Nurses with ADD/ADHD? - page 38

by Metron | 108,916 Views | 429 Comments

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


  1. 1
    For me, My first job was a nightmare. There was no support system, which did not help the fact that I was a new nurse with ADD and no real experience in the field. My second job was much better, the fact that I did have a little more knowledge of the job helped me stay on task. I also had a great mentor who was just as much as a spaz as me (lol) and that helped me learn to make the ADD work for me. I was the only nurse who could get everything done during my shift, and I thank the ADD for that, because I could be doing one thing, while instructing my CNA's about something that needed to be done, and giving my co-workers my lunch order. Unfortunately, that job didnt last and I was laid off, but it did give me a lot of confidence as to what I was good at. As for the medication, that mostly gives me the energy I need to get through the day. If I get bored, I fall asleep.
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    dear fellow RN and ADD sufferer I know how difficult. it can be with all the stimuli and chaos on a nsg. unit and the ADD is creating a nightmare in you head. It is so hard to sort it all out and prioritize yourself and your nsg. duties. I have found meds like Ritalin do helpas wellas writing down your schedule and also going to a quiet spot and take deep breaths help.let me know how you are doing and what's new?
    Last edit by ayoung on Apr 21, '09 : Reason: poor spelling
    SamB12rn likes this.
  3. 2
    I found this thread by looking for others with ADHD, its such a relief to know I'm not alone and there are others out there with experiences they are willing to share.

    I started my pre-reqs last fall and since I home school my two kids it seemed to work well all the way around. The one thing that I had a hard time with was my son constantly interrupting me - it was driving me absolutely insane! lol. He was struggling to keep his attention on his schoolwork and I started to wonder if he had ADHD (his best friend has it, but way more hyper). I researched and took him into his pediatrician and sure enough, he has the inattentive part. During my research for him I came across the fact that ADHD is genetic. It *never* occurred to me that adults have ADHD - DUH!

    So, when I took him in for his appointment, I asked the Dr if it was possible I had it. He said it was highly possible and he had me come back for my own appointment. So here I am 40 years old and getting in to see a pediatrician. I asked him if I could have that in writing, lol. So he diagnosed me and I first went on vyvanse. It was OK except that my heartrate went from 90 to about 170 one night and I was majorly grumpy and always jumping on my family. That could not go on. He changed me to concerta and I have been on it only a few days and I love it! I am not grouchy at all, I am getting tons done and even seem to have more energy.

    I am looking forward to my next batch of classes and then NS, its a whole new ball game for me. I had asked the Dr, since I have been able to deal with this my whole life why should I go on meds, I have a 4.0 and doing well in school. He said that's good... but how long does it take you? Good point! I spent hours and hours working on school. I can't wait to see how it works next semester!!

    I had learned to overcompensate with time management, I learned that if I don't plan out each assignment I won't get anything done. I even try to schedule when to balance my checkbook, but that never seems to get done, lol. Laundry and watering plants are all scheduled too. One thing I am proud of is my ability to multitask. I was considering getting a second monitor so I can see all my open windows at once. Of course, I have to make sure they are all shut off when I am studying or the wrong stuff gets done.

    I am relieved to hear that I can get help at school if I need it. I don't think I will have problems, but you never know. I can't wait to see how the meds help my studying!!

    Thanks for all the stories and advice, I am very glad to know I am not alone! :heartbeat
    Paytynsmom and SamB12rn like this.
  4. 2
    Quote from jh479352
    The clients have hx. of amphetmine abuse. If I had to do it all over, I would not have mentioned to anyone at work that I had ADHD. I found that I can not trust the people I work with.
    I've learned to NEVER trust anyone, keep to yourself, and never discuss personal private info at your workplace. a big no, no =)
    CrabbyPatty and NurseKitten like this.
  5. 4
    I am a nurse anesthetist with ADD. Many may wonder how I got so far. I only have two words: discipline and determination.

    I was diagnosed last week. As a child, I would never sit still and always encountered teachers who would repeatedly have my parents send me to a doctor for further evaluation. At one point, I did see a doc when I was in 5th grade. He suggested meds, but my mother refused. My mom was very disciplined with behavioral therapy. I think that helped in getting me so far in life.

    In high school, I was very athletic. I played lacrosse and picked up smoking during one summer (the two sound counterproductive). These behaviors go hand in hand with ADDers. My coach told me that I was scholarship material, but the smoking slowed me down. I could not keep up with my position as star center for my team.

    At the age of 14, I started off as a candy striper and have worked with patients ever since. I slowly began to climb the nursing ladder. Because I learned so much with direct patient care over the years, I could pretty much goof off during nursing school. It came easy to me. It was so easy that I was ready for med school, but an unplanned pregnancy set me back.

    Eventually, I became bored with ICU nursing. I loved it, but it was time to move on. I knew that I really had to shape up with my grades when it was time to work on my BSN to get accepted into an anesthesia progrom. So, I did.

    Nurse anesthesia training was the hardest thing I had to do, from an academic standpoint. I always knew that I was very smart, even smarter than most, but there was something missing. I was usually the last one to complete a test. Now that I look back, I can pick out a couple ADDers in my class.

    ADD has never affected my career in nursing. The only thing that is difficult is to sit down and document. Ugh! I hate it! But, I get it done. And its probably not the best documentation in the world. I know how important it is with our career. I know that I am great at what I do. Just writing it down sucks.

    My six year old started having problems with school. They were pointing toward ADD. I began to evaluate myself. The two biggest concerns that brought me for reevaluation was my parenting and strange eating habits. Its especially hard for me to sit down and play games with my kids, do homework, and read to them. One day, I am obsessive with what I eat. The next, I am eating almost whatever and can eat tons of it. I quit smoking over the years, and have no issues with any illegal substances or alcohol. Just food. I am not overweight, but close.

    I will begin meds at the end of July. My doc had ADD herself, which is why I chose her. She is giving me some time to research the medications and get back to her. As of now, I have narrowed it down to Adderall XR and Vyvanase. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    After the diagnosis and educating myself about ADD, I am relieved. There are tons of extremely intelligent people out there with ADD: Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin....and the list goes on. We now need to use what we have and channel it it the right direction with education and appropriate medication. I was never a believer in meds. My son is not on meds. But know that I know how it works and how it helps, I am willing to give it a shot for myself then possibly my son. I highly recommend, "Delivered from Distraction". Its a great book that my doc recommended.
  6. 1
    I started using Vyvanse, which was great!! Then I switched med. insurance companies after divorcing, and Vyvanse wasn't covered; too expensive for me. My doctor has me on Focalin XR 15mg. which is working out well. At first the only adverse effect was a headache for a week or so (normal), then it went away, and now I'm fine. Both Vyvanse and Focalin XR lasts almost 12 hrs.
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    wow! itís so great to read these! iím an rn w/ adhd. the symptoms have been part of my life as far back as i can remember, but the diagnoses came in 1994, when i was in nursing school. it explained a lot of things & i first realized i was not a dummy, but itís been a struggle to keep jobs (& that can make me feel like a dummy). i remind myself that many successful people had adhd, but sometimes it feels like i'm crazy & that no one will understand. i know there must be successful rns w/ adhd in this world that have found their niche. i could use some positive feedback. reading the posts really helps!
    iíve had several jobs in different fields of nursing b/c i keep trying to find where i ďfitĒ (one of the best jobs i ever had was in the er, but i was a cna then). after graduating from nursing school in 1995, i worked 8 mon, had my 3rd child, & was a stay at home mom for a few yrs. i eventually went back to work, gained some experience, lost the job(s), found new different types of nursing jobs & kept trying. i became a single parent & worked as much as i could under my circumstances (lots of different jobs & hardships), & somehow managed for a while amidst lots of chaos. i had to try & coordinate a lot of different things, which have been very overwhelming. i lost everything but my kids, but survived the divorce process & left the nursing field for several yrs d/t stress, illness, & disillusionment. between all this, it felt like my nursing skills had gone "kaput". iíve had no family here, other than my kids (now only my 12y/o daughter living at home).
    i was taking dexedrine for several yrs, but donít have health insurance now. i've found that, even if people do believe adhd is real, many think that one "outgrows" it in adulthood. of course, thatís not the case! i've learned some coping skills, like making lists & breaking things down into smaller pieces. trouble is, things build up & it never seems to end when you're trying to do it all by yourself. sometimes i can hyper-focus on a task & do a good job & sometimes iím so distractible that every time i get interrupted, i have to start over again. sometimes, i ďspace things outĒ that someone might tell me at work, then i feel terrible & embarrassed about it. iíve learned that happens though when i feel nervous to begin with, like in a new job & feel unsupported. i can work hard though & be good at multi-tasking when i know how to do something. making my own color-coded report sheets for work has been helpful. iíve had to learn not to be too hard on myself, b/c that only makes things worse, & to focus on what i do want, rather than what i donít want. that can be so hard to do!
    i love many aspects of nursing, & i really enjoy helping & taking care of people. so after getting somewhat stabilized after a bad divorce, i decided to give it another shot. last year, i completed the nurse refresher course & clinical to update my nursing skills. i got a job at a nursing home, which was very difficult, but i liked many things about it too. the orientation was hard, b/c i had a different preceptor & a different hall a lot, but most of the nurses were helpful. after the nurse refresher course, & working again, many things came back to me that i thought were gone. i learned a lot & was becoming somewhat confident in my role as a nurse again, though it was very strenuous (physically, mentally, emotionally), & i frequently stayed over my scheduled shift to try & catch up, until my brain was so exhausted i literally could not think anymore.
    wellÖ now iím back to square one & looking for a job again. i filed for unemployment today but i donít know if it will go thru b/c i do not seem to ďfitĒ into any of their categories. i was so depressed that i had brownies & a root beer float for dinnerÖyuck! itís been a long, hard road & iím tired of trying to convince others that i'm not lazy or making excuses. i wish there was such a thing as an iep for employment. iím a strong & tenacious person, & do not give up easily, but this has been so difficult, that iím wondering if i should permanently go to another job field (i do not want to). i would not like jobs where i would have to sit, like at a desk for a long time. i really like to walk around alot & stay busy or i get board.
    i always try my best, & sometimes my best doesn't seem good enough. iíve realized that adhd is part of me & that iím not going to get ďrid ofĒ it. i have no health insurance & no job right now (no meds d/t no health ins)! i really want to find a nursing job that i can keep. i know there has to be nurses out there, who have adhd (obviously, aeb these posts), who have found their ďnicheĒ in nursing! i want to know whatís worked for them & will read more here. if you are reading this, maybe you can identify. thanks.
  8. 2
    wow! itís so great to read these! iím an rn w/ adhd. the symptoms have been part of my life as far back as i can remember, but the diagnoses came in 1994, when i was in nursing school. it explained a lot of things & i first realized i was not a dummy, but itís been a struggle to keep jobs (& that can make me feel like a dummy). i remind myself that many successful people had adhd, but sometimes it feels like i'm crazy & that no one will understand. i know there must be successful rns w/ adhd in this world that have found their niche. i could use some positive feedback. reading the posts really helps!
    iíve had several jobs in different fields of nursing b/c i keep trying to find where i ďfitĒ (one of the best jobs i ever had was in the er, but i was a cna then). after graduating from nursing school in 1995, i worked 8 mon, had my 3rd child, & was a stay at home mom for a few yrs. i eventually went back to work, gained some experience, lost the job(s), found new different types of nursing jobs & kept trying. i became a single parent & worked as much as i could under my circumstances (lots of different jobs & hardships), & somehow managed for a while amidst lots of chaos. i had to try & coordinate a lot of different things, which have been very overwhelming. i lost everything but my kids, but survived the divorce process & left the nursing field for several yrs d/t stress, illness, & disillusionment. between all this, it felt like my nursing skills had gone "kaput". iíve had no family here, other than my kids (now only my 12y/o daughter living at home).
    i was taking dexedrine for several yrs, but donít have health insurance now. i've found that, even if people do believe adhd is real, many think that one "outgrows" it in adulthood. of course, thatís not the case! i've learned some coping skills, like making lists & breaking things down into smaller pieces. trouble is, things build up & it never seems to end when you're trying to do it all by yourself. sometimes i can hyper-focus on a task & do a good job & sometimes iím so distractible that every time i get interrupted, i have to start over again. sometimes, i ďspace things outĒ that someone might tell me at work, then i feel terrible & embarrassed about it. iíve learned that happens though when i feel nervous to begin with, like in a new job & feel unsupported. i can work hard though & be good at multi-tasking when i know how to do something. making my own color-coded report sheets for work has been helpful. iíve had to learn not to be too hard on myself, b/c that only makes things worse, & to focus on what i do want, rather than what i donít want. that can be so hard to do!
    i love many aspects of nursing, & i really enjoy helping & taking care of people. so after getting somewhat stabilized after a bad divorce, i decided to give it another shot. last year, i completed the nurse refresher course & clinical to update my nursing skills. i got a job at a nursing home, which was very difficult, but i liked many things about it too. the orientation was hard, b/c i had a different preceptor & a different hall a lot, but most of the nurses were helpful. after the nurse refresher course, & working again, many things came back to me that i thought were gone. i learned a lot & was becoming somewhat confident in my role as a nurse again, though it was very strenuous (physically, mentally, emotionally), & i frequently stayed over my scheduled shift to try & catch up, until my brain was so exhausted i literally could not think anymore.
    wellÖ now iím back to square one & looking for a job again. i filed for unemployment today but i donít know if it will go thru b/c i do not seem to ďfitĒ into any of their categories. i was so depressed that i had brownies & a root beer float for dinnerÖyuck! itís been a long, hard road & iím tired of trying to convince others that i'm not lazy or making excuses. i wish there was such a thing as an iep for employment. iím a strong & tenacious person, & do not give up easily, but this has been so difficult, that iím wondering if i should permanently go to another job field (i do not want to).
    i always try my best, & sometimes my best doesn't seem good enough. iíve realized that adhd is part of me & that iím not going to get ďrid ofĒ it. i have no health insurance & no job right now! i really want to find a nursing job that i can keep. i know there has to be nurses out there, who have adhd (obviously, aeb these posts), who have found their ďnicheĒ in nursing! i want to know whatís worked for them & will read more here. if you are reading this, maybe you can identify. thanks.
    bcglc5 and Curious1alwys like this.
  9. 3
    To lml33: It was my graduate-level physiology class in CRNA school that made me get diagnosed. Up until then, I had made due with caffeine.

    One of my other classmates is ADHD as well. I'm on Adderal XR, he's on Vyvanse, and we've been comparing notes.

    He was on Adderal XR initially, but had the extrapyramidal stuff going on - but the Vyvanse is the prodrug, so it doesn't have near the side effects.

    My doctor started me on Wellbutrin to begin with, and it did no good. When they added the Adderal, it was like a miracle...all the "jumbled mess" was all still there, it just became orderly, and I could access it at will.

    I actually no longer need the Wellbutrin, and I feel better - it was a little too much as a combo therapy.

    My doctor has me on Adderal, with 5 mg Dexamphetamine tablets for if I need an extra boost, or I'm up studying late. The average action of Adderal is ~10 hours, but it lasts ~12 for me, and the 5 mg's last ~6.

    Made all the difference in the world. ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

    God bless and good luck.
    melloyello, HM2VikingRN, and SamB12rn like this.
  10. 0
    why yes, I am here also. I have found that most of the time my studying and grades are going well, but when I turn my desk chair around......AAAAAAAAJJJJJHHHHHHHH!!I cant seem to keep school and life in a good balance yet, so it looks like Im living in a rummage sale. ha ha School comes first! And no matter what, housework, friends, or even family, for these short years, school comes first.


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