Understanding The Needs of Patients With Learning Disabilities

The authors specify the dents in the current nursing approach toward patients with learning disabilities (PLD). Much to the authors’ credit, they identify the effects that the current framework has on every single aspect of the patients’ lives.

Drozd and Clinch (2016) make it quite clear that in spite of the inclusion philosophy that has been promoted in nursing over the past few decades, the needs of patients with learning disabilities have been ignored, at best, and misinterpreted, at worst. The portrayal of the issues that the target members of the population have when accessing healthcare services can be viewed as the most convincing and a very well put together elements of the research. Thus, the authors specify the dents in the current nursing approach toward people with learning disabilities (PLD). Much to the authors’ credit, they identify the effects that the current framework has on every single aspect of the patients’ lives. In addition, various implications for the nursing facilities, including the legal ones, are detailed.

It could be argued that Drozd and Clinch (2016) could have used a better focus on the outcomes that the strategy proposed by them is going to have on the well-being of the patients, as well as on the functioning of the nursing facilities. Moreover, although the idea of using auxiliary services seems very sensible, the tools for making the change and transferring to a new quality level have not been identified.

Despite several problems in the overall design of the strategy that can be used to improve the nursing services for PLD, Drozd and Clinch (2016) make a very valid point by stressing the significance of a change in the focus of the services. Isolating the needs of the target audience and tending to them so that PLD could receive the necessary support is a necessity at present, as it will create prerequisites for designing new therapy approaches.

Serving as a link between the community and the patients with disabilities, disability liaison nurses (DLN) can be considered of crucial significance in the therapy process, research by Gates and Snooden (2013) states. The authors insist that the outcomes of their study point clearly to the need to introduce PLD to the services of DLN so that the learning process could occur at a faster pace and that the patients could become more active in their communication with their community members. To be more accurate, the liaison framework serves as the foil for the mental capacity processes to speed up; as a result, the related issues are resolved at a much faster pace. In addition, the forming of a liaison can be viewed as the prerequisite for implementing holistic care, which is crucial in the progress of PLD.

The fact that Gates and Sooden (2013) focus on the effects that a comparatively recent approach has on the patients, as well as delineate the ways, in which it helps address the current issues in PLD care, can be considered a significant advantage. The authors of the study make it quite evident that the access-related problems that PLD typically have when searching for professional help can be easily avoided as long as the support of a DLN is provided to the identified patients. Moreover, the array of domains that the researchers cover in their analysis, including the ones linked to mental health, prescribed medications, chronic illnesses, etc., is beyond impressive. Although the possible nurse burnout issue should have been addressed, the study can be deemed as quite impressive. Therefore, the paper can be viewed as an essential addition to the literature on the subject matter.

McArthur et al. (2015) focuse on the provision of the corresponding nursing services to the PLD of a rather specific kind. The authors talk about male representatives of the target population, mentioning the outcomes of the Getting It Right program and indicating that the access to information is the primary focus of Learning Disability Liaison Nurses (LDLN).

The significance of the study as a contribution to the understanding of the needs of people with disabilities cannot possibly be underrated since the study evaluates the effects of the most recent program and the latest approaches designed to meet the needs of PLD. For instance, the research findings emphasize the need for collaboration between the general health services and the facilities providing specialist learning disability assistance.

However, one must admit that the study has a very specific limitation. Going into detail, one should note that the sampling process might have been a touch biased since the selection of the participants was based on the referrals to the LDLNs and, therefore, could not be deemed as fully trustworthy. Nevertheless, the research can be viewed as a significant addition to the existing knowledge of PLD and their needs. The study served as the tool for getting a general idea about how the problem under analysis could be approached. For instance, the connection between the specific needs of PLD and their needs within the context of general nursing services has been identified. As a result, a better and a deeper insight on the characteristics of PLD and the factors that shape their development can be gained.

According to the authors of the study, the necessity for consistent communication is the key need of PLD, which is often dismissed by a range of nurses as the one that is not on the list of the crucial items to be considered. The results of the quantitative analysis of the questionnaire data show quite graphically that PLD need conversations to develop and train the necessary social and cognitive skills. For instance, they need to be talked to, they must ask questions and receive proper answers, they need someone to listen to so that they could learn the basics of active listening, etc.

The fact that Lewis et al. (2013) do not shy away from the economic aspect of the issue and make it quite transparent that the financial costs are going to be rather drastic can be considered among the key advantages of the article. While the aspect of communication as the mechanism for treating PLD is not new, economic concerns are rarely brought up. Therefore, the focus on the subject matter can be considered a step forward in creating premises for an improvement of the services offered to PLD.

However, the range of approaches to be used as the means of treatment could be a bit wider. For instance, other strategies could be mentioned along with the description of the role-plays. Nevertheless, the study can be deemed as compelling and inspiring. It may serve as a foundation for an even greater analysis of the subject matter, thus opening a plethora of opportunities for a new therapeutic approach.

Reference List

Drozd, M., & Clinch, C. (2016). The experiences of orthopaedic and trauma nurses who have cared for adults with a learning disability. International Journal of Orthopaedics and Trauma Nursing, 22(1), 13-23. Web.

Gates, B., & Sooden, R. D. (2013). Experiences of the implementation of a learning disability nursing liaison service within an acute hospital setting: A service evaluation. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40(4), 318-327. Web.

Lewis, D., O’Boyle-Duggan, M., Chapman, J., Dee, P., Seiner, K.,& Gorman, S. (2013). Putting Words into Action’ project: Using role play in skills training. British Journal of Nursing, 22(11), 638-644. Web.

McArthur, J., Brown, M., McKechanie, A., Mack, S., Hayes, M., & Fletcher, J. (2015). Making reasonable and achievable adjustments: the contributions of learning disability liaison nurses in ‘Getting it right’ for people with learning disabilities receiving general hospitals care. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(7), 1552-1563. Web.

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