ADHD/ADD nurse - page 2

Hello there! I know there has been a previous thread started on this subject, however it is pretty old and I wanted something more interactive to read and speak about. So, any of you out there been... Read More

  1. by   kelsey.kristine
    Nope, can't say that I feel that way.

    I feel like I'm FINALLY me....the drug just allows me to appear from behind the fog. It's crazy...it's like my whole life was blurred and on Adderall I can finally see clearly.

    I've always been frustrated because I KNOW I'm not lazy, stupid, etc. I just could never absorb information because I was never focused. It still takes energy and I still have to work on it...the adderall's not a cure all...but I no longer have crazy ADD keeping me from being me, you know?
  2. by   berns10
    Ya thanks for the response, I understand Kristine, if something works why change it. I just think in this stressed out world, I'm glad there is a med that can help so many people out. Like somebody told me, "it's an advantage, a sorta cure that regains what lack of balance we have in our brains to live a normal life, we shouldn't put it down when it only makes us better." I'm just trying to get this idea into my head. I've only been on it for a few weeks, we'll see where it takes me.
  3. by   kelsey.kristine
    I wish you the best on it!

    Keep us updated!!

    The week I started it, I kicked myself...if only I had started sooner!! Sometimes I worry about what others will think(psh. I worry in general!) and then there's the whole...it'll show up on drug tests thing...but at the end of the day, I am FINALLY able to be successful. And maybe some of it is just my newfound confidence. I can look at a book and KNOW I can read it all now without a problem. I can sit in class and KNOW that I will hear every word the teacher says. And at the end of the day....that's all that matters to me!!

    hang in there!

    -Kelsey
  4. by   Sand_Dollar
    I'm just finishing my pre-reqs, but when I had just started I was having difficulty with my son and his schooling. I was researching ADD and found out it was genetic. We reluctantly put him on medication but when I saw such huge change in him (1 lesson a day to 8!), I went in to talk to the Pediatrician for myself. Sure enough, I was diagnosed with the inattentive aspect and we discussed meds for me. I asked the Dr. why would I want to go on meds now that I am in my 40s and have been able to compensate my whole life. I told him I just finished my first semester with a 4.0, he looked at me and asked me "Yeah, but how long does it take you?"

    That was all I needed. He was right, I was spending a huge amount of time on school, and it was only 2 classes and I was going to be taking more. So, after trying a couple of different meds, I settled on Daytrana (the same patch my son is on, but I have a lesser dose). I love this stuff!! On it goes at 7am, off at about 4. I don't have the loss of appetite that I had with others, barely any dry mouth and my heart doesn't race like crazy, oh and I'm not yelling at my kids when they interrupt me anymore.

    I learned to compensate with my ADD by being organized and a list maker, but the medication has helped me stick to the lists. I am taking my last pre-req 6 classes now and I am on top of pretty much everything with school. I plan on keeping a patch or two in my nursing school bag because I never want to miss it; it lasts all day and even into the evening after it's off. I feel like I can do anything now - bring it on!
  5. by   kelsey.kristine
    Anyone bring up their ADD/ADHD to their school?

    I've been thinking about getting it documented....I know it's silly...but I'd really like to be able to ask my professors if, if I sat in the back of the room, if I could crochet. I've found if I keep my hands constantly busy, (while on my meds, obviously) I'm able to absorb EVERYTHING that's being said. In my CNA class I just highlight my book, lol...but with longer classes, I need something more. And doodling doesn't work and writing will distract my brain haha


    so yeah. Anyone have themselves "listed" with student disability or whatever the case may be?
  6. by   Indus
    I was diagnosed in the mid 90's with Adult ADD after attending several years of family/individual therapy with my son, who had/has ADHD. And after attending a couple of conferences on Adult ADD, it sure sounded like me.

    I'm not on meds, had only a brief trial many years back.

    I also have FM and Sleep Apnea, so I'm not sure when those symptoms end or begin and the ADD kicks in. I find as I get older, the symptoms are more pronounced. It takes me longer to do things also, and I feel I have to concentrate more and structure my 'environment' more in caring for my patient. I've done this for years, and now my supervisor noted it on my evaluation (but not in a bad way).

    Thanks for your posts! I'm glad I'm not the only one out here dealing with some of this.
  7. by   finallyfound10
    I am a nursing student and it was while in nursing school that I self-diagnosed myself with ADD. As I get older, it seems to be getting worse! Everything takes SOOOO long!!!!! I am going to get a real diagnoses and get on meds but I am worried that until I find one that works, it will be bad and will affect my schoolwork/clinical. Any suggestions to help during that time??

    Thanks!
  8. by   dragonflyaltoids
    Hi there! I've Had ADD for years although I've had the WORST time getting it diagnosed, my symptoms are pretty atypical- I get frustrated pretty easily (at work) with my co-workers and I have a pretty short temper. I can't focus on one thing at a time, to study I have to have complete silence, I can only do it on Sunday, it had to be after 12 noon, I would start the mop water forget the water was running walk away and thirty minutes return to the kitchen and the counter would be 12 inches under water (the husband was NOT happy, floors were clean though) It takes me FOREVER to get anything done ( I feel like) although I seem to get it all done in 12 hours, I'm a little type A and super organized (only at work) which I guess is how I've coped all these years without medications. I recently started on Adderall and Buspar and it was like a light switch was flipped off inside my head-- No more short temper for me (no sirreeBOB!!) I still have my report sheet with the checklist with the boxes of things checked as they are done, but the frustration and anger are improving because I feel like I am in control and I guess that is what I was lacking before. I just couldn't get my butt in gear or figure out where to start and that made it so hard for me, I went from working in the Emergency Room where it was so easy for me you just did it constant movement it just flowed to working in long term acute care, its a hospital slash nursing home enviroment and I just don't know where to start my days. I've been there for 9 months I should know where to start my days, and If I can't get my 10 page per patient charting over by 0930 I am so flustered I don't know what to do with myself! But the adderall is helping and so is having the psychiatrist to talk to. I am going to talk to the EAP Employee Assistance Person through work on Monday so maybe I can get some additional stress management counseling since I find the enviroment to be hectic! Whatever helps!
  9. by   TDCHIM
    Quote from kelsey.kristine
    Anyone bring up their ADD/ADHD to their school?

    I've been thinking about getting it documented....I know it's silly...but I'd really like to be able to ask my professors if, if I sat in the back of the room, if I could crochet. I've found if I keep my hands constantly busy, (while on my meds, obviously) I'm able to absorb EVERYTHING that's being said. In my CNA class I just highlight my book, lol...but with longer classes, I need something more. And doodling doesn't work and writing will distract my brain haha


    so yeah. Anyone have themselves "listed" with student disability or whatever the case may be?
    It's not silly at all - it's perfectly legitimate. You can absolutely register ADHD with your Office of Accessibility (or whatever name it goes by at your school) and they can help you with classroom and testing accommodations.

    I'd also suggest enlisting the aid of your state's version of the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation/Rehabilitative Services Commission. I say this on a lot of threads in this forum, but they're great people to have on your side and they can help you with accommodations, adaptive equipment or workstation setups, etc. In some cases, they can also help you with the cost of your schooling. I know for sure that they consider ADHD a qualifying condition, because a member of my family (with a major case of ADHD) uses the agency's services. So I hope you'll investigate their services as well.
  10. by   Leelee2
    Having ADHD as a nurse can be both a positive and a negative. Many times people with ADHD think outside of the box, which is a positive. Distraction and Interruption at work are my biggest issues. I make it clear to other staff, not to interrupt med pass times unless it is a true emergency. Have a notebook, where they can write things down for me to look at later. Have made up my own check lists, which list each patient and things like med times, Dx, any pertinent info i need at a glance is there. I do that on my own time, but it helps my shift run a whole lot smoother. I like to use different colored pens to cross off duties once they are completed. This is what works for me. Also if you have moderate to severe ADHD, check into Dept. of Vocational Rehab. they can help you with multiple things, including work accomodations if needed.
  11. by   etaoinshrdluRN
    I’m an RN who just got fired from job #1 after 20 months, and between that and having a son in the process of being dxed with some attention problems, the penny finally dropped: I have many of the markers of ADD, mostly inattentive type. As has much of my family. My mom and brother were hyper.

    Despite being gifted, I was an “eh” student. “I know her type,” my guidance counselor once said, “she’ll either ace college or fall flat on her ***.”

    Well, at 18, I fell flat on my *** (did not go to class) for two semesters in a row. Later in my mid-20s, I went back and “aced” everything. Same for nursing school, although a bout of autoimmune hyperthyroidism slowed me down for a while. (Kind of gave me a taste for what the really “hyper” side was like)

    I was hired to the first job I applied for, a LTC facility close to home where I’d worked for 5 years as a CNA in the 90s. I picked it purely out of familiarity and its closeness to home, without thinking about my suitability for it. I spent 12 successful years in EMS before becoming a nurse.

    After 3 days, my preceptor, who was one of those nightmarish cub-eating nurses you all know, pegged me as “dumb.” Part of the problem was attention, and a huge part was the nature of long-term care. It had whole frames of reference I’d never considered before, having worked in EMS. Oh ******, and the sheer volume of charting! So I was not an apt student and went through the wringer, with a few other harpy nurses joining in on the wringing. Fortunately, I AM a good nurse, and my supervisors recognized it early. After a few rocky months, I got my system down, and if I was disorganized in some things, I was very good at others. Could cover the floor like nobody else and always had a good handle on what was going on with patients and a good rapport with them, their families, and even my subordinates. “You are a major Type A,” my DON told me.

    So was my DON . . . and she was fired a few months before I was.

    I was well liked with the exception of one nurse who just hated me. She was bright, funny, energetic and had a likeable if insecure personality. After like two shift tradeoffs with her, she decided she couldn’t stand me. I didn’t listen well, mainly. Didn’t seem to be taking in what she said. Immediately accused me of not listening to her because she was “just an LPN,” which was exactly wrong, but whatever. In retrospect, I know she was ADD as well, or at least thought she might be. She stayed extra late, was a slob in her personal life, and one horrible morning, when I was helping her through a grand mal seizure, I went through her purse to catalogue her meds and among other things, found a bottle of Adderal. She and I were both described as scattered by the assistant DON, who was one of the most orderly and linear people I have ever met.

    She (Nurse Nasty, LPN) was fired, eventually. In fact, quite a few nurses left that place feet-first, when they didn’t just quit after a few shifts. Despite my trouble getting a shift done on time, I thought I might be bulletproof.

    8 months into my tenure there, a supervisor noticed that I was still struggling with time management and I went through a brief time of doing a time log and other classic time management things. It helped significantly and I plugged along.

    What happened next were state surveys and management wigging out over a raft of cites, so all the nurses were challenged with time management, as management collectively pooped its pants and slapped on a whole other layer of documentation requirements. The job got harder and harder!

    The upshot was that I finally felt as if I were crumbling, and I went to HR to explain, not about ADD, but about working conditions. The HR mgr. noted that I seemed to have problems with distractability and suggested carrying an iPod around and listening with one ear when I needed to blank out extraneous stuff. For the last month I did that, along with some rigorous discipline, but there was always some kind of obstacle to getting out of there on time, usually a fall or bruise or other incident that required reams of investigation and documentation. The last straw was a simple oversight: in my haste to get done, I gave $20 to a patient with only a few dollars left in his spending account. Not trivial; it could mean a federal cite and big fine for misappropriation. HR hauled me in and let me go, stating that I was “unable to do the job. You are unable to have the tunnel vision necessary to get the million things done that a charge nurse must get done.” Essentially, HR had taken notes when I’d gone to them. I’d given them the exact script with which to fire me.

    So, here I am a month later, licking my wounds (never been fired before) and trying to figure out what to do next. A coworker, upon hearing that I had been fired, promptly quit herself, and told me that the place had always been “a ******** operation,” and not to let myself get discouraged. “You represent everything a nurse should be,” she tells me. But in truth, no matter how rinky-dink an outfit it was, I don’t want to repeat the experience!

    I have my eye on OB, ED, and eventually would like to be a NP. But first, I wonder whether I should seek meds, because this just can’t happen again. Where to start?
    Aside from wanting to try meds, I have been using tickler files and the Pomodoro method to really get stuff done in terms of job search, household duties, and the like.

    And as a postscript, NEVER will I EVER again trust HR or be any more forthcoming about my situation than I absolutely have to be. Nursing is not a friendly profession.
    Last edit by Moogie on Nov 19, '10 : Reason: Language
  12. by   feelingbetter
    Hi: It is so good to find this link! I am a new graduate and I HAVE A JOB, at least for the moment. I have been working for 6 weeks. at a short term rehab. I like rehab and was very pleased to get the job... but my ADD and distractability has caused a problem. I have made a med error, no harm done but.. I know a serious offense.. I forgot to give a med... I lose track of what I am doing... I do take Adderall it did help me in school. I did get diagnosed by a credible hospital.
    I have not told management and do not plan to.. I am now so anxious I keeping checking everything I do over and over.. I am literally taking it "Day at a time." Did I mention we all have 12 patients? I love this field, this is my second career but I don't want to get fired or GOD forbide hurt anyone.. I am so glad I am not the "only ADD nurse out there."
    Thank you all
  13. by   danegerous
    I apologize if I repeat anything, I just was not able to finish reading all of your posts, haha. (seriously, though). I'm a recent diagnosee with ADHD. I had gone through grade school and high school with good grades despite never studying, so nobody was ever suspicious. Although I was always getting into trouble for talking or being otherwise disruptive.

    I got a bachelor's in graphic design, but that was easy being an ADHD-er. I have always felt my "stream of consciousness" and uncontrollable distractability were positives when related to my art.

    But when I entered my BSN program, I began to realize that I couldn't just coast through it, I NEEDED to study! One clinical my teacher sat me down at the end for our final eval and asked if I'd ever been checked out. She said she was super impressed with my performance, but she wondered if my inability to stay focused was something more. So, I got tested...for six loooong hours. Turns out my IQ is 139 and I have adult-onset ADHD (although I think it was more adult diagnosed than onset).

    So, now I'm a nurse. I have been able to really figure out a nice routine for myself. I have my time management down to a T and I am really rocking and rolling.

    To be fair, I have been taking 30mg of Adderall XR for almost 3 years. I really feel like it helps a lot, but I get so manic-like. I take it right when I get out of the shower and on the ride to work i feel it kick in. I've lost like 20 lbs since being on it since I never eat. I feel like i can take over the world when i take it. I'm actually going to ask my doc to lower me to 20mg and then 15 over the next few months.

    I think the main thing now is that I have an artificial need for it. Not like addict-need, but a feeling like it's my confidence, almost. Every once in a while I forget to take it and I still kick just as much butt. Then I remember when I get home and think..."oops".

    Now a days, now that I'm on nights, I feel like I might be using it purely to stay up...that's the truth.

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