As you might expect, she has been on the proverbial journey to get here, for a long time running a holiday company before her then undiagnosed condition caused her severe mental health problems. After finally getting the right help, she took the plunge and applied for an apprenticeship, determined to ensure that she wouldn’t be held back.
“I was afraid that if I told NWAS that I had ADD, they wouldn’t allow me on the course, but actually, when I did tell them there wasn’t an issue!
“In fact, they’ve been incredibly supportive throughout my apprenticeship. They’ve recognised I have a different way of learning and showing that I’ve understood the information. I’ve struggled with my written assignments, but my trainers have allowed me to submit my evidence verbally. This has been a game-changer.
“Not only have they put provisions in place for me. But they then asked how can we now learn from you? That is not what I expected.”
She has just completed her endpoint assessment and is looking forward to hitting the road as a fully qualified EMT.
“The way I tell the story of my life, I’m negative about my experiences before my diagnosis, but very positive about them after my diagnosis.
“I take medication that manages some of the symptoms to thrive with ADD, not just survive ADD. If there were a “cure”, I wouldn’t want it because I believe one of the reasons I’m good at my job is that I can manage and understand ADD then using the great qualities of it to help me in practice.”
“That’s because my brain has 26 different browsers open at once, and it’s because of my learnt experience, and the trauma that I have been through that makes me more determined; the fact I can remember incredibly obscure details. I also have the skill of reading people very well, resulting from my ADD. I can tell when people are lying, which I can use to my advantage when dealing with some patients who don’t tell you the truth about what drugs or medication they have or haven’t taken, for instance.”
“I think the ambulance service has lots of people in it who have ADD and are probably don’t know it. And the ambulance service is better for it. I want to help and encourage those who do know and show that they shouldn’t be put off, and you won’t be told you can’t join.”