Nurses with ADD/ADHD? - page 4

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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    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.

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    Quote from MellyOne
    So, are there issues in your workplace related to amphetamine use? I use ritalin for narcolepsy, and I'm afraid that I may be black listed from certain healthcare facilities if they find out. Any thoughts?
    I have had a couple of amazingly humiliating experiences due to Dex.

    One time I dropped my purse and everything inside dumped to the floor. A coworker helped me pick everything up and picked up the bottle of Dex and commented (outloud) Wow... you take amphetamines???

    I decided then I wouldn't take the bottle with me just a couple of tablets. I kept them in my pocket so nothing embarrassing would happen.

    Sometimes I take them and sometimes I don't. Most of the time, I simply forget. However one day I just got to work and was called into the DONs office. She told me to sit down, I did. She stared at me for the longest time not saying a word. Then she opened a desk drawer, pulled out a baggie, put the baggie on her desk for me to see and asked me what this was. There was a Dexedrine tablet in the baggie.

    I told her that was likely my Dexedrine 5mg tablet. She asked where I got it because there was no Dexedrine in the Pyxis. She also told me she did a Pyxis search and couldn't find how I got it out of another Pyxis without her being able to track it.

    It never dawned on her that I had an Rx for it.

    I told her the truth and I also happened to have an old Rx I never got filled still in my purse. (I don't take nearly as many as I get Rx's for) Then the questioning went from how can I come to work "impaired" to why am I not taking the drug as prescribed.

    I was able to explain that I wasn't impaired (what she doesn't know is that some days I *am* impaired when I do NOT take it. LOL) by telling her HR knew about this. She said that was impossible, had they known I take Dex I would have never passed my drug screen and been hired. Truth is, I stopped taking it intentionally before I knew I would be getting the drug screen because I simply didn't want people to know unless it was necessary. If it became necessary, I have Rx's to back me up.

    As it turned out, I didn't stop taking it long enough before the drug screen and it came back positive. I had to bring my Rx's to HR, the medical officer had to call the pharmacy and verify my Rx was an actual Rx instead of something I created on my computer, he had to ask me questions such as when I took it last, compare the amount found in the drug screen to the Rx dose (I hadn't taken it in a week, everything I said added up) and then he cleared me to be hired.

    HR still didn't want to hire me and the MD medical officer went to bat for me and said there was no reason for me not to be hired.

    I told the DON about the drug screen, the house officer, the documentation in my Employee Health medical file, etc., and she claimed not to believe me. She said she would have been told if I was working "impaired." She called Employee Health in front of me to prove I was dishonest and EH declined to tell her one way or another if I was taking Dexedrine but they did tell her hospital policy and IF I did have a drug screen, and IF the MO did approve me to be hired, I was good to go and they could not tell her details of my employee health file.

    So then she went from accusing me of working impaired to asking me why I wasn't taking the drug as prescribed, proof being I hadn't filled an old Rx.

    At that point I told her I would not continue this discussion without HR present and also the medical officer that went to bat for me in the beginning. The discussion ended there. However she went on to tell my entire department (in front of me) that we need not worry about Bipley anymore as she has ADHD and has a legal Rx for Dexedrine. This was supposed to stop any rumors from the person that saw it fall out of my (scrubs) breast pocket when I bent over to pick something up. Anyone who didn't know I was taking Dex sure knew at that point.

    I could have persued the issue, she did just about everything she could, wrong. I could have nailed her butt to a wall. Instead I was just too embarrassed at the way this was handled, the accusations, etc., and I quit.

    The moral of this story is DO tell Employee Health you are taking amphetamines and DO be honest about it from the get-go. Most of all, don't put amphetamine tablets in your breast pocket of your scrubs and then bend over to pick something up. They WILL fall out, YOU won't notice but your coworkers will notice. Keep them in a small vial in a secure area of your purse so that if you do dump your purse, they won't fall out.
    Last edit by Bipley on Dec 8, '05
    CrabbyPatty, SamB12rn, NurseKitten, and 1 other like this.
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    Hello, fellow geniuses!

    "They" call it ADD/ADHD, I call it "unrestrained genius."

    I've learned to manage it without meds and use it to my advantage -- adderall dulled my personality, making me feel "flat."
    CrabbyPatty and SamB12rn like this.
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    oops...double post... sorry
    Last edit by PsychNurseWannaBe on Dec 9, '05
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    Quote from Pvt. Parts
    Hello, fellow geniuses!

    "They" call it ADD/ADHD, I call it "unrestrained genius."

    I've learned to manage it without meds and use it to my advantage -- adderall dulled my personality, making me feel "flat."
    LOL... I have heard from people that they feel it dulls their personality and creativity. My brother doesn't like to take it either for those reasons. Luckily I haven't noticed that it has had a negative effect on mine. Either way people think I nuts! :spin:

    ~ Psych
    SamB12rn and NurseKitten like this.
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    Quote from jh479352
    I not only have ADHD but dyslexia as well. It makes life much more difficult to the point, I want to leave. Does anyone else have this combo?
    The dyslexia can make you a little dangerous as a nurse when it comes to meds. Sorry, but it's true.

    As for ADD/ADHD having to do with "showing emotion" (earlier post), I'm not aware of any correlation there. If emotional expression is out of the usual range and causes a problem, then work needs maybe to be done with managing emotions. That's a matter of self control, and certainly can be done.

    There are lots of little tricks one can learn to make ADD/ADHD work for you. The ability to focus incredibly tightly into something is a characteristic (ever notice kids with ADD focused on their video games?). It can make us very good at what we do.

    I use my meds only when I remember them (ha!) and when I need them. Do I have ADD-H? You betcha. Do I let it get in my way? No. But I also take responsibility for it--it is me, it isn't them. I don't ask for special consideration (although in nursing school I did use it in order to get the notes for the class--our instructors flipped through the slides at breakneck pace and then expected us to know them; but that's another story).

    The trick is to evaluate yourself honestly. If you can learn the tricks of self management, no one will ever know you have it. If you can't, there's too much detail in nursing, and too much at risk, and you might want to search for an area of nursing where you will be a safer practitioner. Or maybe even consider something else.

    Sorry--that's the way I see it. And I do have it too.
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    Hello, All

    Chris, how does dyslexia makes a nurse dangerous? Please explain to me? Because I am dyslexia and I am not dangerous at all. I do not dispense medications that does not have an order or have a med error that killed someone? SO explained your theory about dyslexics are dangerous as a nurse?

    Chris, I am listening....
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on Dec 10, '05
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    Well here is my two cents. LOL

    First I would say that there are different subsets of ADD/ADHD and some may be manageable without meds. However, many times medication is needed for the more severe cases. Also one should consider combining meds w/ appropriate counseling.

    As far as emotions are concerned, I would have to respectfully disagree w/ Chris. Psychostimulants can have adverse reactions on mood/emotion; including depression, sadness and fatigue. So if someone is taking them and they don't feel creative or that their personality is a little "dull" it is quite possible that the meds have caused it. I am just saying that there is a correlation between the two.

    Kids focusing on video games: 2 things... again the subset thing and another... it would be easier to focus on a video game because the scene/video graphics are constantly changing which is stimulating them. W/O my meds I can play a game but if I need to study/balance checkbook/etc... I will take my medication.

    For some it would be more responsible to simply take their medication as it is prescribed than not to take them. Tips and tricks may work for some but not all. We are talking about a learning disability and how it impacts the mind. But that is where one should include counseling because they may find a trick that could work for them.

    To simply say "self management" I find very grievous. It is placing blame onto the person and disregarding the fact that this is an actual medical problem. If someone is able to get by with just tips and tricks...they should consider themselves lucky; however, they should not be dismissive to others' who are afflicted. People are unique and react differently to the same disease, as well as, medications.

    To imply that someone may be dangerous as a nurse I don't quite get as long as they are careful.

    BUT I do agree that one should possibly look into a different nursing field such as education, legal nursing, forensics, etc... IF that would make that person more comfortable as a nurse. Regarding special accommodations... well... it is a learning disability and is covered under the ADA. The point to accommodations are to put the afflicted person back onto a level playing field with his/her peers.

    All of the above again is meant in respect and I am open to hear thoughts/comments. :typing

    ~ Psych
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    Quote from PsychNurseWannaBe
    ...Also one should consider combining meds w/ appropriate counseling.
    I'm not sure I can agree. When I wanted to be dx'ed I went to a psychiatrist that specialized in adult AD/HD. (ADD/ADHD) He explained that he would love to take my money and do therapy as well as meds but HIS comparison was that it was like talking a diabetic through controlling his BS. He explained that it is a blood/glucose issue within the brain and using therapy to control a blood/glucose issue within the brain is fruitless. My b/f (also a psychiatrist) and admittedly a biological psych doc, agrees.

    As far as emotions are concerned, I would have to respectfully disagree w/ Chris. Psychostimulants can have adverse reactions on mood/emotion; including depression, sadness and fatigue.
    Oh my, we disagree again. In a person who does not have AD/HD you would be correct. However, in a person WITH AD/HD the drugs merely make their brain as others. It essentially wakes up a small part of the brain that is thought to cause this disorder. It seems to me that you are basing your info on studies done in folks without AD/HD and those studies would be quite correct but they are not in AD/HD folks.

    Personally without meds I become frustrated and VERRRY angry. I lose my temper and do stupid things. With meds life is good, the issue (whatever it may be) just isn't a big deal but workable instead.

    So if someone is taking them and they don't feel creative or that their personality is a little "dull" it is quite possible that the meds have caused it. I am just saying that there is a correlation between the two.
    I absolutely agree that the meds can cause a lack of creativity, etc. in AD/HD folks. It sure does with me! But you also have to look at the whole picture. When you are used to your brain going a million MPH and you are thinking about 20 different things at once, when you take meds you suddenly think about one issue, you work on that issue, and you do that ONE issue well and you move on to another issue. In comparison to what it is like doing 20 different issues at once it IS boring. It is not something we are used to doing.

    Kids focusing on video games: 2 things... again the subset thing and another... it would be easier to focus on a video game because the scene/video graphics are constantly changing which is stimulating them. W/O my meds I can play a game but if I need to study/balance checkbook/etc... I will take my medication.
    A big huge ditto! I used to go to Barnes & Noble (a mega book store for those not in the US) and I'd have it in my head that I wanted to know more about... slavery, Jewish tradition, Muslums, Betta fish, why are some roses red, .. you name it and I wanted to know more about it. I would buy at least 20 books when I went there, get home and... nada. I couldn't read them. I would sit down and try to read and I simply couldn't. I'd read the first paragraph of the book 10 times and 10 times it wouldn't sink in. Today I take 10mg of Dex and I can read for four hours. Then I have to take more Dex. :spin:

    For some it would be more responsible to simply take their medication as it is prescribed than not to take them. Tips and tricks may work for some but not all. We are talking about a learning disability and how it impacts the mind. But that is where one should include counseling because they may find a trick that could work for them.
    Actually, that wouldn't be counseling but behavior modification. There is a difference. I would agree with you about the need of some to learn new tips and tricks. But therapy implies psychotherapy and that is useless for AD/HD.

    To simply say "self management" I find very grievous. It is placing blame onto the person and disregarding the fact that this is an actual medical problem. If someone is able to get by with just tips and tricks...they should consider themselves lucky; however, they should not be dismissive to others' who are afflicted. People are unique and react differently to the same disease, as well as, medications.
    Agreed.
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    Hi Bipley

    I haven't yet figured out how to do that nifty quote thing you did with my post so bear w/ me. LOL

    RE: Counseling
    I meant behavioral and cognitive therapies (which is seeking "appropriate" counseling)... sorry that I didn't clarify.

    RE: Psychostimulants and emotions
    We disagree. NP I refer you to the Merck manual. It does state and explain the point I made.

    RE: Feeling "dull"
    I think you and I are making the same point. I was refuting what Chris had said.

    RE: Barnes and Noble
    LOL... I hear ya there!

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate your input. take care.. It is way past my bedtime. LOL

    ~ Psych


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