The skills that
Rachel Petty-Cook used while working for six years as a learning disability
nurse are invaluable in her current role as a PMA [Prevention of Management and
“I know from my
experience as a learning disability nurse that people communicate in multiple
ways,” said Rachel, who is based at Hellesdon Hospital and fills one of the Trust’s
13 PMA practitioner posts.
As well as teaching
staff how to manage challenging situations, her role includes supporting clinical
teams in West Norfolk and the Suffolk Adult Learning Disability Service in
Walker Close, Ipswich.
often surprised that as a PMA practitioner, I question the notion of restraint,”
said Rachel. “If you reflect on why someone is behaving aggressively, you can often
de-escalate them through understanding the reason for the behaviour.
“I share this
knowledge with our staff caring for patients so that they can proactively
manage a situation to keep everyone safe.”
embarking on nurse training, Rachel had worked in retail while volunteering
with supporting the homeless. This led to a two-year community care course and
she then worked three years for a charity which supported people with a
learning disability into work.
Rachel, who is
53, qualified as a specialist learning disability nurse in 1998 at the age of
32 after three years of training at the UEA.
She then spent
six years working at Little Plumstead Hospital, near Norwich, and became
interested in PMA while attending a PMA course at Hellesdon Hospital and
learning of a need for PMA practitioners with a background in learning disability
for the future are to continue supporting staff and teams as a PMA
practitioner, content in the knowledge that her work is making a difference.
To read more about learning disability nursing, click here.