How I make the emergency department less daunting for people with learning disabilities
Lauren Johnston describes her work in a pioneering nursing role
For patients with learning disabilities and/or autism, visiting a hospital’s emergency department (ED) can be an especially frightening experience. To address this issue, a Merseyside trust has become one of the first in the UK to introduce a new nursing post to support vulnerable patients when in the ED.
‘Our department is busy and noisy, and sometimes people wait several hours to be seen. That’s distressing for all of us, but especially for someone with additional needs who requires time to collect their thoughts and realise that people are there to help them,’ says Lauren Johnston, a newly qualified learning disability nurse working exclusively in the ED at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, part of Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Making the emergency department a positive experience...
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