Jack Souter is a third-year Learning Disability Nursing student. A few weeks ahead of qualifying and starting his new job, he spoke to us about why learning disability nursing matters, both to him and his patients.
In his own words
Why did you choose to study Learning Disability Nursing?
Jack: I used to work at a kids club and some of the kids we got in through the door had Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, different levels of disability. And I've also got an uncle who has a learning disability and just through his experiences in hospital and things like that I thought, I could be a better nurse than some of the people he worked with a long time ago.
What has been an experience that proved to you that you'd made the right choice?
Jack: When I was out in the community I had the opportunity to visit this man with Down’s syndrome and dementia. He was living in a care home and his needs weren't being met at all – he wasn't being looked after very well. And I think through me understanding the nature of his learning disability and the health needs that come along with having a learning disability, with help from a doctor, I was able to lead an intervention that got him out of that care home into hospital to get treatment. And then I actually bumped into that doctor on Portobello promenade and she told me that he's back at home and doing really well – so I think when you hear a story like that, it makes you feel really positive about what you're doing.
What are the benefits of studying Learning Disability Nursing in particular?
Jack: We work with children and adults – at Napier we cover the whole lifespan. And I think the benefit of working with people with learning disabilities is that we get to work with people for a longer period of time so we build up really great relationships with our clients because we know them for so long.