Learning disability week takes place annually to raise the awareness of learning disability across the UK. This year it takes place from 17th to 23rd June and the theme is sport and inclusion. 2019 is a particularly important year as we also celebrate 100 years of learning disability nursing.
Anita Burrows is a registered Learning Disability Nurse who has worked for MHC for 3 years. During her time with us, Anita has worked at St David’s Independent Hospital, an open rehabilitation service for individuals living with a learning disability and/ or additional complex needs including autism and mental health needs. Anita is now based at Glyn Rhosyn, a residential nursing service which supports up to 16 individuals living with a learning disability.
Having carried out her Nurse training at Sheffield University, Anita has been a registered Nurse in Learning disabilities for almost 14 years now. Anita enjoys socialising, eating out and spending time with her 2 dogs – Stella and Bow, and of course her husband. She likes to crochet and has a passion for aquariums – She has recently started an aquarium project at Glyn Rhosyn.
Anita took some time out recently to talk about the role of a Learning Disability Nurse and what it means to her.
What is a Learning Disability Nurse?
Now where do I start? A learning disability nurse has many attributes – we offer person centered care with a holistic approach. We have to be alert at all times, looking out for people’s non-verbal communication and meet individual needs whether it be physical health or mental health needs.We are constantly observing and monitoring individuals to ensure that care and support is of a high standard. We get to make a difference to someone’s life!
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is defined as “significant reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence), with a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning), which started before adulthood”.
We are all different- that is what makes us individual and unique.
What is a typical day for you?
There isn’t one – that’s what makes my job interesting, rewarding and diverse.
Is there any advice you would offer to someone interested in specialising in learning disability nursing?
Do it – you will never be bored. It is an honour to make a difference to someone’s life albeit maybe small steps.