Learning to brag about nursing

Overcoming our reticence to shout about our successes will benefit the profession and our patients, says Victoria Jones

Overcoming our reticence to shout about our successes will benefit the profession and our patients, says Victoria Jones.

Abstract

As an undergraduate I wrote a diploma-level account of how men and women with learning disabilities understand self-harm. I suggested that by ‘trying on a different hat’, in this case, one from mental health services, we could better understand and work with people perceived to be challenging when they are actually just trying to communicate.

The paper spent years on my shelf, occasionally coming out for a specific client when someone was struggling with their self-harm. The sad truth is that, 12 years later, when the paper was updated and offered for publication, it was still novel enough to be published (Jones et al 2004). That was 12 wasted years when people with learning disabilities who self-harm may have been better understood. Of course, the challenge continues: how many support workers have read that article?

Arguably, through not sharing our ‘new knowledge’, many learning disability nursing students, practitioners and academics demonstrate problem-maintaining behaviour. Our knowledge should be shared, celebrated and shouted about in the right places so that it can affect the lives of the people we serve.

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This article was first published in print in Learning Disability Practice: 2 September 2015, volume 18, issue 7.

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