Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Intellectual Disability Nursing
Originally from Westmeath, Carol Casey took a completely different career path when she enrolled in the four-year Intellectual Disability Nursing programme at ATU Donegal. Having worked in retail management for several years, Carol enjoyed the people focus role of the job but wanted to reskill and embark on a new career challenge.
“ATU Donegal gave me an excellent opportunity to develop knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills”
“I returned to study at ATU Donegal as a mature student. I chose Intellectual Disability Nursing as I really enjoy working with people. I was excited to embark and train in this area. I moved to Letterkenny and found accommodation in the area easily. The move went smoothly, and I adjusted to life in Donegal in no time. Everyone was so welcoming and the small class sizes made it possible to make connections with my classmates and lecturers”.
“The lecturers encouraged open dialogue in class, and everybody was open and approachable. I enjoyed the active learning, the debates and discussions with my classmates. I even learned to understand the Donegal accent”, laughs Carol
“We had a number of placements throughout the programme including day services, respite and residential settings. The placements were fantastic, and they helped to link what we were learning in class with nursing practice on placement”.
“Intellectual Disability Nursing empowers people with intellectual disabilities who may be unable to live fully independent lives. My role is to guide and support patients towards maintaining optimum health and wellbeing, and crucially, social inclusion in their day-to-day lives”.
Carol found employment immediately after graduation with Donegal Intellectual Disability Service and is currently employed as a permanent staff nurse.
“It was definitely the right path for me. It’s a very rewarding career and I get to work with people longer term. I like seeing the progress that people are making along the way and intellectual disability nursing gives me the opportunity to work with individuals across their lifespan and help them to overcome challenges at different stages”.
“My fondest memory of my time at ATU Donegal was the trip to Lourdes with the Irish Pilgrimage Trust. I was assigned a group of children aged 12 – 18 who had various complex needs and things going on in their lives. We took them away for the week and it was very rewarding. It was a magical week full of smiles”.
“ATU Donegal gave me an excellent opportunity to develop knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The placements set me up to provide the care that is required for working in this area my transition to employment was seamless as a result. I have lovely memories from my time at ATU Donegal and met great people along the way who I am still in contact with today. It was brilliant”, enthuses Carol.