Caring for People with a Learning Disability or Complex Care Needs: An Evaluation of a Student Selected Component for Medical Students

Paul Christie (Lead / Corresponding author), Gillian Keith, George Hogg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Simulated Patient Bank Team within the Clinical Skills Centre at the University of Dundee has for some time been interested in devising an educational programme on the subject of learning disability (LD) for undergraduate medical students. Both local and national major adverse events involving people with a learning disability in acute hospitals, prompted by personal and professional interest, motivated the team to develop a student selected component (SSC) for medical students to orientate them to the special needs of people with LD and complex care needs in the acute hospital setting.

Developed in collaboration with colleagues from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Dundee, PAMIS (a national organisation supporting people with complex needs), the local authority Education Department and NHS Tayside, the SSC has now run for three years.

The innovation in this SSC derives from the close involvement of students with disabled people. The students engage with children, adults, older adults and people with a range of mild to profound and multiple disabilities, as well as teachers, carers, families, and the allied health professionals. The medical students in essence become part of a learning community where they develop and enhance their skills.

The students report changes in attitudes towards people, having overcome the ‘fear’ associated with learning disability. They demonstrate changes in communication by engaging with those with different communication needs. Most importantly, students demonstrate being able to see the ‘person’ living with a disability, and not the disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalHealth and Social Care Education
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Learning disability
  • complex needs
  • communication
  • community engagement
  • medical education

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