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25 Jul 2016 21 Respondents
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By Jean Shapcott
Apprentice (220 XP)
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Student story 1.2: Jack

Student story 1.2: Jack

Jack is a first year Learning Disability nursing student. He worked as a support worker in Learning Disabilities prior to commencing his nursing course.

Jack is 33 years old; he took quite a while to work out what he wanted to do in life. He started a sociology degree, but felt it wasn't for him and did not complete the course. He has had a number of jobs in sales, but again, felt that it wasn't right for him. A friend who worked as a residential social worker in a community facility for people with physical and learning disabilities suggested Jack tried working in the care industry. He started by doing some agency shifts and found that he really enjoyed the work, feeling it to be more socially meaningful than anything he had done previously.

Along the way he has acquired a partner and a small child, so his decision to enter nurse training is a bit of a short term sacrifice, but he and his partner have talked it through. He hopes it will lead to a fulfilling long term career and a good means of supporting his family.

Jack is enjoying the teaching and mixing with like-minded students on his course. He has been on a couple of placements in Learning Disability settings prior to this one, which he feels went well, but have also served to reinforce the idea that there remains much to be done to achieve more equality and respect for people with learning disabilities. Jack is very aware of the tendency for people to ignore the person with a learning disability and instead address the carer.

Jack is currently undertaking his 'taster' placement on a surgical ward in a district general hospital. He and his mentor have been asked to care for Phoebe who is 18 years old and has Downs Syndrome. Phoebe has had recurrent bouts of tonsillitis and has been admitted to the ward to have her tonsils removed. Her mother visits Phoebe as often as visiting hours allow and Jack's mentor has told Jack that he needs to prepare Phoebe's mother for her daughter's surgery. When Jack asked what information he needed to give Phoebe in order to ensure that she was ready for the operation, his mentor told him it would be a waste of time as 'she wouldn't understand anyway'. Jack feels very uncomfortable with this.

It is proposed that Jack should not only prepare Phoebe's mother for her daughter's surgery, but should also use the skills of a Learning Disability nursing student to prepare Phoebe herself for her operation