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Ross Wyatt

Nursing Studies / Registered Nurse (Learning Disabilities) BSc (Hons)

What made you want to study Learning Disability Nursing?

I have always had an interest in a role in the caring sector, however I fell into banking and became comfortable, climbing the corporate ladder. I was made redundant and this gave me an opportunity to re-evaluate my career options and opened me up to coming to university, so I attended college to do my access course and then applied to university. Ross -Wyatt _Nursing -Learning -Disability _Northumbria -University

I stumbled upon learning disability nursing through my experience with my children, I have 4 adopted children, three of which have learning disabilities and one surprise biological child. I didn’t really know much about the effects learning disabilities have on an individual or what interventions could be used. I was pretty naive to be honest. When supporting my children, I quickly realised the benefit using appropriate communication and person centred approaches would have on their quality of life, however I still wasn’t aware of the role of the learning disability nurse.

Through support and self-searching my wife and I found ways to help our children and were in awe with how the smallest changes could make the biggest differences to the person’s quality of life. It felt really good to see the difference this made not just to the person struggling, but to their family, their friends, and their place in the community. And then to find out I could do this for a career – that was me sold! If I could help just one person feel the way we did after getting that golden light bulb moment, then it was perfect!

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Why did you choose Northumbria University?
Northumbria is linked to some of the uk’s best LD services, giving us access to some fantastic placement experiences to help us develop our professional skills.

The teaching staff and programme staff are from this clinical area so bring the expertise from this area to the classroom, further shaping the skillset and theoretical evidence base we will take in to practice.
It’s a great location to study with state of the art facilities to enhance our learning and development.

How did you find the application process?
Easy to follow with loads of support along the way, Northumbria put on a number of sessions and open days to support the process and sign post people to other support networks that can offer help during this time.

Would you have done anything differently through your application process?
If I could change one thing it would be to have accessed social media a bit more, there is loads of support networks available on line which relate both to the subject area of nursing and learning disability as well as directly to Northumbria university, being able to link in with others in the same boat would have made it a little easier of a process.

Did you have any support from any of our academics / support staff / family / friends during your application process?
Throughout the process I attended open days and visits where staff were made available to support, I have a great network of support from my family and friends which was a great help throughout and continues to be vital to my time at university and my studies.

If so, how did you find the help / support you received?
Invaluable! It helped me to focus my plan and keep me on track.

What hints and tips would you offer other students thinking of applying for this course?
Do it, it’s the best thing I did. If you get the opportunity, access all offers of support and come and use all the university have to offer during this time. They really want you to do well so tailor the support to help you on your journey. If you don’t already, access social media and look at the networks of support available there, the support they can offer is great with prospective students, current students, academics and practitioners available 24/7 with words of wisdom and stories of experience.

How have you found studying so far on this course?
Challenging, but rewarding at the same time. The course content is really relevant and current and as its in an area I am interested in it is enjoyable too. The academic staff are a great support as they are practitioners by background so bring an additional level of expertise to the academic subjects.

Have you been involved in any placements? If so, how have you found these?
I have been out on around seven placements now and they have been fantastic. It’s a real opportunity to put the theory taught in university into practice. The placement areas are so diverse there is lots of opportunity to develop existing and new skills.

I get to work with the most diverse group of people and professionals, I love to spend time with them and work with them to meet their goals and objectives, to help them to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives. No two days or the same, in fact often no two hours are, but every one of them is rewarding, it can be challenging, but if it wasn’t it would be boring. The challenge is what gives us, as a partnership, the determination to succeed. We are better together!

Anything else you would like to add?

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