Caring beyond the bedside
As learning disabilities lead for a local council, I work with providers of health and social care to ensure that people with chronic conditions receive the best possible care and avoid hospital admissions where possible.
I was recently made a Queen’s Nurse, a title awarded to outstanding community nurses by the Queen’s Nursing Institute.
Around 60% of adults in the UK have a chronic condition and most have several underlying conditions. People with learning disabilities, which is often accompanied by epilepsy and mental health problems, have the additional burdens of stigma and discrimination. A nurse’s role includes raising awareness that medical conditions do not define a person and supporting people to make informed decisions about treatment.
The role does not end at the bedside. Nurses should maintain a large client support network, and try to influence health and social care policymakers and budget holders.
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