Nurses with ADD/ADHD? - page 37

by Metron

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Hey all! I was wondering if there are any nurses with ADD/ADHD out there who want to comiserate and support each other? I know I need the help/advice. It might also be a place for "regular" people (I hate the word normal) to... Read More


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    Hey ADD friends. So nice to see all the nurses with ADD. Dx almost 20 yrs ago after my son, then my dad was dx shortly after. 53 yrs old, LPN for 35 years. Want to enter RN program now that all my babies have flown the nest. Thought I had all my pre reqs but everytime I check there is another. I wanted to do the transition courses online through College Network and Indiana Univ. but MD no longer approves the LPN to RN Associate Degree program. I waited all these years and planned on that program. To do the BSN program there the pre reqs are more than most 4 yr colleges request. Determined to do this so I will. Since taking meds, I LOVE TO LEARN. I feel like I could go to school 24/7. Hopefully can test out of some. I have tried most of all the stimulants. currently on Adderall short acting. Noticed No effect from the XR. Best I felt was on Ritalin short acting and concerta with right dosing. I need that push in the am so have always needed a short acting or would be non functional in am. However, like most of these meds, developed a tolerance so that it had to keep increasing dosage. Ritalin short acting lasted a max of 2.5 hrs and felt it wearing off and rebound effects. Recently I have discovered that taking Adderall short acting and a Wellbutrin "SR" seems to prolong the Adderall and therefore decreases my distractability and seems to keep me focused enough to get work done on time. Biggest enemy is paper work!! Im obsessive/comp about "perfection" so if I make a mistake, I rewrite the whole thing. Wellbutrin SR has helped with this also. so instead of ten times rewriting I only rewrite 3 times. My biggest problem that after 35 yrs of being employed in various nursing positions, I am in LTC, to pay kids college loans, and having time management problems in am. Have to punch in on a time clock, first time ever. I am always 5 to 10 mins late every morning. D.O.N. writes disciplinary actions so many times I finally informed her that I have ADD, and need accomadations. Has anyone else had to deal with this?
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    [QUOTE=1blwise;2966446]My daughter is going to be a junior in high school this coming year. She has fairly severe ADHD. She is a smart girl, but without meds or when her meds need tweaking she is a C,D,F student going full out. When meds are working she is an A/B student while studying less than half as many hours per day. She still studies longer than her peers to obtain the same results. She also has mild dyslexia. She is on an IEP, and gets some accomodations in school.

    Here is the question. She wants to be a nurse, and work in a clinic with children with adhd helping them to be successful. She has wanted this since she was 10. She would like to be a NP and be able to prescribe meds as well as help them with coping skills. I am concerned about the severity of the ADHD coupled with the dyslexia will cause her to give someone 10 times the dose of medication they should get and kill them, or something. I also know how much organizational skill nursing requires, particularly at the staff nurse level. I don't know if she can safely get through undergrad clinicals, even if she goes right to grad school. I am kind of trying to encourage her to major in social work instead, and she can still help ADHD kids learn coping skills and social skills and other ADHD strategies. It feels like betraying my profession to discourage my own daughter from being a nurse. Am I being overly concerned?

    Those of you who are nursing students or new grads with ADHD in particular, what are your thoughts on this?[/QUOTE]


    I'm no longer a student, but looking back over my first few years out of school I can tell you that, for me at least, the way to go was to take things SLOW. I initially was in one of those non-nursing Bachelor Degree to NP programs and it was a disaster. I got through the BSN-RN part OK but was totally overwhelmed with the NP part of the program, where I was asked to apply skills that I had learned but had never had a chance to use. This was just not possible for me. Now after several years of practice I am really familiar with the meds, know what various medical conditions look and sound like, know what to say (and what NOT to say) to my patients and families. I have a base to build on now if I wanted to go back and finish the NP at this point in my life. One step at a time, and make sure there is time for the new skills and knowledge you acquire to become solid before taking on something new! Good luck to your daughter-she should follow her dream, just take the time she needs to get there.
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    Hello out there,

    I graduated from RN Nursing school Dec. 2007. I had been an LPN for over 20 yrs. I was diagnosed with ADHD about 2 yrs ago, and CAPD 3 yrs before that. Well, I'm 50 yrs old now. I can identify with all of your stories and concerns. I don't want to get into my life journey's, 'cause I'll just go on and on. First, the best thing I ever did, after it being highly recommended, was read the book, "Driven to Distraction" (authors: Hallowell,and Ratey). The author's are two Physicians with ADHD; it took them over two years to complete the book ...ha. It is the best of all the books I've come across, that answers so many questions, and is an incredible self-esteem booster. I was able to rent it at the library; I eventually bought my own. It's a smooth, powerful read!
    Next, when out in the workforce, NEVER disclose to anyone on the unit, that you have ADHD,especially not the charge nurse, because there are just too many people that will hold a stigma againsnt it, and they can make your life miserable if they start to over-analyze you. Besides, it's nobody's business.
    To the writer who is concerned because her daughter wants to work with children with ADHD. She can do it. Have her start in a 2 year program; she may then want to start her internship in Psych., because with that, she can eventually get into children's psych. program/job. Her Nursing Psych instructor can help her get her foot in the door after graduation. So many people with undiagnosed ADHD, are also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, oppositional defiance disorder. Yeah, it's all connected. Did you know that there are 6 types of ADHD??
    ADHD has now, finally been recognized as a medical disorder only 7-8 yrs. ago, Not mental or Psych as before!! I'm on Focalin now, and doing pretty well. My brain was like a race car with no brakes, before I started ADHD meds. Though I do like myself when not on Focalin (I have character; I like being different) ; I take it for work. I also have been taking Celexa for depression for many years.
    People with ADHD are intelligent and creative; we make excellent nurses because we are able to multi-task. But starting out, take it slow, find your niche. I too believe that they should remove the word "Disorder" from the diagnosis of ADHD, and replace it with "Trait" instead. We can learn and we learn well, just differently.
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    Just found this thread, can't wait to do some reading up on the experiences! Thanks, Shhnack
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    Okay, so any one had problems with relationships? If so, please explain, which types of relationships and to what degree. So far I haven't read much on this topic
    Shhnack
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    Yes, I have had problems with my signiciant others mostly because I pick partners that aren not availble on level or another. Other are work relationships, there is always one person that I have trouble with. I just started a great job and the nurse that was suppose to be orienting me went off on me. My boss was supportive and said nurses eat their young/new alive, sad but true. My boss took me off the assignment with her. I do have dsylexia as well but I don't know why she got ****** at me. She would say "J-----, I just told you that." I'd like to know if other nurses have had trouble with nurses orienting them to a new job?
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    Oh, my goodness yes, I have had problems with a nurse who trained me. She was very rough around the edges. I think she enjoyed making me feel lesser than her. It was a bad situation at first and after so long of her dogging me or acting so exasperated by my questions, one day I gave it back to her in the most respectful way I could. After that she kinda backed off and knew I wasn't for kicking around. Also, I remember at some point in my employment there I remember thinking to myself, "okay, I can either be miserable with her around or learn how to befriend her in some strange kind of way". I started holding my head higher, and started matching my rapport with hers and kind of tried to read her better. In other words, the way I spoke with her, and interacted with her matched how she interacted with me, while I wasn't rude I was just kinda gruff and to the point. She soon started to respect me. I guess I was just to nice to her, and she couldn't respect that, doesn't make sense, it is how it unfolded. Now, for me, if there is a woman/man who is cold and rude to me, I make a conscience effort to get to know/understand/or befriend them, because it seems "those" people are the one's who have alot of knowledge to offer and if you can get on their good side, you'll have a good person to go when you need it. Hope this helps at all : )

    Shhnack
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    I graduated from nursing school last August and am I trying to get tested for ADD. School really wasn't a problem for me but I think I blew my dream job in large part to being unable to organize my thoughts and my day properly. What (besides meds) helps you at work? I wrote everything down, had a watch that chimes hourly, and tried a check list but that didn't help my critical thinking. Any help would be greatyly appreciated.
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    Wow, I'm excited to find this thread, I almost started a similar one myself!

    I was diagnosed with ADD in second grade, and became the only girl taking Ritalin in my elementary school. I'm reading about lots of women here who were diagnosed later in life on this thread, and that makes a lot of sense since we tend to exhibit out attention difficulties differently than boys. We aren't always hyperactive or with behavior problems, but we tend space out to the point that it interferes with our relationships and work, we have to work several times as hard to keep our stuff organized, and we loose track of time and our thoughts habitually. People tend to think we're just not that bright or just lazy, but when we can actually put our minds to something we can blow our peers out of the water with our hard work and creativity!

    Since then, I've worked hard to manage my ADD using medical and non-medical strategies, and I've been able to be a good student, and good at several different jobs. One of the hardest parts about having ADD, for me, is the time when I'm starting something new and haven't yet figured out good coping strategies. I'm very nervous about my first year nursing for this very reason.

    I'll be reading through here looking for tips... but if anyone has any good hints for a very ADD (but hard working) future new nurse, I'd love to hear them. What kinds of environments have worked for you all? What might I want to tell my boss? Do you find ritalin or other stimulants helpful when working, or do you have trouble connecting with patients when you're on them?
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    Quote from ajs1997
    I graduated from nursing school last August and am I trying to get tested for ADD. School really wasn't a problem for me but I think I blew my dream job in large part to being unable to organize my thoughts and my day properly. What (besides meds) helps you at work? I wrote everything down, had a watch that chimes hourly, and tried a check list but that didn't help my critical thinking. Any help would be greatyly appreciated.
    I've never worked as a nurse before, but I think some of what I learned as a waitress and as the manager of a smaller organization *might* be transferable.
    The two biggest things for me are:
    1. Have a well thought out organizational strategy, and stick to it no matter what. Don't use someone else's strategy, it will fall apart if it's not something you made based on your needs that you are going to take responsibility for. Maybe you need to write everything down, but maybe that's not what you need at all. Think about what was successful for you in school, and think about every habit you have, and don't fight them unless you need to - make them work for you. if you make it too hard it absolutely will fail.

    2. Never be not working when at work. If I ever take a break, unless it's on a designated break, I will never get back in my groove. Once I get in a rhythm, nothing can stop me. You need to plan meal, snack, and water drinking really well if you want to have enough energy to keep going all shift long. If I ever catch myself standing around, even if there's very little to do (not that this happens much for nurses on understaffed floors) my first thought is always, what am I forgetting?

    Oh, and if you do end up on meds, try and see a psychiatric APN to be your ADD care provider. I've found my NP way better at coaching me through my attention problems than any MD I've ever had, and you have the added bonus that he or she will totally know what you're going through with your nursing job, and will be able to give you very relevant feedback for what you're trying.

    But yeah, I hope I make through my first nursing job alive. Good luck with your next job, I hope you're able to grow from what sounds like a very upsetting experience...
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