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Becoming an ADHD Nurse

Our ADHD team is an experienced multi-disciplinary team who assess and provide treatment for young people between the ages of 6 and 18 who are suspected of having, or who have been diagnosed with, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Julie joined the team during lockdown. Here she tells us what it’s like to work with children and young people with ADHD. 

Starting out as an ADHD nurse, I didn’t have much experience in ADHD, so it was a steep learning curve to say the least!  

However, there were lots of similarities in the roles of Community staff Nurse in the Health Visiting team and ADHD Nurse that I could relate to. Things like having a caseload of families that I am responsible for, signposting to the right places to make sure children continue to get support, and referring to other services within a multi-disciplinary team. An important part of both roles is undertaking assessments of children. It’s something I learnt in health visiting, and an aspect I really enjoy, where I would carry holistic assessment of the child and family when visiting. 

One of the challenges for me in my new role was learning to work with the over 5s. A huge part of my career has been spent with under 5s, so it felt like quite a big change to adjust to communicating with young people and adolescents.  

There’s still a big misconception around ADHD. People think children with this diagnosis are “just a naughty child”. I have worked with families who have had children with ADHD but never had the knowledge around ADHD that I now have since working within the ADHD team and understanding this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’m happy that I can now pass this knowledge onto the families that I work with.

What has surprised me the most is the large number of children and young people that are diagnosed with ADHD across Berkshire, and how there is yet still so much those working with children and young people don’t know about ADHD, or still attach a stigma to it.

It has been very challenging starting this new role in a pandemic. I was fortunate to spend just over two months with colleagues before lockdown learning the role and developing skills. Since being in lockdown I have continued to have ongoing support from colleagues virtually. Working in this way has worked in my favour as has really helped to develop my confidence. 

I have really enjoyed the challenge of my new role working on the ADHD pathway, and becoming part of the team.

If you need any support, you can call the YoungMinds Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm) or find resources for parents of children with ADHD. Parenting Special Children provides specialist support for parents in Berkshire. 

And we also have lots of information on our ADHD pages.