Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Introducing: Jennifer


Learning Disability Nursing Student

Second year

Glasgow Caledonian University

1. What are you looking forward to?

I’m really looking forward to experiencing new things; I haven’t done much travelling at all so I think seeing the different way of life will be amazing. I’m looking forward to experiencing the difference in the nursing care of individuals with a learning disability between Malawi and Scotland and also the few days off which we will have off to go exploring! We have spoken about buying bikes when we are in Lilongwe which will allow us to get out and about. I can’t wait to see the different clothing, foods and all different things which we don’t have at home.


2. What will you miss most?

I’m not really sure what to expect yet and therefore I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to miss. From what I imagine Malawi to be like, I think I am going to miss the everyday things the most. For example: being able to take a hot shower every day, central heating (although I’m sure it will be air conditioning I am wishing for!) and being able to contact my friends and family whenever I want. I know that when I come home I am going to be so much more grateful for the everyday things in life!

3. What have you enjoyed most about the planning process?

I’ve definitely enjoyed the group meetings the most and the enthusiasm from other people in the group. It has at times been hard to stay motivated as it has been such a difficult thing for us to organise ourselves however meeting with the others in the group has always brought our excitement back and allowed us to focus on our goal.

4. What has been the hardest part of the preparation?

I am the most unorganised person ever and probably due to being the youngest in the group I am definitely not a ‘leader’. The planning process has definitely made me realise this and I hope that my time in Malawi will help me to build on these skills so I don’t have to rely so much on others!

5. What made you choose LD nursing?

Very cheesy, but for as long as I can remember I have wanted to work with individuals with a Learning Disability. After doing quite a lot of voluntary work, I found how rewarding working with individuals with a learning disability is and I realised that it is a strength for me and something which comes completely naturally. I didn’t actually realise that learning disability nursing existed until I started looking for a university course to apply to. I am so glad I have chosen LD nursing as my profession, it is an extremely positive line of work to go into and there are so many opportunities.

6. How do you think this placement will help you to be a better nurse?

I feel that in my past year and a half of nursing I have already had my eyes opened to a lot of different things and I know that experiencing life in Malawi will completely change the way I think of everything. I think that seeing the differences in the health care systems and the way that doctors and nurses work will be very interesting and help us to look at things in a different way. Nursing can be a very stressful profession and I think the experience of nursing in Malawi will allow me to challenge myself and develop my problem solving skills. I feel that my placement in Malalwi will be an amazing opportunity to learn from nurses who are used to working with entirely different resources, and who may have different approaches that we can learn from and use to shape our future practice. I also imagine that working in an environment where there may be limited resources will make us all appreciate how much we have in the UK, especially in the NHS.

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