Ewout is a newly qualified nurse, a recent graduate from the University of West London, who started the Celebrating Nursing Practice journey in his 2nd year of University. Ewout has worked in health care since the age of 17. Having worked in a wide variety of care settings, predominantly in care homes and private home settings with people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health issues and behavioural problems, Ewout has gained a wide set of knowledge and is keen to use these important and transferable skills in his career as a nurse. Ewout currently works as a children's staff nurse on the Children’s Inpatient Ward at Gloucester Royal Hospital, and resides in Cheltenham with his fiancée and their cat.
The project itself is well underway with Ewout laying down the groundwork for the toolkit, for not to miss anything. He is getting support from the learning disability team in Gloucester Royal Hospital, and hopes to finish the draft of the toolkit in January. This toolkit is linked to his observations and concurrent performed research. At this moment in time 3 people with learning disabilities die every day because of diagnostic overshadowing. If communication was more easily facilitated between health care staff and their patients who have a communication need (albeit due to their physical or learning disability), staff and patient alike would become less anxious and their relationship would be more open and honest, providing a better environment to secure the right kind of treatment for our patients. The toolkit underlines the reasoning why health care professionals need to listen more to patients and their families, put in effort to find out how their patients communicate. By lowering anxiety and by giving tools to enhance their skills and knowledge, the toolkit hopes to provide professionals with the ability to communicate with anyone at any moment and time, no matter what communication need they might have. In doing so, ensuring patients and staff alike have a positive experience leading to a prevention of missing signs of deterioration or other underlying potential health risks. Ewout has also secured a place to present a poster presentation about the Communication Toolkit at the RCN Education Conference 2019 in March.