Nurses with ADD/ADHD? - page 39

by Metron 106,501 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


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    Thom Hartmann has written some excellent books about coping with ADD/ADHD.

    Another good resource:

    SamB12rn likes this.
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    HELLOto all you ADDers! My story is so much like so many of all yours. I have been in the Nursing field for 20+ starting as an LPN and graduating with my ASN (barely) but yea me. 2 of the instructors pegged me as the one they would try to fail out or get me to quit. Fortunately after many years of being emotionally beaten up by nurses in the field, it is nearly impossible to get me to quit anything. . Its not the nursing that is defeating it is the details, paperwork, and the tornado in my head around hour 8 of a 12 hour shift. I do not have The "H" part, so finding the right mix of meds has been difficult ( I was diagnosed while in school a few years ago when I was almost failed out of a class) I fall into a very small catagory of ADDers, female, and never able to find coping skills through the years. multiple almost fatal car accidents, failed marriage, shy, due to always having the wrong thing fall out of my mouth at the wrong time!!! Many lost wallets, I even remember on several occasions leaving something in the oven an leaving,,, I gave my neighbor a key, she has saved my house a couple of time!! Its bad. When I started medication I was like the sun coming through rain clouds after years of raining. BEAUTIFUL. But it did not fix everthing. I found working as a case manager for a small home health company was a good fit, but alas it got to busy for my mind to keep up with and I was let go. It was devistating, the people were like family to me. A crushing blow. Now I am just starting a job On a VERY busy ortho-med surg floor. I can turn over discharge and admit all six patients in one shift. I am drowning. I feel so stupid, the charge nurse asked me on the fly if a patient in a paticular room had gone home, I said yes only to realize that it was the wrong room I told them, only after the removed this patient from the computer system, meds and all, aughhhhhhhh! they think I am more and more incapable as each day goes on. I am smart, I love being a nurse, my patients love me, but that is where the love ends, as new grad, (2008) I need to put in at least 2 years on the floor in order to reach my long term goals. I need help advice how to pace myself, I am methodical (if i thing slower I am very accurate, but at such a high pace I cant remember to PEE somtimes!!!! I made my own cheatsheet, but I cant seem to get a rhythm that gets me through a 12 hr shift. any advice from those of you who feel people see you as stupid, and incompitent. 45 single mom, frustrated and wihout a support system. i am at the point I would rather quit than deal with the humiliation, the tears are ready to flow. Can ANYONE give me advice?
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    Hang in there.. it gets better. And u WILL find your rythmn. I have learntd to say "I am not sure, but let me check or, which pt or rm # was that?" I try to take good notes & refer to my SBAR's when I need too. Other's need to be more pacient if they want the correct info. I was very lucky that my preceptor also taught me how to "call" a dr to report on a pt (try always to have vitals, labs + med list available). I also try to have my computer open when I call a dr.(if I'm lucky enough to get him or her quickly) + the chart so I can rapidly write down orders & repeat them back.
    I take my positives & try to remember them 1st & foremost. They r what help me to feel confident as a nurse. Also, yes, I cried after nearly every shift for months. Then things started going right. Plus I found a terrific LPN to vent to & to ask questions. You r still learning. It is perfectly OK to ask questions!

    And, yea, something u didn't mention, but I know it has probably happened: sometimes the next shift nurse can be difficult to give report too... when I am feeling REALLY stressed by their behavior or they make a comment; I say: "I am only human & I do the best I can." Or "please be pacient with me, it's been a rough day." And when I was a new RN " I am still in my 1st yr, please forgive me & if you can, can please give me some advise on how to do it in a simpler/better way." We all remember what it was like to be a new grad. I really wish I would have been more comfortable w/asking more questions! But now, 2yrs & 4m into this I now ask (& sometimes they ask me, or we look it up together!!)
    Hang in there! You can do this!
    ~MJ
    Paytynsmom and SamB12rn like this.
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    First time poster.
    I graduated cum laude and sigma theta tau, 2 months ago with my dx of add. I was hired onto an elite unit in critical care and was so happy and excited. Within my first 30 days, I was disciplined for problems with multitasking and making mistakes on my charting. However, I get consistent praise from patient families and high marks on communication skills with families and doctors. When a new preceptor scared the pants off me, I just couldn't do anything right. It's as if the fear of demonstrating my skills in front of her wiped my memory out completely. It was a day from hell. I made a critical mistake and hung a drug incorrectly. Right rate, wrong line. No harm came to the pt but the preceptor wrote a 2 page documentation regarding her concerns of my ineptitude. I'm shattered. I seem to do well with learning when I kept the same preceptor and had time to think before acting. WHen I was told that I am not going to make it if i can't be faster, along with safer and with better documentation, my heart just started sinking. I'm a second degree BSN with prior experience in technology, sales and health education and I"ve never felt like such a failure. I can't sleep. I can't eat because i'm on the verge of tears about feeling so stupid. The CNS has written a plan that I am to follow to improve or ... there's not be a mention of or btu i assume it's being fired. It's possible that this unit was too complicated for me as a graduate without any prior hospital experience but i feel so trapped. I don't know what to do. Do I continue to try and do my best? Do I agree with my preceptors assessment and leave before orientation is over to try and get another unit job that is less acuity/ more repetitive? Will I be left without an opportunity to transfer?
    My CNS says my alternatives are to stay and try harder, leave the unit and apply for other jobs int he org ( would i get even a recommendation?) or to quit altogether.
    I'm getting so depressed. I am trying so hard. I feel like such a failure.
    I'm on meds. I just have problems with organization when faced iwth a new type of patient or experience.

    Can anyone help me? I have noone to talk to. I don't trust this person with my diagnosis.
    I am seriously considering leaving nursing.
    help?
    Last edit by bluelou on Jul 27, '09
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    Re: Nurses with ADD/ADHD?HELLOto all you ADDers! My story is so much like so many of all yours. I have been in the Nursing field for 20+ starting as an LPN and graduating with my ASN (barely) but yea me. 2 of the instructors pegged me as the one they would try to fail out or get me to quit. Fortunately after many years of being emotionally beaten up by nurses in the field, it is nearly impossible to get me to quit anything. . Its not the nursing that is defeating it is the details, paperwork, and the tornado in my head around hour 8 of a 12 hour shift. I do not have The "H" part, so finding the right mix of meds has been difficult ( I was diagnosed while in school a few years ago when I was almost failed out of a class) I fall into a very small catagory of ADDers, female, and never able to find coping skills through the years. multiple almost fatal car accidents, failed marriage, shy, due to always having the wrong thing fall out of my mouth at the wrong time!!! Many lost wallets, I even remember on several occasions leaving something in the oven an leaving,,, I gave my neighbor a key, she has saved my house a couple of time!! Its bad. When I started medication I was like the sun coming through rain clouds after years of raining. BEAUTIFUL. But it did not fix everthing. I found working as a case manager for a small home health company was a good fit, but alas it got to busy for my mind to keep up with and I was let go. It was devistating, the people were like family to me. A crushing blow. Now I am just starting a job On a VERY busy ortho-med surg floor. I can turn over discharge and admit all six patients in one shift. I am drowning. I feel so stupid, the charge nurse asked me on the fly if a patient in a paticular room had gone home, I said yes only to realize that it was the wrong room I told them, only after the removed this patient from the computer system, meds and all, aughhhhhhhh! they think I am more and more incapable as each day goes on. I am smart, I love being a nurse, my patients love me, but that is where the love ends, as new grad, (2008) I need to put in at least 2 years on the floor in order to reach my long term goals. I need help advice how to pace myself, I am methodical (if i thing slower I am very accurate, but at such a high pace I cant remember to PEE somtimes!!!! I made my own cheatsheet, but I cant seem to get a rhythm that gets me through a 12 hr shift. any advice from those of you who feel people see you as stupid, and incompitent. 45 single mom, frustrated and wihout a support system. i am at the point I would rather quit than deal with the humiliation, the tears are ready to flow. Can ANYONE give me advice?
    SamB12rn likes this.
  6. 1
    THIS THREAD HAS BEEN A GODSEND!

    I have loved reading the responses here, so comforting to know that it CAN be done! someone mentioned a while ago "feeling like I work 3x as hard to do 1/2 as well" and that is truly how I feel and it is that experience that caused me to swallow my pride, get evaluated, get medicated. Adderall XR is what I take.

    so heres my ?.

    I'm starting to build a tolerance, and have been feeling recently that my dose is not working. yesterday in clinical I screwed up with documentation big time. I found myself back in familiar the boat of just not being as present as I can be when I am on the right dose. Over the course of 2 years, I am still taking the adderall but I feel like I'm not experiencing the benefit that i once did. Part of me wants to try to taper down so I can start over again. I am taking 30mg/d and for the first time have been using my whole script. I dont want to keep increasing my dose and im hitting a brick wall. i also have a boyfriend that gets upset with me for taking it, saying i'm "not myself" and that the whole disorder is totally mental because everyone has ADD. he's a psych major which makes him think he can make these incorrect and hurtful assumptions. even my parents get upset about the cost, they think im addicted or selling it to my friends, etc.

    I dont want to rely on medication, but feel its my only option right now, as the coursework is not getting easier. I do not think my NP will give me a higher dose, and I hate living with this guilt for being COMPLIANT! i thought this was a good thing and now its just making me resent the medication, which is not the problem, it is part of the answer! sorry this is becoming a rant.

    any input on dosing or changes would be much appreciated!



    best of luck to you all!
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    bluelou,

    all i can say is hang in there. i am so sorry you are experiencing this. i've had an instructor like this and I found peace in knowing that just because she was burnt out, she was not going to chase me away. the way she is treating you is not fair or ethical. it is so hard when these details get the best of you, and it sometimes feel like the small details make us forget al of the great work we do every day, how we apply ourselves in so many ways and have to self regulate in ways that most people simply cannot relate to. you recognize that your mistake could have been disastrous, but you did not harm your patient and I am confident that in the future you will be more careful. these things really do happen to everyone, though it may not feel like it now. the worst thing you can do at this point is continue to doubt yourself. I know too well that it is way easier said than done. get good sleep. exercise when you can to get out some of the negative energy and clear your head. eat good food, call an old friend, and remember to be peaceful at heart.

    hope this all works out for you :heartbeat
    blondegenes and SamB12rn like this.
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    I was diagnosed in March 09. I am 25 years old in LPN school and planning to go back for my RN. I only had realized that I might have it when I was surfing the web (which is one of my favorite things to do) and came across some other s/s of it that are not your basic adhd test type questions and it hit me! Maybe that is it. My problem I have been struggling with my whole life but could never quite figure out why i was so different from others. Why I hated school and could never sit through a whole class without excusing myself to the bathroom. I went to my doctor who seemed sort of weary (for lack of a better word.. struggling with word retreival right about now ) about the whole thing but he decided to try me on Strattera. I have been on it for not quiet a year yet and I have noticed some differences. I am better at word retreival now and my memory has definatly improved. As for motivation I'm still lacking in that aspect of my life. I plan on going to a psychiatrist when i'm finished with school in march to decide if I would benefit more from a stimulant med. My doctor doesnt seem to want to prescribe me one. I do well in nursing school.. sometimes i wonder if the teachers are being nice or if i am actually smart! Hopefully RN school wont be a rude awakening for me The only thing i'm dreading is the time management and organizational part of nursing. I think I might struggle with that for a little. Any tips???? GOOD LUCK GUYS YOU ARE NOT ALONE!:spin:
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    Quote from Morettia2
    I am in the same boat as you. I have ADHD and dyslexia. I have learned how to deal with my ADHD, and since becomming an RN 1 year ago, I have a routine I made for my self everynight at the start of my shift at 1900 and end of shift at 0730. Routine is good for us ADHD people. But when I am over tired and over worked, the routine goes out the window and I am like one of those KONG Dog toys that you throw and it bounces all over the room in every different direction even if I took my ritalin, I am still all over the place. Although my pt's rave about what a great nurse I am, and I always greet them with a smile, and I have that enthuastic attitude that they need. And if I have had the same pt's 2 or 3 nights in a row, the pt's always say, "wow, when I asked how much hsleep you got b/t shifts and you said well 4 hours if that, I knew you had to be exhausted but I could never tell from how well you do your job." I wish I could say, " I am physically exhausted, my eyes hurt, my body hurts but can't slow down b/c I am a spaz, my mind is on overdrive and you don't know this but I ust had to read your MD's orders over 5 times or so to make sure I got them right. I do triple chart checks, I want to go home and go to bed." I wish i could say that.

    Being dyslexic on top of being ADHD is awful. GOD, when I was in nursing school my ADPIE's were all over the place, but I had a great Nuring Clinical Instructor sit me down and say you can do this, just write it all out on another paper, and re-arrange it to fit your ADPIE, you have all the information in your ADPIE's it's just reorganizing it in the right order. I confided in her I was dyslexic and ADHD, she said she could tell I was ADHD but I used it to my advantage in the pt. care setting.But when it comes to paper work, she said well this is why I want you to write it out on a seperate paper and re-organize it untill it looks right.

    I did what she said and 3 years later even as an RN I still do it from time to time. and it always helps. She even gave me an easy way to write my pt. reports at start of shift for when I became an RN. I have ben an Rn for 1 year and I still use her way of taking report every night I work and it always makes my life 100 times easier.

    But I can say when I am on my 3rd 13 hour sift in a row, my dyslexia gets the best of me. My first night, I an on the ball and super nurse, the second night I am a little more likely to see mising words, have to read med orders and check and re-check if orders were entered, I always check my meds and txs I do 3-4 times before I do them, being tired makes my dyslexia worse.. That 3rd night in a row, I chck and recheck, go over meds in the MAR multiple times, and check if there are any pending labs or tx's and to make sure they are correct.

    I don't really get med. names mixed up. But if it's my 3 13 hour shift in a row and I have to hang Primacore, Natrecore or any other inotrope drips I always have the colleague guardian on the IV pump set and I have another nurse just double check ith me what the dosae it ect....

    I don't tell them I have dyslexia, I just double and triplr check verything I do.

    I hate being dyslexic. 7's look like L's, 3 can be a B or an 8. R,K and E's forget about it. Every other sentence moves while reading a paragraph. I skip words. When I was in NS I had a hard time with my dyslexia.

    My fiance's mom, who is a learning specialst, gave me a test with different color seethrough slides you can place over a page in a book. She used 13 diffrernt color slides. She said what do you see on a regular text book page while usingone of my nursing books and made me read a paragraph out loud. I said every other line of the paragrah either dissapears or moves, while I read it normally. She began to place these diffrent color slides over the text book page. They ranged from red, to yellow to blue to a dark grey. She said tell me when it gets better. After 11 slides of all differnt colors, she placed a meduim dark gray slide over my text book page and it was as clear as day. No movement of the words, no missing sentenances. I was able to read an entire paragraph with out any problems. She said do you usually read in a dim lit room, I said yes.

    She began to tell me that people with Dyslexia, when reading a book with white pages and black print, in a well lit room have the problems. She told me that it had to do with the light refractory from the book to the eye, and that people with Dyslexia need the white to be toned way down, hence the reason I like to read in a dim light room. So we turned the lights way up, she placed the grey slide over my text book page, and said can you read this page with the same slide as before but with the lights turned up, and she even made me go to a different room that had those awful folorscent over head lights and said with the dark grey side over your nursing text book page. In both rooms, with the lights well lit, how do the sentences look. I was astonished that just putting a dark grey seethrough slide over my text book page made a dramatic difference, while reading in a well lit room. No more backwards letters, no more, phantom sentenances, no more paragrph movement.

    So I know how much it sucks being ADHD and dyslexic. It's a double whammy. And as an RN I have to CYA all the time. Only my best friend at work knows I am dyslexic, and the 2 of us are ADHD. She can tell when I am overtired b/c we drive to wkr together and I will read something and it cpmes out wrong.
    I heard about this color transparency therapy for ADHD about a decade ago.
    I was very skeptical at first, having dyslexia and ADHD, but surprised when a pink filter worked wonders for me!
    Some things work better for some people than others, but it worked for me.
  10. 0
    it was very encouraging to read your post. I have the same combo and I am a new nurse. I am working in a Med-Surge unit and it's very challenging. I have to stay super focus so I don't forget things (I get distracted easily and my attention span is getting worst). It's even harder because English is my second language and I feel my cognitive processes are super slow


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