Frances works in a small care home for young people with learning disabilities. She has recently qualified as a learning disability nurse and is a new staff member to this particular care facility. She has had lots of experience including voluntary work, in learning disability settings prior to undertaking her learning disability nurse training.
Frances is keen ‘to make a good impression’ in the nursing team and to be seen as supportive and coping well in her role. James has been at the care home for a week and is allocated to her care. James’ behaviour includes frequently falling to the floor and he wears head protection to help prevent serious injury to his head during these falls. Frances is concerned that the care plan does not detail the care James needs and how to best manage his falls. As the nurse allocated to his care she is concerned about meeting James’ needs safely.
Frances asks the nurse handing over to work with her and James to build on the existing plan of care so that it better reflects James’ safety and behaviour management needs. They work with James and his mother, who cares for him at home alongside the wider team. The new care plan is agreed with a review date.
Frances also asks the nurse handing over to work alongside her and James briefly so they can get to know each other. Frances uses this time under supervision to ask questions and support James’ needs whilst working alongside the other nurse. This provides assurance for ongoing supervision and support from other members of the nursing team, during the time that she is caring for James.
Frances has demonstrated her professional accountability by identifying limitations to her practice and raising a concern about patient safety. She also addressed her record keeping responsibilities by working collaboratively to update James’ records so that his plan of care met his needs more comprehensively, ensuring that she and others could provide continuity of care.
She also took steps to ensure that her skills and confidence to provide individualised care to James were addressed, by asking for and receiving some direct supervision.