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Thinking Nurse

This blog will reflect my interests in learning disabilities, nursing, nursing theory, philosophy and politics and my general interests in the arts and literature. (Nursing is an art as well as a science!) Philosophy and nursing have been intrinsically linked since the days of Socrates, his mother was a midwife, and taught him everything he knew!

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Power of Prayer

Here's an interesting study which backs up previous research on the therapeutic effectiveness of prayer: Prayer and Heart Patients

Monday, July 04, 2005

Who is your greatest philosopher of all time?

BBC Radio 4 are conducting a reader poll for the public's view of the greatest philosopher of all time.

The rumour is that Karl Marx is currently in the lead, and as a result 'The Economist' magazine has urged its readers to vote for anybody but Karl Marx!

Some very interesting profiles of the various philosophers, so have a look and cast your vote.

If you want to say who you voted for and why, please feel free to do so below...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Person Centred Planning and Strategic Service Planning

A new pack from the Foundation for People With Learning Disabilities offers an interesting set of tools and techniques to bring together the information and ideas being generated by the Person Centred Planning process currently being rolled out across the country.

It has been shown that where Person Centred Planning is implemented properly, and it's objectives taken seriously by services, it can lead to major improvements in the quality of life of people with learning disabilities (For example see Greig 2005 'The Story So Far').

Now the Foundation has put together a way that service leaders can bring together the information being generated by these plans as a source of data and ideas for the long term and strategic planning of their services, hopefully leading to further improvements in the support and care offered to people with learning disabilities.

The pack is available here: Shaping the Future Together

There will be a one day conference in London on 30th June on issues around Person Centred Planning, called Making It Work Speakers will include Rob Greig of the Valuing People Support Team, Eric Emerson from the Institute of Health Research at Lancaster University, and Barbara McIntosh from the Foundation for People With Learning Disabilities.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Restraints - The Nursing Debate

JenSN has started an interesting discussion about restraints, that goes to the root of nursing's values, its' relationship with the patient/client, and it's relationship with other professions.
Her post is here:Restraints - Who Decides? She asks the question, who decides when to begin using restraint, and who decides when restraint should end?

I made my own little contribution to this debate too, I was a little concerned about the emphasis of one of the contributions, which did not seem to me to consider the rights of the patient...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Royal Society Of Medicine Forum For Intellectual Disability Student Prize 2005

'Thinking Nurse" would like to be the first to congratulate Jadwiga Irska of Manchester University and Salford University on winning the Royal Society of Medicine Forum for Intellecutual Disability Student Prize.

Jadwiga won the prize for an innovative and interesting health promotion project in a forensic institution for people with learning disabilities.

In particular she looked at sexual health promotion issues, around preventing testicular cancer, in a population that included people who had committed sexual offences.

Irska took on the ethical and other issues involved in a courageous and innovative way, and fully deserves the prize awarded by the RSM.

Jadwiga Irska is a student of learning disability nursing and social work at Manchester and Salford Universities

Friday, June 24, 2005

A night with the backpackers

I've just arrived back from a rather cool night spent in Central London.

I went down for a very interesting meeting, followed by an excellent dinner, then back to my 'hotel' - actually a backpackers hostel near Russell Square.

I dont think I could have chosen a better place to stay - the facilities were admittedly basic - I had to share a room with 2 backpackers, but this did not seem like an inconvenience given the friendly relaxed atmosphere.

I met some really interesting people, from every part of the world, who were only too happy to chat, and made full use of the 3am bar, I think at one point I even had a dance. I even met a woman who works as a 'Applied Behavioural Analyst' (whatever that is) with children with autism in Missouri USA, so we had plenty to chat about.

I am sure that had I stopped a more expensive, and more stuffy establishment, I would have retired quietly to my room, and missed out on a mind-broadening experience, and on meeting some rather cool people.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Comprehensive Nursing Blog Links

I've tried to keep my own links list up to date with the finest examples of nurse blogging, (as well as many other links that might be useful or interesting to people interested in learning disabilities, nursing, philosophy and politics). My approach has been rather wide and eclectic, rather than focussed and specific, so when it comes to a full grasp of one particular area, my lists fall down.

I have to take my hat off to Mediblogopathy, a blog that has managed to compile what must be THE most comprehensive list of nursing blogs, and which I will be treating as the authoritative source for such information, unless anyone can show me a better one!

In the meantime, I will persevere with my own quirky, eclectic (and unfortunately partial) method of compiling my linklist. Hope you find something in there to provoke, stimulate, inform and entertain!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Socialism and Excellence: Reply to Smirnoff

'Bloggers of the Left Unite think it is funny to parody the language and activities of scoialists. Sometimes they do it very successfully, once I almost laughed.

Their most recent post, and their link to The People's Cube got me thinking however.

There is a common myth that socialists want to make everyone 'the same', that socialism would stifle creativity and excellence, making people into mindless clones, all singing from a little red hymnsheet.

Socialists would counter that it is capitalism that encourages mindless conformity, even packaging 'rebellion' into a neatly wrapped commodity for sale at profit.

Here is the reply I posted to 'Comrade Smirnoff':


The 'People's Cube' has nothing in common with socialism. Those who accuse socialists of wishing to create a society where there is no intellectual challenge, no opportunity for excellence are simply projecting the mushy braindead capitalist MTV culture onto socialism.

Karl Marx defined socialism as 'From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs'.

What are the blindingly obivous implications of this statement?

1. That Marx understood that human beings have different abilities and needs.
2. People with high abilities would be encouraged to express these to the full in a socialist society.
3. People with lower abilities should also contribute to society, we xhould find ways to enable them to do this, rather than rejecting, segregating or impoverishing such people.
4. Socialism does not try to make people the same. It recognises and celebrates their differences, emphasising unity and solidarity NOT homogeneity.

Regurgitating anti-socialist propaganda may be mildly funny, but you seem intelligent enough to recognise when such propaganda is groundless. Is it worth maligning the people who are struggling to create a better world, simply for the sake of a chuckle?

Socialism and Excellence: Reply to Smirnoff

The People's Cube got me thinking however.

There is a common myth that socialists want to make everyone 'the same', that socialism would stifle creativity and excellence, making people into mindless clones, all singing from a little red hymnsheet.

Socialists would counter that it is capitalism that encourages mindless conformity, even packaging 'rebellion' into a neatly wrapped commodity for sale at profit.

Here is the reply I posted to 'Comrade Smirnoff':


The 'People's Cube' has nothing in common with socialism. Those who accuse socialists of wishing to create a society where there is no intellectual challenge, no opportunity for excellence are simply projecting the mushy braindead capitalist MTV culture onto socialism.

Karl Marx defined socialism as 'From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs'.

What are the blindingly obivous implications of this statement?

1. That Marx understood that human beings have different abilities and needs.
2. People with high abilities would be encouraged to express these to the full in a socialist society.
3. People with lower abilities should also contribute to society, we xhould find ways to enable them to do this, rather than rejecting, segregating or impoverishing such people.
4. Socialism does not try to make people the same. It recognises and celebrates their differences, emphasising unity and solidarity NOT homogeneity.

Regurgitating anti-socialist propaganda may be mildly funny, but you seem intelligent enough to recognise when such propaganda is groundless. Is it worth maligning the people who are struggling to create a better world, simply for the sake of a chuckle?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Learning Disability Week In Oxford

'Learning Disability Week' is nearly here, a week dedicated to raising the profile of people with learning disabilities, people with rights to independence, to make choices, and to be included as an integral part of society.

I got this over email about some events scheduled to celebrate Learning Disability Week in Oxford. Pop along if you are in the area.

Anyone with information on other events for Learning Disability week can either post it below, or email it to me at thinkingnurseATcoolgooseDOTcom

As part of Learning Disability Week (18-25 June) the School of Health and Social Care at Oxford Brookes University, the Oxfordshire Learning Disability Trust and the Oxfordshire Learning Disability Partnership Board are jointly organising two Open Days.

Why?

These days form part of other activities that will take place in the School during the week to promote and highlight Learning Disability issues, and links with similar events throughout the UK under the auspices of Mencap.


When?

Wednesday 22nd June 10 am to 4 pm
Thursday 23rd June 10 am to 4 pm

Where?

The venue for the open days is the School of Health and Social Care at Oxford Brookes University, Marston Road Campus, Jackstraws Lane, Marston, Oxford OX£ 0FL.

Who might be interested?

The open days are aimed at:

Any member of the public who wants to find out more about learning disability issues

People with a learning disability, their parents, relatives and carers

Those who work in services for people with a learning disability

Anyone interested in working with people with a learning disability and seeking local employment opportunities in a range of different organisations

Individuals of any age who may be interested in studying for a career in health or social care, be it in learning disability nursing or other associated professional courses.

Local people who are interested in discovering the opportunities and facilities that within the School of Health and Social Care


What is on offer?

An exhibition of Art work produced by learning disabled artists

A photography exhibition with Learning Disability as a theme

Non stop video shows of dramas and documentaries that focus on or feature people with a learning disability

Discover a range of sources of information on learning disability in the Internet information centre

Stalls by local organisations, such as the Oxfordshire Learning Disability Partnership Board and Mencap, who represent the interests of people with a learning disability

Information from local organisations who provide services for people with a learning disability, including the Oxfordshire Learning Disability (NHS) Trust, about current and future employment opportunities

Advise on pursuing a career in learning disability nursing and other associated professional courses on offer at Oxford Brookes University

Information on courses that are available locally to obtain vocational (NVQ, LDAF) or professional qualifications in learning disability, such as Nursing, Social Work, Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapy.

Advise on opportunities to get involved as a local volunteer in a range of different activities with VOX

Take a tour of the modern skills laboratories and other facilities at the School of Health and Social Care

Attend a range of skills training demonstrations in e.g. clinical nursing skills, communication skills and methods, massage etc.

A chance to practice some of these skills (taking blood pressure, listening to a heart beat, resuscitation) for yourself in 'Have a Go' sessions


What else?

A half day Learning Disability Nursing Student conference is organised for Thursday 23rd June, 1 - 4.30 pm on the theme of: 'Opening up New Worlds'. The conference is free of charge, but advance booking is required, and it is only open to learning disability nursing students and tutors. Speakers include:

My Life, My Choice - Advocacy Group
Sue Carmichael - National Valuing People Support Team
Yvonne Cox - Chief Executive, Oxfordshire Learning Disability (NHS) Trust
Eddy McDowall - Oxfordshire Learning Disability Partnership Board
Gail Hanrahan - Parent Consultant



'Thinking Nurse' wishes good luck to the organisers of all these events

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