At work, for my preceptorship, I have been writing reflections for activities and things which I have done whilst in my new role. I wrote this reflection last night and thought it would make a lovely blog post.
Before starting my role at XX, I had never really worked with any patients who lived with learning disabilities. Since starting this role I have worked with a wide variety of clients who suffer from a wide range of mental health problems but also who have learning disabilities including autism. The flat that I work on predominantly, lives 5 clients. One of these clients is autistic and I have found it interesting working with him regarding his autistic behaviours and learning about hyposensitivity and hypersensitivity.
I have also had the opportunity to work on one of the special project flats downstairs. This flat lives one young client who has severe autism and with that, challenging behaviours. I had never even imagined what it could be like to have autism but since working with this particular client I have started to understand how hard it must be. Watching him carry out his behaviours such as banging his body against objects, shouting and also needing contact from staff is so interesting and intriguing. I’ve noticed that I have started to find reasons behind why he is doing certain behaviours. For example, when he lies on the floor, it’s because the floor is hot from the sun. He likes to be in his pool (no matter the weather) because he likes to feel the cold. Also things like wanting pressure and to be ‘squeezed’ are contact and he likes the feel of it. It’s very interesting.
Before starting work here, I was worried that I would not be able to understand the difficulties with working with learning disabilities and thought I would find it hard to work to the same high standard as learning disability nurses. Since starting though, I feel that because I have found it a very interesting subject which I want to learn more about, I have found it relatively easy to pick up certain aspects of behaviours and problems the patients have.
I feel like this has been an excellent experience so far and that I have learnt a great deal about learning disabilities and the difficulties which the client and their families face on a day to day basis regarding managing any challenging behaviours and also supporting the person to get the most out of their life. I’m extremely happy that I have been able to learn more about an area which I believe that I would want to work in in the future. I believe that it is helping me to progress not only in my professional role but also in my personal understanding of things.
I hope you enjoyed reading this.