Our clinical nursing articles aim to inform and educate nurse practitioners and students. This is achieved through the publication of peer-reviewed, evidence-based, relevant and topical articles.
Transforming care: negotiating the complex discharge process
Why you should read this article • To understand how people with a learning disability may be at an increased risk of Helicobacter pylori infection • To increase your knowledge of actions you can take to reduce the risk of spread of H. pylori infection • To learn about how to improve staff knowledge of H. pylori infection, including signs and symptoms Background Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that lives in the stomach’s gastric mucosa layer. H. pylori is a carcinogen that increases the risk of stomach and duodenum ulcers, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and stomach cancer. Prevalence rates of H. pylori are higher in people with a learning disability than in the general population; however, despite the increased risk of H. pylori in people with a learning disability there is a lack of literature that applies specifically to this population and their families or carers. Aim To explore issues related to the diagnosis and treatment of H. pylori in people with a learning disability by examining the attitudes, beliefs, experiences and behaviours of staff working with people with a learning disability who are undergoing assessment and/or treatment for H. pylori. Another aim of this study was to understand the barriers to using preventive strategies, completing assessments and treating H. pylori in people with a learning disability. Method Focus groups were conducted with 16 staff members from two learning disability services. Before the focus groups, staff members were sent an information sheet with facts about H. pylori in people with a learning disability. Transcribed focus group discussions were analysed to identify themes. Results Staff reported issues with identifying accurate prevalence figures for H. pylori in people with a learning disability in their services due to the limited number of people who had undergone assessment. Identifying the signs and symptoms of H. pylori was also challenging for staff due to communication difficulties with people with a learning disability, or because the individual had minor symptoms or was asymptomatic. Other staff said that symptoms could be attributed to the side effects of medicines. Staff believed that people with a learning disability should be treated for H. pylori, given the associated risks of the bacterium, but that the lack of guidance on re-testing after treatment meant it was challenging to incorporate re-testing into care planning. Conclusion Little consideration has been given to the presence of H. pylori in people with a learning disability over the past decade, despite the fact it is an important health concern that can be identified and treated. Staff, carers and people with a learning disability should discuss with their GP having a blood, stool or breath test to check for H. pylori. Adding assessment for H. pylori to annual health checks will ensure screening becomes routine and may reduce complications or signs and symptoms, such as reflux and bloating.
People’s experiences can be improved by ensuring a smooth transition to inpatient care
Evaluating a functional assessment for people with an LD and behaviour that challenges
This article describes a group intervention that took place primarily in a healthcare setting
Why you should read this article • To enhance your awareness of how online networking can enhance your practice • To gain knowledge of the benefits of using social media for nursing students and nurses • To understand how being a member of a professional network group can provide learning disability nursing students with opportunities to develop and practise leadership skills Changes in health and social care, the complex health needs of the learning disability population and diversification of learning disability nursing roles have led to an increased need for professional networking. This can assist nurses and nursing students in communicating effectively with each other, developing professional connections and sharing optimal practice and expertise worldwide. This article describes the experience of a group of learning disability nursing students who collaborated with the Scottish Learning Disability Nursing Network steering group to promote online networking among their peers and nurses. It also outlines the role of the learning disability nursing students in this collaboration and how it has enhanced their leadership skills, as well as describing the benefits of professional online networking.
Some children and young people with a learning disability also present with behaviour that challenges, which can require significant care input from their parents or carers. Without specialist skilled support to meet the needs of these children and young people, behaviour that challenges can continue through adolescence and into adulthood. This article explores the development of a family training programme in one NHS trust, which aimed to provide the parents and carers of children and young people with a learning disability with safe strategies to manage behaviour that challenges. The training programme assisted parents and carers to develop confidence in managing behaviour that challenges and improved the quality of life of children and young people with a learning disability.
Reflexivity can be used by researchers to manage their thoughts, feelings and preconceptions
Exploring the evidence base for mindfulness-based interventions for people with LDs
Supporting and mentoring learning disability nursing students can be rewarding for all parties, but the challenge is to ensure that the process is robust and effective. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards for entry to the register require that all nursing students are competent in the four domains of professional values; communication and interpersonal skills; nursing practice and decision-making; and leadership, management and team working. Providing nursing students with the opportunity to practise and become competent in these domains formed the basis of the Telford model’s development. This article describes the model and explains how it works in practice, using the experiences of nursing students and their mentors. The article also shows how implementing the model can improve students’ competence and confidence while increasing placement capacity, which easily matches the new NMC standards to support learning and assessment in practice.
The benefits of a communication forum specifically in support of community reintegration
A look at Batten disease, a collection of rare and fatal inherited disorders of the nervous system