Session with Student Nurses at York Uni – Part 2!

Following on from yesterdays blog – after Sarah’s speech we let them have 5 minutes shuffle break as they had been sat listening for a long time.

During the break some brought over mince pies, biccies and cake! They were certainly getting in the Christmas mode. Some has come in Christmas jumpers and I couldn’t resist having my photo taken with this student nurse as her jumper had lights – magic!


I then finished off our session by talking about language and misconceptions around behaviour.

I spoke how negative words can have such an impact on people in any situation and how positive words have a positive affect. I explained why I don’t ever want to be referred to as a ‘dementia sufferer’ and this struck home with many who had used such a phrase. They now understood the negative impact it could have on people.


For my final piece Professor Jan Oyebode had kindly agreed to my using her 4 slides from the British Science Festival on misconceptions. They explain how important it is to see things from the persons perspective. How so called ‘Challenging behaviour’ can have a personal explanation – for example, someone may be seen as ‘challenging’ on the ward if they’re up and down all night ‘disturbing everyone elses sleep’. However, from the patients perspective this may be due to having to keep getting up for the loo due to prostrate trouble……….
I stressed the importance of understanding patient/client experience. They’re about to start their first practice in the new year and so much of this theory will then be put into practice.

Rob finished off by looking forward into the new year and then there was a few questions from the students. Rob finished off with a great cartoon.


In case you can’t read the words, it says:

“Remember – The most precious commodity we ever work with – it’s not the Hi-tech machines and equipment – it’s the patient”

Many students came up to us afterwards stating how various things we’d said had impacted and made a difference to their understanding which was really nice. One such comment was “I’ve always used the phrase ‘dementia sufferer’ without ever thinking how it could be affecting people’s well being.Another spoke about ‘Time’ – never having thought that people would need more time and what an impact that could have on the person but also on the nurse. They went mad on Twitter and I had a lovely email from one of them stating:

“I have walked away from the talk with a clearer Understanding of dementia so thank you so much for that.”

Emails like that make it all worth while. I can’t wait to see them develop as they progress through the course – a fabulous morning.

Helen Roberts. me, Sarah and Rob Allison.
Helen Roberts. me, Sarah and Rob Allison.


About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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