Learning Disability Nursing at a Glance PDF

Learning Disability Nursing at a Glance PDF



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Preface

It is with enormous pride that we offer this new and exciting book – Learning Disability Nursing at a Glance; one that is in a series of popular nursing texts. The aim of this book is to provide learning disability nursing students with user-friendly, contemporary information in relation to some of the key clinical practice issues that they may encounter when working with people with learning disabilities. At the outset we need to make clear our use of terminology in this text. Generally speaking within the UK, the term ‘learning disability’ is used to describe people with significant developmental delay that results in arrested or incomplete achievement of the ‘normal’ milestones of human development. The term ’learning disabilities’ is also used elsewhere throughout the world, but it holds different meanings in many other countries; paradoxically so too in the UK. It is this difference in meaning that causes confusion to, what we hope, will be an international audience of readers. Elsewhere in the world alternative terms to ‘learning disability’ are used, such as ‘mental retardation’, and ‘mental handicap’, but these terms are felt to portray negative imagery concerning people with learning disabilities. There are more positive international terms in use, such as ‘intellectual disability’ and ‘developmental disability’ but we have decided to adopt the consistent use of a term which we believe seems most appropriate to this text, and for the readership, as well as those who this book is principally about, and that is ‘learning disability’. Therefore, throughout the remainder of this book we will only use the term learning disability, save where certain Acts and, or, other technical works require other terminology for accuracy.
The text has been edited using expert contributions from learning disability academic staff as well as clinicians. While there are currently a number of texts available that describe nursing practice from an adult perspective, there are few that deal with practice specifically related to people with learning disabilities. And indeed fewer still that address the needs of people with learning disabilities across the life spectrum, from children through to adolescents and on to adults and older people. Also, many of the current texts related to people with learning disabilities that are available tend to deal with the subject of learning disabilities, rather than learning disability nursing; this book does both. Uniquely, the book is aimed at health and social care students, as well as registered nurses, but will be of use to a wide range of other students from a wide variety of vocational, academic and professional backgrounds, and other fields of nursing. Principally the book is intended to provide nursing students with material that is accessible, up to date, and readily available. The text addresses the principles underpinning contemporary learning disability nursing practice that students are likely to encounter, and these are discussed in the context of maintaining health and well being. And in order to reflect the contemporary field of learning disability nursing practice, the text embraces both primary and secondary care perspectives. Learning disability nurses can now be found working and supporting people in diverse care contexts, such as community learning disability teams, treatment and assessment services, outreach services, residential settings, day care and respite services, health facilitation and hospital liaison roles, mental health and, or, challenging behaviour services, special schools and specialist services for people who can be located on the spectrum of autistic conditions. Additionally, they can be found working for many different agencies and organisations, such as health, social care, education and the independent sector (this comprises the private, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations), and also alongside numerous other professional disciplines that include clinical psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, and consultant psychiatrists in learning disabilities as well as a range of professionals within mainstream health, social services and education. Given this complexity, there is need for a text that holds an overarching aim of helping learning disability nursing students understand fundamental aspects of their practice, in order to provide safe, effective and compassionate care to people with learning disabilities in a variety of situations. From an academic perspective, there is often a lot of support available to learning disability nursing students for their academic assessment and progression. However, when in practice, learning disability nursing students may find themselves being supervised from a distance and, as such, this proposed text could accompany them in a variety of settings to assist their integration of theory and practice. This text is based upon the principles of care; a foundation text to encourage the learning disability nursing student to grow and develop.


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