International Nurses’ Day 2024 | “Learning disability nursing is the embodiment of compassion”

Phatlapa Nazemi

Phatlapa Nazemi, from Llanishen, is a second-year Learning Disability student nurse at the University of South Wales. Originally from Thailand, Phatlapa worked in marketing before she moved to Wales but it was her son’s autism diagnosis that led her to this area of healthcare.

She said: “Before my son's diagnosis I did not know much about learning disabilities. However, it was the intervention of a nurse and her recommendation for him to be referred to a doctor, that led to his diagnosis at age 3. We received subsequent support which meant he was able to attend a mainstream school. He is 12 now and thriving academically.”

Phatlapa applied to study the Certificate in Higher Education in Community Health and Well-being at USW before progressing on to the degree course and she is says that it has changed her life.

“Choosing to be a Learning Disability nurse has been a transformative journey for me”, she said.

“It's not about curing illnesses. It's about bringing happiness to clients and their families by addressing health challenges, including lifelong disabilities, with empathy and support.”

As part of the course, Phatlapa has worked in placements across healthcare but she feels that she can contribute most to working with people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

She said: “Learning disability nursing is the embodiment of compassion, focusing on individual preferences and making necessary adjustments to ensure each person's well-being. It's about understanding and embracing these challenges, knowing that they don't define a person's world. Providing ample support within the care system is the beating heart of nursing, making each day an opportunity to touch lives and make a difference.”

Dr Stacey Rees, Course Leader (Learning Disability Nursing), said: “Phatlapa is an inspiring student. She is committed to making a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities, and I am so pleased she chose to pursue a career in learning disability nursing. I have no doubt she will achieve her goals.”

Find out more about studying Nursing at USW: Nursing Degrees