Nurses with ADD/ADHD? - page 28

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... Read More

  1. by   waldowhere
    Med-surg was too much for me too- my supervisor just helped me transfer to our IV therapy team. It's great but not too many have one. I also think that Hospice would be a good match for my skills. With the ADD my supervisor helped me look for a smaller wheel - fewer reports and details to remember - she knew the different jobs but I didn't soo I really could not have found this match myself. She knew I was struggling very hard, knew that I could learn, that I had excellent patient relation skills that the hospital needed. It is working out very well - no meds to distribute, no charts to reconcile, not 15 docs to remember their peculair protocols but I'm all over the hospital and in and out - minimal charting and no patient responsibility after I leave. If I change it will be to Hospice cause it is also less demanding than medsurg and more focused on relationship skills while having some med and chart work.
    Good luck
    Waldowhere
  2. by   rnrae
    Thanks, Waldowhere!

    I can so relate to your experiences. I will be starting a prn ER position in 2 wks. I don't want to commit to a position until I see how I handle it. I, too, have great pt relationships and still want hands-on contact. I hope the ER will be my place. I did Hospice for a year and loved it. The only problem was having to work 45+ hrs a week and being on call too often.

    Are you on medication? I'm on Adderall XR. Unfortunately, I don't think it really makes much of a difference. I'm still scattered and extremely stressed! I hear Adderall that is taken BID works better.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
  3. by   waldowhere
    m-
    I'm 56 and had no idea that I had ADHD until I took this nursing job last August and it wasn't til Feb that I thought I might have it and started getting tested and evaluated. I am still working on the right meds but now I take Adderall XR like you because it releases 5 hours apart or so. I also take Zoloft and have for 13 yrs. Last week I started Wellbutrin and that seemed to help more than the Adderall but then I was pretty stressed out and depressed by then. Like you, I have not seen a big change with the Adderall but we're thinking the Zoloft maybe depressing it. I've whated to change for a while anyway. Also, my doctor and counselor what me to try Ritalin sometime to see. I do see some difference with the Adderall though. Iam remembering more than I had been - what I was doing, people's names, procedures. For now I'm real glad to not be stressing as much and still liking my job. I'm thinking that a cert in pain mgt. may be a good idea for me later - I also do guided imagery and energy healing - not a great fit with the typical medical method model but I think it will be coming on in pain mgt.
    God luck.
    waldowhere
    Good luck
  4. by   Morettia2
    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?

    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.
  5. by   rachenos30
    Quote from rnrae
    Thanks, Waldowhere!

    I can so relate to your experiences. I will be starting a prn ER position in 2 wks. I don't want to commit to a position until I see how I handle it. I, too, have great pt relationships and still want hands-on contact. I hope the ER will be my place. I did Hospice for a year and loved it. The only problem was having to work 45+ hrs a week and being on call too often.

    Are you on medication? I'm on Adderall XR. Unfortunately, I don't think it really makes much of a difference. I'm still scattered and extremely stressed! I hear Adderall that is taken BID works better.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
    I totally agree! I was on Adderall b.i.d. and it helped me tremendously. I am now on XR and it doesn't make much of a difference. I am still all over the place, mentally and physically.
  6. by   dmkm2001
    I was glad to see this thread. I have been aware that I had ADHD for a few years but just recently chose to do something about it. Mainly because I was having trouble reading. I just could not concentrate/focus while reading and I am looking at sitting for a couple cert exams and starting my MSN degree. It was also causing a tone of anxiety and effecting my job and work. I really began to notice it when I started working in an office setting.
    That was shear torture.....

    I am back doing ER and that has halped.

    My doc started me on Strattera and that has helped. It was AWFUL the first 4 days or so, I felt like I was crawling out of my skin, the anxiety was so awful. But now, it is much better and I can sit and read again. The impulsiveness is much better as well.
  7. by   1blwise
    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?
  8. by   karenesn
    I decided to become an RN five years ago, at the age of 45. At that time, I was blind-sided by divorce after 25 yrs., I had recently been diagnosed with CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder), and I was also strongly suspected of having ADHD. I was working as a Health Assistant in a school clinic at the time, and the RN that supervised me asked if I had hearing problems. She would also get agitated with me because I was easily distracted, always interrupted people, and my thoughts frequently wandered. I had this problem all my life. I was always labeled a slow learner, and I had difficulty keeping friends. Well one thing led to another. After a battery of special hearing tests, I was officially diagnosed w/ CAPD. The Disabilities Counselor at the community college, was encouraging and because CAPD is a learning disability, just like ADHD is, I was allowed extra time on tests, quizes, was allowed to use the test lab if I wanted to, if I needed more quiet during an exam, also the school paid for a notetaker if I needed one. There were many more helpful accomodations, that are all available by law. We are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. My instructors otherwise didn't treat me differently, and my disability was always kept confidential. I was able to finish school with flying colors, (which blew me away)! People with learning disabilities are not slow learners, we just learn differently. After graduation, I was scared to death, because I had to be extra vigilant; no more extra accomodations on a Telemetry unit. The Straterra I was taking wasn't helpful. Fortunately, my Physician started me on a new drug called Vyvanse. It is related to Adderall but with no crashing, lasts 12 hours,and it's safer. For the first time in my life, I feel very much in control of my actions, and organizing my thoughts is no longer a major problem. People with learning disabilities can, and should be encouraged to follow their dreams, and never give up. I'm proud to be a nurse.
  9. by   nancynurse05
    I have hit the one year mark as a RN on a very busy medical floor. As a 42 year old with ADHD, and a RN grad 07, a medical floor can be a nightmare. It can also be a place to bring about creativity in plan of care with patients. Most with ADHD think outside the box. We get from A to B, and it's a much more interesting journey than the straight line from A to B. We may take longer to get there, but boy do we learn a lot ont he way. My patients appreciate the creative ideas and compassion I bring to them. My co-workers and manager have also noticed the way I bond with my patients and their families. My trouble comes with the absolute frenzy of combining a medical floor with high acuity and a teaching hospital. I find myself getting angry with new interns and all the backtracking and double checking I have to do. It can make an ADHD mind that much more ADHD. I have chosen to move to the 7p to 7 a shift. It's still busy, just not as frenzied. Sometimes it would be so since to be able to think in a linear way, but then I would miss out on all the special nuances that I can bring to my patients because my care and ideas can emcompass more of the whole picture. I hope this makes some sense, I haven't taken my concerta yet today. Haha.
  10. by   nursingismyname
    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?
  11. by   Chaya
    [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.
  12. by   karenesn
    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.
  13. by   shhnack
    Just found this thread, can't wait to do some reading up on the experiences! Thanks, Shhnack

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