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Learning disability nurse: Job description

Learning disability nurses support people with learning disabilities to maintain their health and wellbeing within a wider social context. They help people of all ages to live their lives as fully and independently as possible, while respecting their rights and dignity.

Learning disability nurses work with service users and patients and their families and carers to assess their needs and draw up care plans, monitoring the implementation of recommendations. They work in multidisciplinary teams with other nurses and health and social welfare professionals to help people with learning disabilities with basic living skills and social activities to ensure they lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

Typical work activities

The focus of learning disabilities nursing is on influencing behaviours and lifestyles to enable a vulnerable group to achieve optimum health. The aim is that they should be able to live as equal citizens in an inclusive society where their rights are respected.

Learning disability nurses have the knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities to work in partnership with people of all ages who have learning disabilities, and with their families and carers, in order to help them to develop individually and fulfil their potential in all aspects of their lives, irrespective of their disabilities.

Learning disability nurses are mainly based in community or supported living settings.

Tasks typically involve:

  • using expert communication skills to engage with vulnerable people;
  • interpreting and understanding behaviour and evidence-based outcomes to develop individual care packages;
  • coordinating healthcare reviews/care plans with other health and social welfare professionals, and completing appropriate paperwork;
  • organising home visits and attending GP clinic appointments to monitor and discuss progress with service users, their carers and their GP;
  • planning activities, social events and holidays with service users (in supported living settings);
  • liaising with hospital admissions staff to plan patients' care needs on admission and discharge (e.g. housing and medication);
  • advocating on behalf of people with learning disabilities and encouraging self-advocacy;
  • carrying out group work with service users and patients on issues such as problem-solving, anxiety management, healthy living and behaviour management;
  • supporting staff and carers in the community;
  • organising emergency admissions;
  • completing management plans and reports;
  • assisting with tests, evaluations and observations;
  • teaching students and/or training health and social care colleagues;
  • maintaining awareness of local community activities and opportunities;
  • supporting the agenda for equality and equal access to all community and public services;
  • campaigning to ensure better healthcare outcomes and services for people with learning disabilities.
 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
June 2012
 

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