Recite Me

The Epilepsy Team

A Day In The Life

What’s it like to be an Epilepsy Nurse?

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and can start at any age. There are many different types of epilepsy – sometimes people have it for a limited time with the seizures eventually stopping. For others it is a life-long condition. When someone has epilepsy, it means they have a tendency to have epileptic seizures. Anyone can have a one-off seizure, but this doesn’t always mean they have epilepsy. Epilepsy is usually only diagnosed if a doctor thinks there’s a high chance that the person could have more seizures.

To raise awareness of this often misunderstood condition and to mark #EpilepsyWeek, Laura Palmer, Staff Engagement Management, spent the morning with NCH&C’s Epilepsy Team to find out more about the brilliant work they do.

“NCH&C has both Children and Adult Specialist Epilepsy Nurses covering the whole of Norfolk. Both teams are part of the ESNA; Epilepsy Nurses Association, a professional organisation whose membership consists of nurses and other health professionals working to support people with epilepsy in the fields of adults, learning disabilities and paediatrics. Some of the team are also part of The Eastern Paediatric Epilepsy Network, which supports clinicians with an interest in childhood epilepsy from across the Eastern Region.

“NCH&C’s Adult Epilepsy Specialist Nurse Service sees patients from the age of 16, working closely with the Epilepsy Specialist Nurses from the Children’s team as patients transition over to the adult service. They offer help, support and information to patients with epilepsy, families, carers and friends. Each patient has a personal care plan to help manage their seizures, with support and advice also given to colleges, universities and employers. The team also provide specialist epilepsy advice to health and social care teams.

“Patients are seen in a range of settings: home visits; residential homes; ward visits; telephone contact; and nurse led clinics. I had the chance to observe a nurse led “transition” clinic, with Lisa and Colleen, with two patients moving from children’s to adult services.

“At the clinic, the patient and their family could talk through many aspects of their epilepsy including current medication; how to manage symptoms, seizures and aspects which trigger one; diet; and practical support with driving, starting higher education courses etc.

“My time with the team was fascinating yet I saw only a snippet of what both services provide.”