How nursing students can empower professionals
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How nursing students can empower professionals

Anita Goldschmied Joint nursing and social work student, Sheffield Hallam University
Alex McClimens Researcher in health and social care, Sheffield Hallam University

Anita Goldschmied and Alex McClimens explain how learning disability nurses can draw on the experiences of students on placements to improve their practice

With the deregulation of services, people with learning disabilities are now looked after across a wider range of organisations and by a wider range of care workers than ever before. In these situations, the fresh observations and reflections of nursing students on practice placements can be particularly beneficial in discerning gaps between theory and practice, and identifying potential courses of action to improve services for people with learning disabilities. For example, it appears that some professionals, highly skilled in their own disciplines, remain uncertain when delivering care to individuals with learning disability. This is partly due to a persistently confused use of terminology when referring to learning disability, because terms and their meanings tend to vary between disciplines. The unintended consequences of suboptimal care point to the need for careful learning disability awareness training across disciplines and throughout provider organisations. The authors advocate a single vision of care with a shared language if the support and treatment of people with learning disability is to improve.

Learning Disability Practice. 18, 2, 23-27. doi: 10.7748/ldp.18.2.23.e1615


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 01 November 2014

Accepted: 09 January 2015

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