ADHD Nurses-what area do you specialize in?
- 1Jan 23, '12 by k31kozumiI would very much like to hear from other nurses with ADHD/ADD!
What area of nursing do you work in? What do you love about it?
I appreciate all who take the time to answer
- 2Jan 26, '12 by neverbethesameThere are different subtypes of ADHD/ADD so there are no clear cut answers but it depends on upon several factors working together with it like personality, ethics, physical stamina, etc. For me, a very-fast paced, multi-tasking job is a nightmare. I am a Nursing Assistant while still in school and I struggle a lot as it is those very things. As far as my subtype, I am far more Primarily Inattentive Type so if I am already prone to not be organized, forgetful and make careless mistakes while flying around an ER or ICU or busy Med-Surg floor, those settings are not a good idea for me.
ADHD—Primarily Inattentive Type:
- Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
- Has difficulty sustaining attention
- Does not appear to listen
- Struggles to follow through on instructions
- Has difficulty with organization
- Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort
- Is easily distracted
- Is forgetful in daily activities
ADHD—Primarily Hyperactive/Impulsive Type:
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair
- Has difficulty remaining seated
- Runs around or climbs excessively
- Has difficulty engaging in activities quietly
- Acts as if driven by a motor
- Talks excessively
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
- Has difficulty waiting or taking turns
- Interrupts or intrudes upon others
- Meets both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive criteria
Source: CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
CHADD Live | Symptoms
- 4Jan 26, '12 by Christy1019I am combined type, diagnosed when I was 19 and had failed nursing school. I have worked in a busy ER/Trauma center for four years and it seems to be a great fit for me. Repetition, monotony, etc tends to cause me to lose focus, however in the ER you aren't following standing orders or MARs and will often see new and exciting things that, at least in my case, peak my interest and help me to maintain focus. Also, the fast pace and constant need to be "on the go" work well for my hyperactivity and inability to sit still for long.
- 3Jan 28, '12 by k31kozumiQuote from Christy1019Thanks for your post!I am combined type, diagnosed when I was 19 and had failed nursing school. I have worked in a busy ER/Trauma center for four years and it seems to be a great fit for me. Repetition, monotony, etc tends to cause me to lose focus, however in the ER you aren't following standing orders or MARs and will often see new and exciting things that, at least in my case, peak my interest and help me to maintain focus. Also, the fast pace and constant need to be "on the go" work well for my hyperactivity and inability to sit still for long.
I am also combined type and I have been thinking about the ER lately as a possible fit for me too. I like the fact that it is exciting and varied as i will get bored with repetition very quickly too. I have been suspecting that i would get bored (and frustrated) on a med-surg floor after a short while.
The thing I am wondering is ER's don't usually hire new grads so what is good career path to get me there?
BTW-I was also diagnosed at 19 but i denied it for almost 10 years.
Of course in that time i had impulsively switched majors from pre-med to art, failed at every relationship, had a dead end career and lived with my head and feet in the clouds
Eventually I got it!
- 0Jun 5, '12 by ugadawg1696k31kozumi -
I know it has been awhile since your original post, but i thought I would chime in. I graduated December of last year (Dec 2011) from nursing school and spent 4 months looking for a job. My "dream job" was the ER, and I actually landed a job at a small-mid size ER mid April. I was surprised that they gave me a job there considering I am a new grad, but either way I was very excited about my new job!
I have severe ADD inattentive type. I am still in orientation now, and will be for about another month (3 months is avg orientation for the hospital I am at). I find myself forgetting so many things during the day. I also have a problem with social anxiety, so that mixed with the ADD makes it hard to stay focused at work. Some days are better than others, but I'd say 80% of the time I am beating myself up inside for forgetting little things (i.e., not grabbing everything I will need when I go in a room, so I have to keep coming out and going back in which takes up a lot of time). I have a very patient preceptor, but it really gets me down when I waste so much time because of my forgetfulness. I have thought maybe it was because of my anxiety (which I know plays a huge part), or because I am just slow, but i think it really boils down to my ADD. I take Vyvanse for it every day, but I still have a huge problem. I'm really thinking maybe the ER wasn't the right thing for me to go into. It scares me that I am so inattentive at times. It seems like the more I try, the worse i do.
That's just me though, you may be different. You did say you were the mixed type, right? So maybe you will work well in the ER. I am going to stick with it, but it's killing my confidence. If anyone has any advice for me I would really appreciate it. As for you k31kozumi, keep putting in applications to ERs if you haven't already gotten a job, you will find one out there that will hire you as a new grad! If you have any questions feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
- 0Jun 6, '12 by k31kozumii am so sorry to hear that. i understand exactly what you mean by beating yourself up inside and that will make things so much worse for you. i have severe adhd (true the impulsivity/hyperactivity does make us a bit different) as well and i am talking with my dr about adding a new med to my adderall for better symptom control. it sounds like you should talk with your dr too cuz you worked soooo hard for that license and are in such an exciting (and scary i know) time starting out as a new nurse that i hate to see you struggle more than necessary.
a homecare agency i have been with all through school as a cna has hired me as a nurse and they are so supportive. they are starting me out slow and my clinical director tells me not to worry so much (i fuss over my documentation cuz now i know it is how we get paid so i'm afraid to screw it up) and that i am doing a great job. i am so grateful to her.
i am also starting in a nursing facility soon to get my skills and training in. the DON was very supportive and a good personality type for me to feel safe and comfortable with. I hope you find coworkers you can get support from to help you feel more confident too!