Hello, I am a Community Learning Disability Nurse Practitioner working in the Mid Essex Community LD team. I have been a Community LD nurse since 1997 and worked for the trust since 2010.
I’m not sure there is regular day in the life – that’s why the job is so interesting!
On a day to day basis we run our own caseloads and diaries – accepting referrals from other professionals, families or the individual themselves. Community nurses focus on supporting with health issues – physical, mental, emotional, social – working with individuals, families and support teams.
We work wherever we need to – in people’s homes, colleges, workplaces, supported living and residential environments.
We work as a team of nurses supporting each other and with other professionals in the team and across other services.
We can be seen facilitating health appointments – using resources and skills to make appointments easier to attend, monitoring medication, health issues, mental health issues.
We support students throughout their community placements and take on clinical supervisions as needed for other members of the team.
One typical day included a visit to a lady living with her sister and completing a dementia assessment as there were concerns about her cognitive decline, a visit to a young man supporting him with some desensitization work around needle phobia (he went on not only to have his COVID vaccine but also a blood test!), a liaison meeting with a young lady and her social worker around plans to move to her first independent living environment and what she would need to support her physical and mental health, a home visit to a gentleman who lives independently to monitor his health and wellbeing, including his epilepsy and finally a catch up with a colleague discussing recent referrals and planning interventions.
I enjoy the variety of people we meet and the opportunity to work with people who use our services, planning interventions and making a positive difference. I like the fact that the role allows me to work independently but within a supportive team. I also really enjoy the opportunities to support students and to get involved with projects and initiatives that further develop our services.
Time management is most certainly a challenge and the pressure on services is sometimes frustrating.
I receive great support from management and fellow team members – including other professions within the team. There are also ongoing learning and development opportunities.
You need to be a Registered Nurse and have the ability to communicate with a variety of individuals across a variety of platforms. Self-motivation and organisation are also really important in order to do the job well. You need to have the ability to use (or learn how to use) a variety of assessment tools and be able to plan and adapt. A sense of humour is also very handy…..
I have had the opportunity to complete my Community Nurse Practitioner degree. The role allows you to develop supervisory and coaching skills. In terms of career development, the job can lead to further managerial opportunities.
Come and join us!
The team is so supportive – there are always colleagues available to talk things through with or ask advice.
Challenges are real but nursing in the community gives you the opportunity to work alongside some great people and really make a difference.