Trainee Nursing Associate shortlisted for national award for work with young people with learning disabilities | Latest News

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Trainee Nursing Associate shortlisted for national award for work with young people with learning disabilities

Gemma Badland, Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) for the Learning Disability and the Disability Intensive Care Enhanced (DICE) team at Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, has been nominated for a prestigious Student Nursing Times Award.

Gemma was shortlisted in the ‘Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year’ category for her passion and commitment in increasing awareness for learning disabilities across hospitals in Birmingham.

Gemma said: "I was so surprised and overwhelmed to hear I had been nominated for a Student Nursing Times Award. I'm proud of all the work I have done raising awareness of learning disabilities and autism, and I hope this nomination can continue to showcase the team’s important work."

As a Trainee Nursing Associate, Gemma visited different wards in Birmingham Children's Hospital, Birmingham Women's Hospital and our Mental Health Services to deliver Autism and Learning Disability training to staff who care for young patients.

Gemma said: "I was proud to teach colleagues how to provide support for patients with additional needs, so we can continue to provide the very best care for them. I've always wanted to look after young people. When I lost my dad to suicide, it inspired me to join Forward Thinking Birmingham and raise awareness for mental health."

The Learning Disability Team at Forward Thinking Birmingham, part of our Trust, work with children and young people with learning disabilities and mental health or challenging behaviours. The DICE team support with short term interventions with the aim of avoiding hospital admission for people with learning disabilities and autism.

Gemma was nominated by her colleagues Rachael Hough, Senior Learning Disability Nurse and Louise Bull-Tyagi,  Lead Nurse for Learning Disability and DICE. 

Louise said: "Gemma has shown incredible development and learning over the last two years. She has demonstrated that she can advocate and question practice to ensure that the needs of individuals with learning disabilities and autism are recognised and respected. She has demonstrated the Trust values throughout her course, displaying ambition, bravery and compassion throughout her learning and development."

She added: "Gemma is the only TNA on her cohort who is working in learning disabilities. The learning disability nursing workforce is small, and to have someone with such passion for our work recognised as outstanding would be fantastic. Gemma started this course in the middle of the pandemic, faced with many barriers, and she has overcome all of these, and she has made us as a team incredibly proud."

A Nursing Associate is an apprenticeship scheme to train colleagues who work with healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver care for patients and the public.

Gemma will attend an awards ceremony on Friday 28 April in London, where the winner will be announced.

Gemma said: "I'm just really excited to bring awareness for learning disabilities and autism. My team work extremely hard and if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be where I am right now. They've really supported me and they pushed me to do my nursing associates, so I just want to say a big thank you to my colleagues."

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