The experts view: what does it take to make a great Learning Disability nurse?

News Page 14th June 2018

Dawn and Angela from Get on Board, the Northampton LD Partnership Board, help train University of Northampton LD nursing students and told us what qualities they look for in LD nurses.

What’s the best thing about your LD nurse?

Dawn: She always makes eye contact; this is really important for me. It’s not nice or respectful if people look away when we are talking to them.

My nurse also does some of my care, she comes in to help with things like cleaning and she helps sometimes when I cook.

Angela: The thing is, they really listen to you and they are always on time. If you need extra time, they give you that. And if my nurse changes the day when she is coming to see me, she lets me know.

I have other people who come in to help me, but my nurse makes sure they all talk to each other.

Last year, my Mum died and I was really upset about this but my nurse helped me to get some counselling to talk about this. I might not have done this without her suggestion.

One thing the nurse helped me with was with my medication. I got muddled up one week but the nurse got me onto a different way of sorting them. I wasn’t comfy doing this at first, but she helped me and it makes it easier for me. I don’t get confused anymore.

If we have problems, we need someone to talk to. Sometimes, we use sign language, so it’s important we have someone who can sign.

How do you feel when your LD nurse comes to visit?

Dawn: She makes me feel at ease, I can open up to her and talk about things. It’s really important as there are private things I want to talk about. If she wasn’t there, I wouldn’t know who to talk to.

Angela: She’s easy to talk to and makes me feel comfortable. If she wasn’t there, I’d feel lost. I wouldn’t be able to talk to people like I do to her. I might not go out as much.

What qualities do you need to be an LD nurse? What questions would you ask them?

Angela: Would you be on time, would you help us to get to our appointments? My nurse really helps because she explains things to me, especially appointments!

Are you kind and respectful? Will you listen and have patience with us?

Dawn: I’d ask what makes you want to be a nurse? Are you passionate about helping? And do you really care about people? The nurses I’ve met are really passionate about people and helping.

What would you say if someone said you were too independent and didn’t need a nurse?

Angela: But I can only do things on my own because I have my nurse. I don’t need her all the time, but I really appreciate her when she’s there!

Dawn: My nurse has taught me a lot, especially since my Dad died a few years ago. I’ve had a lot of changes since then. I didn’t see my nurse a lot before that, but then I needed help. I would struggle without my nurse being there.

Why do we need more LD nurses? How would you convince someone to be an LD nurse?

Angela: Well, you need the right skills! You’ll be happy that you’ve filled in the course application form, it’s a good thing to be an LD nurse. Do you have confidence and are you helpful?

Best of all, you will be meeting nice people – like me!

Dawn: Are you friendly and passionate about helping? It will make you feel happy that you have helped us. You will be learning new skills. You’ll be able to help us make things happen so we are more independent – you’ll help empower us.

Are you interested in Learning Disability nursing? See our website for more.

For more about Get On Board, see their website.

They can also be contacted on Twitter: @LDPBNorthants

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