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Learners who are neurodivergent in clinical practice in Cheshire and Merseyside; what are their requirements and what resources are available to them? A scoping exercise.

Arnold, M and Hill, E (2023) Learners who are neurodivergent in clinical practice in Cheshire and Merseyside; what are their requirements and what resources are available to them? A scoping exercise. In: RCN Education Conference 2023, Birmingham, UK.


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A Health Education England funded RePAIR (Reducing Pre-registration Attrition and Improving Retention) leadership project was completed at Liverpool John Moores University. Four nursing students with an interest in neurodiversity were recruited to a four-week leadership placement. The project aimed to identify what resources are available to support healthcare learners who identify as neurodivergent in Cheshire and Merseyside National Health Services (NHS). Neurodiversity is an umbrella term for neurological conditions including Autism, Dyslexia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

A scoping exercise and subsequent gap analysis were conducted to inform future resource development. The information from the scoping exercise provided by the healthcare learners was based on various electronic resources, from charities and large organisations to specific Facebook groups. Focus groups were conducted to discuss the resources that the nursing students found and their own experience in their placement in leadership and neurodiversity. To date, the key findings are:

• The results indicate that there is awareness of online neurodiversity resources and how to seek support via organisations such as, Autistic UK and Disability Confident.

• There are examples of much needed resources that aid healthcare learners within the workplace. For example, a neurodiversity toolbox that contains colour overlays and coloured paper for learners to help them process information.

• An NHS trust based neurodiversity lead signposts where individuals can reach out for support and promotes an inclusive culture.

• Support groups for individuals who are neurodiverse or curious promotes

engagement with staff and learners in addition to signposting support

The project is ongoing with interviews scheduled with healthcare workers to explore the support available to neurodiverse individuals and what improvements can be made to help healthcare learners transition to employment.
3 learning outcomes
Develop understanding of the needs of neurodivergent learners.

Demonstrate understanding of the resources available to support neurodivergent healthcare students in practice.
Demonstrate understanding of how to support neurodivergent learners
Recommended reading titles (please enter up to 3)
Neil, T., & Policy, A. C. A. S. Neurodiversity in the shadow of COVID-19: flexibility and trust. Good Practice in the Workplace in a time of Covid, 3.

Bernstein, A. (2020). On the question of diversity. Nursing And Residential Care, 22(11), 1-4.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords: neurodiversity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Nursing & Allied Health
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 May 2023 08:53
Last Modified: 10 May 2023 08:53
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19480
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