Nurse with ADD

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    Hello Nurses I am a twenty year old planning on graduating with my RN/BSN next May!

    I have a tricky question, and I'm hoping someone can help me answering, preferably someone that takes medication for ADD/ADHD or know someone who does.

    After struggling for years wit attention issues, I was finally diagnosed a few months ago with mild attention deficits and have been placed on Adderall 20mg qday. Today, I found out that I got the dream summer externship of a lifetime: An extern in the ER in a hospital close to home. I am overjoyed!

    I am nervous however, because they called me today asking if I would take a drug test tomorrow (blood or urine, not sure) I take my prescription responsibly, and met with my psychiatrist and he even wrote a note to the drug testing people saying he prescribed me a stimulant that would show up on a drug test. So I am planning on bringing that along with my prescription bottle tomorrow.

    My question is, do hospitals not hire nurses/employees that take medication for ADD/ADHD? I know for most jobs it wouldn't be a problem, I was just concerned since Adderall is a stimulant/controlled substance, I'm a little worried they will decide to un-hire me if they find out I take Adderall

    This is my dream job and I don't want medication I take to keep me from thriving! Please someone help me out and assure me that it won't be a problem! Any advice would be WONDERFUL!

    Thanks nurses
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Unhiring you for taking Adderall would be discrimnation...they might but that's not the reason you'd give you. Lots of nurses have ADD...I do, I jsut don't take meds for it they don't help...they have to hire you despite of whatever is listed in the "must hire" poster they have at work places
    Baloney Amputation likes this.
  5. 0
    most employers only use a 5 panel test that test for illegal street drugs, because it's cheaper and they don't want to run in ADA or other lawsuits.

    other employers are nosey and like inviting lawsuits (although they whine about being sued too much), so they do a 10 panel test that id's some prescription drugs too.
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    If you take your meds the day of the test, you will get a call from a doctor at the hospital saying your urine tested positive for amphetamines. All you have to do is provide your doctors number or the number for the pharmacy that prescribes you the medication. They won't un-hire you because you take prescribed adderall, they just need to verify that you are prescribed and that it isn't an illegal amphetamine you are taking.

    If you don't take you meds on the day of the test, it will not show up on the test (its out of your system within 12 hours). I don't take my adderall everyday and did not take it on the day of the last drug test I took and it did not show up in my urine (even thought I had taken it the day before). So, if you don't want to deal with the phone call from the doctor at the hospital just don't take your meds on the day of the test.

    Hope that helps!
    mamamerlee likes this.
  7. 0
    Quote from CarlyAnne11
    Hello Nurses I am a twenty year old planning on graduating with my RN/BSN next May!

    I have a tricky question, and I'm hoping someone can help me answering, preferably someone that takes medication for ADD/ADHD or know someone who does.

    After struggling for years wit attention issues, I was finally diagnosed a few months ago with mild attention deficits and have been placed on Adderall 20mg qday. Today, I found out that I got the dream summer externship of a lifetime: An extern in the ER in a hospital close to home. I am overjoyed!

    I am nervous however, because they called me today asking if I would take a drug test tomorrow (blood or urine, not sure) I take my prescription responsibly, and met with my psychiatrist and he even wrote a note to the drug testing people saying he prescribed me a stimulant that would show up on a drug test. So I am planning on bringing that along with my prescription bottle tomorrow.

    My question is, do hospitals not hire nurses/employees that take medication for ADD/ADHD? I know for most jobs it wouldn't be a problem, I was just concerned since Adderall is a stimulant/controlled substance, I'm a little worried they will decide to un-hire me if they find out I take Adderall

    This is my dream job and I don't want medication I take to keep me from thriving! Please someone help me out and assure me that it won't be a problem! Any advice would be WONDERFUL!

    Thanks nurses
    I dont think that they cannot hire you because of the adderall. Although, they could always find another reason citing "more qualified applicants". Personally, I would not take my meds AND provide proof that I take them in case it shows up. But, Adderall can stay in your system from 1-3 days. I take Vyvansse and will have to stop taking my meds in about a week because I want to give it 7 days HTH's GL
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    I had the same drug test by the same hospital at two different times (Jan 2009 and Jan 2010). The adderall showed up in 2009 because I took it that day. In 2010, it didn't show up and I had taken it only 24 hours before. I do think it goes through your system quickly. I take adderall 20 mg XR too (by the way).

    Another thing: I don't think HR will be notified that you take adderall, all they will be told is whether you pass or failed the drug test and a passing test includes a person who tests positive for amphetamines who is prescribed adderall.

    Good luck with your test!
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    yea, Im thinking the drug test they are going to do is the one that is only checking for a few illegal families of drugs.

    we have Nurse managers with ADD... they are usually the pickiest about policies and QA... and the ADD nurses we have on nights are great.... about the only ones that stay awake all night....and help others stay awake!

    I think you will be fine. I would only do somthing if they question your results.
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    Here is my experience when I went to do drug testing with my hospital, as just after hiring, I underwent a medical procedure where opiates were prescribed, so I was pretty sure I would "fail" the drug test.

    I went to the hospital records (you don't need a physician's note...you need proof of a valid prescription...it isn't anyone's business what it's prescribed for) and got a copy of my MAR and brought it with me.

    My hospital used an outside lab for drug testing...this is for integrity purposes.

    When I went to my drug testing, I told the attendant that I had a MAR with me for a recent medical procedure and she looked at me and said, "Stop! Don't tell me anymore...that is for your privacy....IF we find medication that we are testing for in your system, THEN we will require proof of valid administration, otherwise, keep your records...we don't need them."

    They never called me...much to my surprise.

    Also, understand that they are testing for drugs that tend to be abused and illegal substances, they don't test for every drug under the sun.

    NEVER, EVER disclose any medical condition or medication to ANY employer unless you are SPECIFICALLY told you are required to do so.

    You have the right to privacy, just like any other patient.
  11. 0
    Typically, the hiring manager will only be notified if you fail your drug screen (without a proven medical excuse). At least, that was my experience as a hiring manager for a blood collection center.

    I also take Adderall 20 mg XR. I also didn't even know I had ADD until nursing school. Basically, it helps me focus my attention on the books better. I have not seen/heard any repercussions from anyone who takes this medication as prescribed. It is also something that you will likely discontinue after you complete Nursing School.

    Important side note- I recently discovered that I test better if I don't take the medicine on test days. Don't know why, but after 4 consecutive "A"s, I don't question it, I simply don't take an Adderall on that day. YMMV
  12. 0
    Hi CarlyAnne11! Congrats on your upcoming graduation and of your recent diagnosis. I know that sounds funny but I was diagnosed 11 years ago at age 33 and it has become such a positive thing in my life. I start school nursing school this fall and just like many other times have always stressed a little bit before a drug test due to the Adderall. However it does show up differently than recreational drugs in a test so even though I completely understand your angst it won't be a problem.


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