Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

STUDENT BLOG

Comment: When students do the teaching…

  • Comment

As a third-year mental health student nurse, I have endured a number of conferences that quite frankly would have led to an untimely nap had it not been for that hypnic jerk - the one where you can no longer hold your eyes open and are awoken by a sudden jump as your coffee scolds your leg

You have been there, right?

A number of students from across Scotland and me had a vision - to deliver a conference to first-year students that wasn’t, well, boring. We wanted interaction. We wanted it to be fun and innovative. But most of all we wanted learning to take place - and lots of it.

With backing from NHS Education for Scotland we started to plan a student-led learning disability conference for non-learning disability student nurses and midwives.

”It is evident that there is a gap in the curriculum where alternative fields of practice are not given enough attention”

We wanted to inspire Scotland’s future nurses and midwives to make a difference in the lives of people living with learning disabilities and their carers.

It is evident that there is a gap in the curriculum where alternative fields of practice are not given enough attention. There have been many examples over the course of my studies when on placement; I nursed someone who has learning disabilities and was acutely mentally unwell. I knew how to be kind, gentle and patient but was this enough? I was always left wondering if I could have done more.

”We designed the logo, recruited key motivational speakers and interactive workshops. We worked collaboratively with the service users, getting them involved in each step of the process.”

As co-lead of the student committee team I was confident that a conference organised by students for students would have the desired outcome - increased awareness and education and to ultimately inspire other students to carry the baton for future cohorts and organise their own conferences locally or nationally. 

Learning Disability Awareness Network (LDAN) is our name. We designed the logo, recruited key motivational speakers and interactive workshops. We worked collaboratively with the service users, getting them involved in each step of the process. There were planning meetings, lots of them, and when we weren’t dreaming about it (often bad dreams) we were awake, immersed in panicked Facebook chats in the early hours as well as juggling coursework and other commitments. It has absolutely been worth it.

”This student-led conference is the first of its kind in Scotland and initial student feedback has been amazing with a huge number of students and other attendees describing it a huge accomplishment.”

The event was called ‘Building Momentum’ and that is exactly what we did. We created a concept and have experienced remarkable success. This student-led conference is the first of its kind in Scotland and initial student feedback has been amazing with a huge number of students and other attendees describing it a huge accomplishment.

The confidence and learning which has grown from this conference allowed me and my fellow students to answer that question me and so many often ask - could I have done more? And the answer is yes, I could have done more.

I am now very thankful that I have the knowledge and conviction to provide and deliver the safest, most appropriate, person-centred care to those people living with learning disabilities and their carers.

  • Find us on Twitter #NESLDAN16

Nicola Ozatalay is a third-year mental health student nurse.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs