AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
As an LPN working with an agency that provides medical support and advocacy for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, I took great interest in “Interactions of People with Disabilities and Nursing Staff During Hospitalization” and the Editorial (both in the April issue).
The governor of Pennsylvania's proposed budget, which recently passed in the state house and senate, greatly defunded many of the programs supporting this population—the second year in a row that funding for these programs was reduced. Much of the lost funding would have been used to provide health care to people with disabilities.
Your call for better education and training of students and nurses, as well as unlicensed assistive personnel, is timely, but I'm not sure there's a willingness to spend any money on this. I would like to see more research on the effects of better health care in these patients.
PJ Walkling, LPN
© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.