will I replicate the sentimental value that toy held to me. He had been inseparable from the little squidgy. It has his squidgy. The one he had actually played with. In my mind, it had remnants and traces of his personality on it. the scrapes, marks and dents on the toy were somehow his stamps on the toy. The hardest part for me after realising that my bag had been stolen was telling everyone. I knew that I was about to open up a minefield of unsolicited opinions. Which I detest by the way…just in case you were wondering. Are you sure you left it there? Duh!?!? I did not lose my mind alongside the bag. I definitely left the bag there. But I kept those thoughts in my mind. After all I needed their help to find the bag. Why did you leave it there? Seriously, if we could all explain the reasons why we did the things we did we would be better people. Who leaves a bag in a place like that? Well me! You would have done the same too. Seriously, asking a question in my absence is just not on! What if I did not walk in on that conversation? Poor me…I felt at the mercy of everyone. I was on the receiving end. Oh and I forgot to mention how many times I had to recount the ordeal. It just felt like yanking off the plaster every time I retold my tale of woes. I could see in their eyes that they were saying I was dumb. Well maybe I was but is that why my bag should be lost….or better still stolen? Thank you for reading. Photo Credit: Pixabay You also like other articles in this series. Please click here

Nursing Diaries: The Stolen Bag


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Mental health is possessed by every one- Fact! I know it sounds like a ridiculous thing to say but for ages I thought that Mental health was a bad thing. Like being mental as people often say. Interestingly, we all possess physical and mental health. Both have to be fairly stable to enjoy some level of well being, quality of life, health. We will all suffer with some form of issues to our health – physical or mental at some stage in our lives. I personally have coasted along fairly normally (whatever that means). But I was shocked when I recently broke down. We all know my status as a grieving mum but I still carry on. I am one of those who just does not stop. I just keep moving, Like the famous saying that if you are on a bike you have to keep pedalling or risk falling. However, you will agree that at some point everyone needs to take a break. Well, being a nursing student means that time has suddenly become precious. There is always something to do. Placement, university lectures, assignments, portfolios and the list goes on. I was unable to switch off from this reality. For a long time this worked. The distraction kept me from feeling sorry for myself. I was happy. During the summer holidays, I tried to maintain my restless ness. But my holiday was long and so somewhere along the line, rest crept in. It was much needed and I just basked in nothingness. I did not even realise how tired I was until I began to relax. Endless days and nights rolled up in one. I was busy doing nothing or something that wasn’t major. I caught up with my colouring, walking, sewing, clearcut, meditation and so on. I even caught myself wishing the holiday would go on forever. Harsh realities began to kick in at the start of the term. I soon began to feel bamboozled with course work. Unlike year 1, we spent what felt like 5 minutes at university and bang! we were in placement. The stress of it all created room for cracks to gradually emerge within my rock solid defences against my sea of grief. I began to feel absolutely incapable of withstanding even the slightest stress. I began to feel scared and anxious about everything. For example I dropped a dinner plate and began to cry. I was not even crying about the plate but I was feeling sad about not being able to hold the plate. Seriously, who even says that? Well I did. I was doubting myself a lot.  Could I really do this? Could I really carry on with my studies? I contemplated dropping out. I felt so fragile, it was unreal. Then suddenly from nowhere, Karl developed an injury. He was in so much pain. I had to nurse him. We soon began to have one Xray, investigation, scan and all what not. I was getting by. Doing everything for my boys as I normally did. Until… One cool windy morning when I completely broke down! I just began t cry uncontrollably. Somehow, sitting down waiting around for Karl’s scans took me back there again. I sniffed the ward and I found myself back at GOSH again with Otito. Why was I seeing images of Otito in my head. He was smiling at me again in his room in the hospital. I longed for him. I missed him. Then next came the superstitions…. OMG, was Karl going to die? Was that why I was seeing Otito a lot? I began to have vivd dreams about my Otito. I would wake up sweaty. It was not a question of not accepting because I accepted Otito’s death before it even happened. I, like every Christian knew that he was in a better place. Yet all my knowledge could not shield me from the feelings I was experiencing. Karl was sick and so I could not even go to him with my feelings. I began to sleep too much, eat too little and just sit staring. I did not even want to wash myself in the morning or go for a walk as I always did. University? I did not even want to attend anymore. I just longed for the peace and solitude of silence. I was enjoying visions and thought of my son. It was comforting and scaring at the same time. What if it meant something bad was looming again. I count take another blow to my being again. I cried and cried alone for days Then… One day, I just booked an appointment to see my GP. You know there was once a TV advert that said the people could tell their doctor if they were feeling sad. Well, I could not access counselling immediately and I knew I was just so sad and helpless. I had headaches, I only wanted to sleep and do nothing. I said all my mantras and they were not working even though I still hate to admit it. Well, the appointment day came and I saw the GP. This GP listened. I wept uncontrollably. I expressed very deep rooted feelings. Her questions were not intrusive, they were subtle enough to help me navigate my feelings. I told her about my fears, my dreams, my sadness. Guess what she said ” Your feelings are quite normal Lauretta. After all you have been through. I am so sorry Lauretta, losing a child is the worst thing that can possibly happen to a mother. I would be worried if you did not feel sad sometimes. I will start you on some medication. What the treatment would do is to help you cope. It will keep you calm and help you find more happy days and less sad days.  Just expect some days like this when you feel so sad…and that’s normal. You are very brave. Coming to us means that you are brave. You recognise that you are struggling and […]

Nursing Diaries: We all have Mental Health!



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I have heard a lot being said about Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs). Advocacy services are free, independent and confidential. Advocacy service is free because the patient does not pay for the service but is entitled to the service. It is independent because the staff are separate from the hospital. They are not part of the hospital staff numbers. They exist to communicate the views and feelings of patients to others. Finally, the service is confidential because it allows the patient to speak freely. They create a safe space where patients can express themselves. The advocates are only permitted to breach confidentiality where there are safeguarding and safety concerns. The patient is made aware of these during the initial introductory meetings. Role To amplify the patient’s opinion. To ensure that the patient understands  their rights including why they are being detained. right to tribunals, right to appeal the section etc. To ensure that the patient’s rights are upheld To create an enabling service that empowers the patient to slowly take responsibility for their advocacy. To provide options to the patient so that patient can make choices. To provide moral support to the patient so that they can feel comfortable within the setting. Being sectioned can be an overwhelming time. New faces, new routines can often make To prepare patient for meetings. For example appointments, CPAs, Manager’s hearing etc. There are two types of advocacy services. The Independent Mental health advocacy (IMHA) and the Normal advocacy service. The addition of the IMHA to the advocacy role was implemented under the Mental Health Act (MHA) amendment in 2007. This made it a statutory requirement for patients detained under sections of the MHA to be entitled to IMHA as an additional safeguarding. The IMHA sees the patient when the patient is admitted. They explain the scope of their involvement to the patient. For example they set boundaries. They do not have access to patient’s notes to help the IMHA remain independent and non judgemental. They make the patient aware that they can disclose information but that the IMHA will break confidentiality for safeguarding reasons, or if they disclose involvement in illegal activities eg drugs, arms etc They do not reflect their views when advocating for patient, The service is all about the patient and free from prejudice. The IMHA does not replace a solicitor. The IMHA shares information with the patient. The IMHA is not bound by duty of care for example, they will still advocate for the patient even though the patient may be making an unwise decision. The IMHA is not a complaints department. However, they can support the patient to make a complaint. The IMHA can carry out an escalation on behalf of the patient where they become aware of ill treatment of the patient or a breach to the patient’s human rights. The IMHA ensures that safeguards are in place to protect the client by keeping vigilant within patient areas. The IMHA attends ward surgeries. There, they ask the patient if they will want to discuss issues further when they are unclear to the patient. NEW IMHA RIGHTS IMHA can now be allowed to interview the patient in a private place. IMHA can also be allowed access to the patient’s notes where risks have been identified. The IMHA does not access capacity. The How will the patient access the IMHA service. Self referral is possible through a free phone service Nurses can refer patients to the service Everyone on the ward that deals with client can refer the patients. The IMHA service is not an emergency service and so they will prioritise clients in the order they will be seen How does the IMHA deal with ethical and moral dilemmas? The IMHA maintains professionalism by remaining independent. They set boundaries with the patient from the inception of the relationship and sets realistic expectations for the patient. The IMHA uses clear communication to avoid ambiguity when relating with patients How does the IMHA uphold the advocacy for children The is achieved by clarifying that the service is for the child and the role of the advocate is to uphold the views and feelings of the child even when they differ from the views of those with parental responsibility. There is also a family advocacy service. This can be handled by a separate advocate where cases conflict of interests arise. Sources Interview with the IMHA within the setting The Maze: A practical guide to the Mental Health Act 1983 (Amended 2007). 3rd Edition. Beckenham: Bethlem Royal hospital pp 133-135 POhWER (2016) Independent Advocacy Service. (Leaflet) POhWER (2016) Secure and Complex Advocacy Services. (Leaflet) Action for Advocacy- The Advocacy Charter

Nursing Diaries: Who are Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs)


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The placement Visit The placement visit is essential because it provides the student with the opportunity to initially interact with the placement area on an informal basis. It is like a test-run of the real experience and can help the student prepare adequately for the placement. Sometimes, placement areas may be located within an area that is unfamiliar to the student. The visit allows the student make the necessary logistical considerations. For example gauging the distance and time of travel needed to maintain punctuality. A guided tour. During the visit, the student may be given a guided tour of the facility. This can help set expectations about the client group, size and scope of the placement area. Initial conversations during visits may involve disclosure regarding the learning opportunities being provided by the placement area and the expectations from the student may also be disclosed. Research the placement area by visiting their website. This can help the student get an idea about the specific services offered by the placement area. Are they a specialist service? Is there a specific client group For example children, adolescents, adults or elderly? Do they cater for a specific sex for example male or female? In order to get the best from the placement, it is usually useful to read about these services. Ask about the legal frameworks that are regularly linked to the service. For example the Mental Health act, Equality act, Child act, Safeguarding and so on. The placement opportunity may provide the opportunity to see how these laws are applied to practice. Ask questions about the placement. It is useful to have questions written down to create a sense of organization. Finding out as much as possible about the placement during the visit can help set the student’s expectations. Hearing firsthand information from the staff can reduce anxiety. It also helps create the impression that the student is eager to learn. Find out about possible multidisciplinary input. The placement settings give students opportunity to interact with other multidisciplinary teams. It can be worth finding out what other fields of nursing and/ or healthcare are interlinked with the service. This information can create an interesting focus for action plans. During the placement visit, students can ask if there are opportunities to observe these various teams during their interactions with clients to expand the scope of learning. Arrangements may be need to be made in advance to facilitate these opportunities. It is worth noting that client consent needs to be taken into account. Negotiate with Mentors. Students are always advised to do the shifts that are offered by the placement areas. However, many placement areas may be able to accommodate individual requests for varied shift patterns. This depends a lot on the type of service, hours of work and severity of the student’s circumstance. During the visit, students may perceive this flexibility and make such requests. However, this should be done cautiously. Thank you for reading. Written by Lauretta Ofulue. Photo credit: Pixabay

Nursing Diaries: The Placement Visit



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Initiating the placement visit The Nursing and Midwifery council regulates the practice of all nurses and midwives registered within the UK (NMC, 2015). As a result, they determine the structure of the nurse-training course in order to ensure that all students are ready to enter the register at the end of the programme. The structure of the course unlike many others is half theory and half practice. What this means is that students spend 50% of the course in the university exploring the theoretical aspects of nursing. While, other 50% of the time is spent within placement where the theory that is learnt is put into practice (NMC, 2010). In reality, the prospect of attending placements can be both an exciting and daunting prospect for most students at university especially for those in the first year. This article is aimed at students from all disciplines of nursing. When students receive placement information, the university expects them to undertake an initial placement visit. This visit is normally initiated by a phone call to the placement area by the student. Making phone calls have become very mundane tasks. However, when it comes to making the phone call to book placement visits, the author has observed that students can find the simple task very daunting. The article will consider some steps to take before and during the call to help simplify this task and to keep it as simple as it is intended to be. Before making the phone call Calm down and stay composed. At the end of the day, it is just a phone call. The people in the placement area will probably be used to having students. That means it is very likely that they are willing to help. Be organized. Look at your diary. Make sure you know the days you are expected to be at university. Take note of free days and be flexible about the time you will be available. It may be worth having your diary nearby. There is nothing more annoying than selecting a date and finding out later that you have lectures on that day. Get the phone number. Check the email for this. If it has been omitted, don’t panic. You can call the placement office. Sometimes, the phone numbers on the placement directory may be outdated. Imagine how many student placement areas organized by the placement office. You can search for the website of the placement area online. Call the switchboard and ask to be transferred to the ward or area you require. If you do not know the contact person, just ask to be linked with a mentor or staff member who manages the students. That person will most likely have specific details. Talk to other students. Find out what others are doing. Don’t isolate yourself. It is always nice to interact and get support from others within your cohort. Sometimes there may be others in your class who are posted to the same place as you. You can arrange a group visit to reduce anxiety. They may also have more up to date information about the area if they have already called or visited. During the phone call Relax and stay calm. Remember, it is just a phone call. Placement areas are filled with helpful staff who are aware of your potential anxiety. Don’t panic, if the person sounds a bit distracted. It may be a busy day within the placement area. Staff aim to be professional but being human makes them prone to error. Make your first impression count. First impressions can be daunting when you are on the phone. So use your tone of voice, pitch and calmness to help you maintain your composure. This will help you come across as confident. Write down your questions. This will save you from forgetting any information you want to know about. It may also reduce anxiety by making you more attentive and present during the conversation. Sometimes worrying about forgetting important niggling questions can be stressful. Listen. Try to listen during the conversation with the mentor or staff. Resist the temptation of talking over the person. Let them finish their sentences before you start speaking. It shows respect for the other party. Have a paper and pen to hand. This will help you write down important information during the conversation. For example details like time to attend the visit, who to ask for and so on. Ask if you need to bring in documents. Some placement areas require you to come in with your DBS clearance documents. Others may want you to bring some official identification especially if you are going into a secure service area. Take some time. Take time to recap all the information you have received during the call. This reduces the risk of omitting important information like where to go, what time to arrive, whom to see, etc. it also makes the other party know that you were listening.   In conclusion, after you have scheduled the visit, you may begin to feel less anxious because you have taken control of the situation (NHS Choices). These steps discussed above can be taken before and during the call to the placement area to prepare students for the placement learning opportunity.   References Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015) The Code. Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives. London: NMC. Nursing and Midwifery council (2010) Standards for pre-registration nursing education. London: NMC NHS Choices Thanks for reading Written by Lauretta Ofulue Photo credit: Pixabay        

Nursing Diaries: Initiating the placement visit


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Every mature student who considers restarting their studies at university knows that it can be a nerve wracking prospect. Gone are the days when we used to submit applications on paper. Technology has replaced the need for long queues and endless procedures. When I decided to train as a nurse, I was not exempted from this confusion.  By the time I made up my mind, it was late in the year. This meant that I had to use the university clearing process. I was interviewed by the university’s clearing department about my experience of the process. It was very straight forward and not as scary as I had made it up to be in my head. I hope you enjoy reading the article. Cheers guys!   Which secondary school did you attend? I attended a secondary school in Nigeria about 20 years ago now. It had been a long time since I had undertaken any health-related subjects like biology. This created a lot of anxiety for me when I decided to change my career and undertake the nurse training program at Northampton University. What course are you studying? Learning disability nursing Why did you choose the course? I decided to undertake the learning disability nursing course following the loss of my son several months earlier. He was born with a life threatening condition known as Propionic-acidaemia. In a nutshell it compromised his body’s ability to bring down his proteins leading to a build-up of toxins in his blood known as ammonia. In the end he developed severe learning disabilities and autism in addition to a host of other complications. My life revolved around his care. I managed his nutrition and medication, maintained stock control for his, equipment, supplies, feeds and drugs. Following his demise, I realised that I had unintentionally acquired lots of skills. Although they were no longer required they were still potentially relevant to others. I found myself supporting other parents like me who had children with learning disabilities. I knew that I could carry on making a difference in their lives. I could not ignore the huge gap that losing my son had created in my life. At a point I became very apprehensive because I had skills that were on the verge of being lost following his death. I had painstakingly acquired them through my journey with my son and becoming deskilled felt like losing the last link to him. Prior to birthing my son and being thrust into the world of caring, I had trained as an economist at university. With several years of experience within the financial services sector, leading and managing teams under my belt, I decided to return to work. No sooner had I returned than I discovered that I had assumed the shape of the proverbial square peg within the round hole that was my old career. I just could not fit in anymore. My life experiences have made me a different person. I wanted more. With the weight of grief and the zeal to help parents combined, I envisioned a new dream. I had lots of lived experience but lacked the professional skills to underpin my practice. As much as I wanted to help I did not want to endanger both people with learning disabilities and their families. This led me to embark on the pursuit of a new career specifically in learning disability nursing. Why did you choose clearing? By the time I decided to join the course, it is a bit late in the year. I did not know if I would meet the University criteria for nursing. However I had my First degree in Economics, my GCSEs and a few certifications. I rang the University and told them about my circumstance. The person I spoke to was very empathetic and helpful. In the end, I took their advice to apply directly through the clearing route on UCAS. What was it like? The clearing process was very straightforward. I admit there were many pages to fill out but nothing unusual for an application. I filled out the forms online and uploaded all the relevant documents. After a few weeks I was contacted and invited for an interview before which I got offered a place on the course. What is the course like? I course is absolutely amazing. The Learning disability nursing cohort is a small group. This creates a personalised experience for me as a student during lectures. Most of the lecturers know us and this helps us build a rapport that makes the course more interesting. What you enjoyed the most? I have enjoyed the ease of forming relationships. It’s really easy to get along with other students in the different branches of nursing. The lectures are delivered through interactive seminars. Our lecturers encourage student input during sessions through discussions. I have also enjoyed using the resources made available to us by the University. I have gained lots of confidence by accessing the different types of support available within the University for Example the Learning development team, Personal academic tutor, Student support and much more. What would you say to someone who might not get the A-level grades they’d hoped for, but still want to go to uni? I will say don’t give up until you ring the university. It’s worth discussing the different options with the admissions team. In my personal experience I found them to be very approachable and easy to talk to. Although the process of filling out forms might feel a bit daunting, the fact that help is just a phone call away makes a big difference.   Here’s the article on the university website. It’s an abridged version. If you know the press like I do, they only use the best bits out of a long interview. Please click on the link to see it yourself. Thanks for reading. Written by Lauretta Ofulue Photo credit; Pixabay

Nursing Diaries: How did the university admission process go?



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I wish that university were all about attending lectures, meeting new people and attending different school social events. Sadly wishes are not horses in real life therefore I cannot have such a free ride through the university education. Assessments happen at university to give students the opportunity to evidence the fact that they have understood every learning outcome proposed by the module leader at the start of the programme. When I first began the nursing programme, I realised after a few lectures that I would have many assessments. Some were examinations, essays and even practical. There never seemed to be enough time to study. We had lectures nearly four times a week initially. As a mature student I still had my family, work and personal commitments to balance against that. I also had to be prepared for the lectures. There was no use attending a class without adequate preparation. That just made it difficult to get the best out of the interactive sessions on offer. In no time, I began to struggle. I fell behind on schoolwork and I knew I could not meet up with the demands of university unless I made some changes. It became apparent that I had to make sacrifices, compromises and tough choices if I wanted to succeed. Below are a few tips that helped me along the way Acknowledge your struggle It is quite normal to feel lost as a student. From the perspective of being a parent-student, it feels more daunting. As a parent, there is the assumption that you will always know what to do when things get tough. However, this is not always the case. It is alright to acknowledge that you cannot always have the answers. Fighting the feeling by refusing to confront the reality of school becoming overwhelming can be like struggling in quicksand. It almost always ends one way- with you sinking deeper and deeper. Realising that you will remain at a loss unless things change is always a good first step.   Talk to other students It really helps when you ask other students about their experience of university. Sometimes it can make your feelings less alienating. It was such a relief to hear that other students in my cohort were experiencing the same challenges as me. It provided the opportunity for us to share ideas. I learnt from them what was working and felt more confident about trying to make my studies work. Attend university support events While it seems obvious, in reality, support events organised by the university can sometimes feel like an additional task to add to an already over squeezed time. However, I found them to be very helpful. At University of Northampton, there are many sessions offered to students by the learning development/library team. They teach time management, timetabling, note-making, rest and self-reward yourself to sustain your interest and motivation. Come up with a plan. Sometimes, plans are easier to view when they are written down. Something called “being organised” happens when you write out all you have to do. It really makes sense. By the time you know all that needs doing and balance that against the time you have available to achieve them, it becomes a bit easier to come up with a plan. Such a plan may be as simple as prioritising your activities, changing work shift patterns, cutting down on housework, parties, accepting more help from family and friends. These little strategies can make a big difference to your ability to cope better with the demands of university. Create time for study Spreading out activities through the week instead of cramping them all up into a day gets them done at a slow and less exhausting pace. Doing too much in a day can be overwhelming and tiring. However, spreading activities through the week can free up time within the day for studies. For example, many mature students find that they sometimes try to do all their housework and have no time to study. They find that by undertaking a little housework at a time or delegating tasks to others they free up time that can be used to rest or study.   Study smart Being a smart studier is not just about having big brains. It is also about learning to make the best out of the pockets of time you spend studying. There is really no use reading for hours when you are not clear about what the focus of the study would be. Being more specific about what needs doing ensures that you maximise every available study time that you create. Having a timetable or essay plan can be helpful. Referring to learning outcomes for each topic also helps to focus your study. The learning outcomes are the module leader’s way of telling you what you should be learning within the subject. It is also their way of telling you what will be assessed. Academic study has to be specific to be effective. Use your reading lists When you first start the course after a long study break, getting to grips with how to use the physical library, electronic library or how to get relevant study materials can be daunting. Referring to the reading list provided for the module you are studying can help save time. The reference lists within relevant books in the reading lists can also provide books with higher likelihood of relevance to your study. Make an appointment with the academic librarians If you are really struggling, make an appointment to see the academic librarian. They are happy to give direction and answer questions related to using the online library, essay writing and other academic skills. They have flexible appointments that can be either Skype or face to face. Every little always helps When you are a student sometimes you need some more non- academic help along the way. It can be in form of kind offers of assistance from family and friends to help take some of the strain off. A good […]

Nursing Diaries: Lessons from my first year


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Waterside With the start of the new session came the long awaited move to waterside. It was to be the meet to all our learning expectations- from state of the art lecture solutions, to equipment and even ambience. It also promised to be a grand site in terms of space and facilities.   We made our way to the new parking facility in town. I could not help but notice the ease of transferring from my vehicle into the park and ride bus. It was an amazingly well thought out arrangement by the university. The bus stop shared the same fence as the parking lot. That reduced the bus-catching anxiety I had been experiencing during the summer holidays each time I thought about waterside.   Once at uni, the wifi initially seemed to have a mind of its own. New site hiccups! Some of the equipment in the lecture halls had not been completely set up. I felt like I was part of the new university history that was unfolding. It was nice to witness when some of the lecturers tore off the plastic from the brand new white boards in the classrooms. We all sat in silence like children waiting for lollies to be distributed.   Each floor in our building, The learning hub, belonged to various faculties, all the different floors had their own libraries and lecture halls. So no longer did we have to go to the library, the library had come to us! It was such a clever and more convenient solution to borrowing books. Waterside was exciting.   Then came the turn of our lecturers. They appeared curious about how to weigh our expectations because they kept asking us what we thought about the new campus?   So here is my answer…   In just a few words, I can only describe it as breath taking.   But why use a few words to describe such a masterpiece?   To find such beauty interwoven within a busy bustling town centre filled with various attractions is unbelievable.   I decided to explore the campus and ventured out on foot. During the walk I witnessed the natural artistry provided by the proximity of the school to the popular river Nene. Splashes of colours were provided by the greens trees, grasses, grey stones, droopy trees that touch the lake surrounding the school ever caressingly. It evoked an ecstatic feeling within me of being lost in the beauty of nature.   I walked past another view of the university as I entered from the lock where I witnessed architectural grandeur and craftsmanship. A solid wood-like bridge took me through different shades of green and brown coloured leaves accented by a touch of the autumn. Although, I was walking across it with my own two feet, the refreshing feeling of being amidst nature made me feel like I was sailing across river Nene with the bridge as a sort of immobile mode of transport. The breeze on my skin, refreshed my endless walk around the new campus as i explored the views on display.   The buildings towered around delicately all fitting into the jigsaw puzzle of serenity that the school had so painstakingly designed. There were the creative and learning hubs all towering above. They had a classy business like feel that reminded one of their rightful place within the campus as hubs that would warehouse lots of faculties and departments. With time, no longer would university of Northampton be a school of many campuses because finally most departments were to coexist alongside one another in the new campus. There were also shops, a post office, coffee bars and little pockets of relaxation spread around the buildings to keep students refreshed in different ways.   The ambience and calm as one walked around proposed a lot of support for learning, assimilation and reflection. Things advertised by the university as what waterside was all about.   At the end of my walk, I reconsidered my initial reservations about the omission of the car park from the new campus. What my leisurely walk had revealed to me was the wisdom in that decision by the university. Within the first week of resumption, I felt like I had walked more than I had managed to do in the past couple of months. That was definitely good for me.   I also discovered that the commute by bus from the well designed free car parking had enabled me take in the beautiful city of Northampton where I had been learning for the past year and never even had the time to explore. I have now finally seen the rich town whose beauty testifies to its age, culture and history. Thank you for reading You can click here to see my views about the university on BBC Look east England. Read the article on the university website Written by Lauretta Ofulue

Nursing Diaries: The new campus by the Waterside



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Unlike most branches of nursing, people with learning disabilities are not sick, neither are they in need of treatment to get well. They are just very wonderful and brave people like you and I making the best of their lives despite the physical or intellectual challenges they may have. It is fair to say that as a result, people with learning disabilities can be found within all walks of life. As a Learning Disability Nursing student, I am certainly kept busy. Monday – lectures and seminars Within a typical week I do many things, but of course I have lectures throughout the week. These are always a relaxed opportunity to learn from very experienced staff. The sessions can vary in terms of structure, content and length. They comprise mainly seminar style sessions where lecturers deliver presentations that educate us about the theoretical underpinnings required for effective practice. It is also always fun at the University and interact with other members of the cohort. They are a lively bunch of people who spice up the classes with discussions and laughter! Lectures provide the chance for us to share our experiences and interact amongst one another during sessions in a respectful way. This cross-pollination of ideas gives us the chance to expand our learning by gaining from other people’s experiences. During lectures, we are able to provide feedback about aspects of theory that are difficult to implement within the different settings we find ourselves during placements. The lecturers in turn use their knowledge and experiences to support us by providing us with helpful strategies to help us improve. Tuesday – simulation exercises and life-saving skills The University of Northampton has simulation suites where we are taught the hands-on, practical aspects of nursing. For example, we learn how to give injections and perform basic life support for adults and children using dummies. We are also taught how to carry out observations like temperature, blood pressure and check heart rates. I find these sessions extremely useful because they provide me with the chance to practice these essential skills safely. The idea of learning and practicing with dummies feels less unnerving. I would not possibly have acquired the skills by performing them first on human beings rather than dummies because of the trial and error element that can occur when acquiring new skills. Wednesday & Thursday – placements The most interesting part of the week comes during the placement. Learning disability nursing students have the privilege of being placed within very varied settings. The nature of each setting depends on where the needs of people with learning disabilities are being met. Today, I found myself sitting in the park accompanying clients alongside members of staff. And guess what we were doing? Soaking up the sunshine after another intense but rewarding day! Earlier on, I had supported the clients with their personal care as well as their nutritional and medication needs. Within the activities involved in meeting these different needs, came the chance to learn from experienced staff and to practice performing them to the high standards I was taught at university based on the regulatory expectations. Friday – developing communications skills The hard work of personalising the care I provide based on the patient’s wishes takes a lot of psychological input. Listening to and communicating with clients are both exhausting and rewarding exercises. However, nothing beats getting it just as right as the client desires. These are skills that come with the practice and exposure of being within a setting, because they cannot be simulated. Luckily, the theoretical skills provided during today’s University session keeps my communication toolbox well equipped. On different days, I perform different roles within my placement. This is in addition to the ones I mentioned earlier and may involve accompanying clients to appointments, keeping them entertained and supporting clients to perform activities that are important to them. The good news is that within the placement area, I am assigned a mentor who supports and structures my learning experience. There is also a University-linked tutor who visits the practice periodically to direct my learning and make sure all is going well. My personal academic tutor is also on hand to provide guidance. As a result I feel well supported and never pressured. The weekend – time for some ‘R & R’ Finally, my days off have become all the more precious now because of my busy schedule. I end my week relaxing with family and friends. I learnt about the value of time management, rest and reward during a session organised by the learning and development team at the University. As much as the pressures of family life and endless responsibilities weigh heavily on me as a mature student, ensuring that I strike the right balance means that I am able to fully recharge myself physically, mentally and psychologically. I enjoy watching movies, listening to music and dancing in my spare time. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! You can click this here to read the post on my uni website For more about the LD Nursing course at University of Northampton, see their website. To follow my nursing diary please click here. Written by Lauretta Ofulue

Nursing Diaries- A week in the life of a Learning Disability nursing student


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Lauretta decided to use her personal experience of being mother to a child called Otito who had a learning disability (LD) to good use helping parents in a similar situation by coming to University of Northampton this year and training to become an LD nurse. She blogs about why this branch of nursing is a profession you might want to consider… Being there for people I became a student nurse out of a desire to carry on supporting people with learning disabilities and their families. Someone asked me: why Learning Disability nursing? Well, my answer was quite simple. I want to be there for that mum, dad or person who is living with very complex health needs. I want to give a voice to those people in society who are easily overlooked because they understand the world in a different way. I want to help others understand and uphold the rights of people with learning disabilities and their families. I see the care I will provide as a privilege. Families who have loved ones with learning disabilities are very protective of them because of their vulnerability. Becoming a Learning Disability nurse means that I will be trained specifically to look after people with learning disabilities. I believe it to be a position of trust that gives a family the confidence to delegate the care of their loved one to someone else who will understand the unique needs of their loved one and their family as a whole. I believe strongly that the fact that a person cannot understand or express their needs in the usual fashion does not diminish their opinion. I want to support and encourage them to make their own choices and help others learn to make adjustments to accommodate their needs. The course so far The learning environment at the University of Northampton is very friendly. There is an atmosphere of real interaction that the lecturers create during the seminars. Students are encouraged to contribute during sessions and the camaraderie among us is excellent! We are able to interact with other members of the cohort irrespective of their discipline. From the onset, the philosophy of “being brilliant” nurses is instilled in us – the sessions provide the opportunity for students to exercise their tolerance, respect and professionalism while contributing or addressing one another during sessions. I have made many friends both within learning disability nursing and the wider nursing cohort. This is also helpful because our relationships provide the opportunity to cross-pollinate ideas, ask questions and sometimes just chat. The lectures are excellent. They give us the opportunity to acquire the theoretical knowledge that forms the basis for the things we see in practice. It answers many of the questions about why procedures are performed. The lecturers give us essays and assignments that encourage us to search the literature further for evidence. The interactive nature of the sessions means that we learn more. When other students ask questions, we are able to expand our understanding through contributions from different members of the cohort. It improves our critical thinking as nurses which is an essential skill all nurses have to possess. As nurses, we are taught to question what we do so that we can use the best and most up to date evidence when delivering care to our patients. We have simulation sessions. They are very helpful because they provide us with the opportunity to practice on dummies. This remote practice allows us to learn without worrying about hurting an actual person. It gives us the confidence to undertake supervised procedures while in practice. Nursing placements The nursing programme includes attendance of placement learning opportunities in different institutions. These include the NHS, schools as well as other private and voluntary sectors. There is an excellent preparatory week to ease us gradually into placement. Students are told what to expect and allowed to ask questions about their concerns. There is also the student support team who attend the sessions to reassure students and offer support. They provide links to various types of support including academic, financial and psychological support. During placements, the University links us in with lecturers who follow us in practice to provide support. They are friendly, helpful and easy to talk to. They also provide technical support for our online practice portfolio. Challenges met and tackled Mostly, this was time management. As a mature student, it can be very difficult to manage the work, life balance. At the start of the course, the University offered support for this through the learning development team and it was very helpful. We were taught about how simple things like time tabling, making notes and maximising the times we spent reading made a difference to our study. I also learnt the importance of rest, leisure and self-reward. Removal of the nursing bursary It was very sad when the announcement was made about the bursary withdrawal. However, my reason for joining the course was not material. I really wanted to earn a living by making a difference in another person’s life. As far as I was concerned, it was a little hurdle to overcome. I did not let it stop me. I came in to the course with a lot of lived experience as a parent-carer and I hoped that it would make a difference to caring for others. After my son passed away, I began supporting other families who had loved ones with learning disabilities. However, I knew that what I lacked was the theory to underpin my practice. Coming to university means that I can gain the skills needed to back up the knowledge I possess as a result of my lived experience. I also hope that my lived experience allows me to empathise easily with those that I care for in future because I too understand how it feels to be on the receiving end of care. My hope is to help transform the care that people with learning disabilities and their families get. Should I become […]

Nursing Diaries- Why I decided to become a Learning Disability nurse