Helpful beyond words
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Helpful beyond words

Ewout van Sabben @Ewout1985 Children’s nursing student, University of West London, The Student Nurse Project

Nursing student Ewout van Sabben is devising a way to support nurses to communicate with patients who have complex needs

During a clinical placement on a children’s ward in my third year of training, I helped to care for a 12-year-old boy with autism, whom I will call James. He had been admitted following a prolonged period of distress and self-harming, and was due to be discharged that day. He had been calm for most of the shift, but the moment he was told he could leave the ward he started lashing out. Nothing the nurses, play specialists or his sister said calmed him.

Nursing Standard. 33, 1, 19-19. doi: 10.7748/ns.33.1.19.s10

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