Any other autistic nurses out there? - page 3

by elizabethgrad09

10,261 Views | 30 Comments

I went to an autism conference recently put on by a friend who has Asperger's, and I related very strongly to some of the things that the presenters were saying about people with autism. I don't have all of the characteristics... Read More


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    Quote from emmimorris
    I don't mean this rudely, but what Seas said, that hit home hard. I have Autism, and I am in school to be a nurse. I know you probably didn't mean it to sound bad, but it was almost discriminating, like saying a black person can't do everything a white person can.

    Secondly, no offense to the poster of this message, but you can't self diagnose Autism. Alot of people have symptoms, or traits, but it depends on how they are grouped together, and also how you grew up. Most people are diagnosed by age 5, so if you weren't diagnosed by a phycologist and doctor, you probably aren't autistic. I'm glad you took interest, though
    Perhaps what Seas posted was expressed poorly, but I think it is a legitimate question to ask "How does this disorder impact the duties expected of a nurse and can the individual compensate for the effects?". Several posters have offered examples/information as to how this can be done.
    The best analogy would be that it is more like asking whether a person with hearing or visual impairment would be able to perform the duties of a nurse (and I've known those who have) and how do they compensate?
    Try not to take offense and instead help to educate us.
    Meriwhen, Seas, and beckster_01 like this.
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    I do stimming, rocking when I'm engrossed or stressed. I also have other characteristics of Aspergers/autism. I don't think I am autistic. Would this sound like someone has autistic traits?
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    Looking back on this thread, and recent events in my life, I am pretty convinced I am on the autism spectrum. I think that is why I was picked on by my preceptor in the ED, nearly a month ago. I have a hard time talking to people, eye contact with someone makes me nervous, and in general, I admit I am a bit socially awkward because I can't keep a conversation going for a long time. Small talk is something I still have trouble with, but I'm much better with making small talk than I used to be. I have made social gains in my years of college and nursing school, but I feel like all those gains have turned to dust in the past month. I'm pretty sure I've ruined my career at the organization I currently work for, and I did not do anything deliberately to **** somebody off. Just me and my awkward presence rubs people the wrong way. I have good manners and am respectful of other people. Still, people hate me.

    I've managed to convince my nursing school classmates that I am a good person, that I am social, and that I know my stuff clinically. Many will admit to that if they have been in a clinical group with me. I don't know what happened in the ED. What did I do to inadvertently **** my preceptor off that she treated me like s***? What did I do to her? I guess it's just me, because I did my best to be respectful towards her and the other nurses and ED techs that day. People just hate me, because of who I am. I feel like a defective human being.

    Nursing is not a career for those on the autism spectrum. If you have autism or Asperger's, you are better off working in another career. Nurses will rip you apart if they detect you have any hint of autism. Sad, that in what is supposed to be a compassionate field, you have some of the cruelest people you'll ever find.

    As for me, it's too late to back out now. I guess I will stick around until I find something else, or until my career is killed permanently by evil witches making up lies about my clinical skills. I am not one to think about suicide, but it's hard to keep my spirits up when dealing with evil witches who smell blood.
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    Whichone: my first job after graduation was in a nursing home where the majority of the other nurses were mean also. I had a very difficult time, and ended up being let go. But, three months later, I got a new job as a psych nurse, and I love it. One of the best things is that the people I work with are mostly great - good team players, supportive of new nurses. There ARE non-toxic and even supportive environments out there, so I encourage you to seek out a better environment for your talents - you deserve it! I don't make as much money in my new job as I did at the nursing home, but who cares? I no longer have to dread going to work because my supervisor would pick on me. I now have a supportive supervisor and co-workers, and that has made all the difference.
    jtm11 and Meriwhen like this.
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    I have autism and I'm not a nurse now, but I have been working as an aide/direct support professional for a few years and I'm considering becoming a nurse. If I'm not able to, it's more likely to be because I don't have a science background, than because of something related to my disability.

    It's hard to see people saying they don't think someone with autism can be a nurse. A lot of people with disabilities, especially mental disabilities, are not able to find jobs because of stereotypes about what we can do. In most of the jobs I've had, I have avoided mentioning or showing that I have a disability because I am afraid of losing my job or being seen as less capable. This has always been the hardest part of any job.
    NurseDirtyBird and jtm11 like this.
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    I think that people think those with autism could not be nurses because of how little we know about it. Most people just think of social awkwardness, lack of empathy, both things that make it very hard to complete many nursing tasks. If you are autistic and are wanting to be a nurse, or you ARE a nurse, then why not educate those around you? Let us know how you can perform the same things others can. Let us understand the adjustments you make.
    As far as being treated poorly by your preceptor...sweetheart, let me tell you, that happens everywhere, with everyone, regardless of disability. If you happened to be placed with a group like this, they would probably find any reason they can to pick on you and make your life hell. Just find another non-toxic work environment, and try again.
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    "sweetheart, let me tell you, that happens everywhere, with everyone, regardless of disability."

    When you say things like this, it makes it sound like you think you know disabled people's experiences better than we do. Disabled people do get treated differently, and if you don't have autism it is not your place to assume we get treated the same. For one thing, several people I know have been fired from jobs or not hired because they had an autism diagnosis (they were specifically told this was the reason, not their personal qualities, just the label). That isn't made up. It is technically illegal to discriminate based on disability, but still very common.

    People with autism don't lack empathy. I don't always have the energy to explain this to people again and again. Would you? Before I say something bad about a minority group, I would take responsibility and educate myself.
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    Quote from Jeweles26
    I think that people think those with autism could not be nurses because of how little we know about it. Most people just think of social awkwardness, lack of empathy, both things that make it very hard to complete many nursing tasks. If you are autistic and are wanting to be a nurse, or you ARE a nurse, then why not educate those around you? Let us know how you can perform the same things others can. Let us understand the adjustments you make.
    As far as being treated poorly by your preceptor...sweetheart, let me tell you, that happens everywhere, with everyone, regardless of disability. If you happened to be placed with a group like this, they would probably find any reason r they can to pick on you and make your life hell. Just find another non-toxic work environment, and try again.
    Amen! Well stated. Nurses are known to eat their young in certain settings. Its important to assess our qualities and apply them in the appropriate specialty. We all have talents to offer.
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    I am a parent of a 20 year old girl with autism, and I have no doubt in my mind that she would not be able to pursue nursing as a career. It is not because of the reasons discussed, however. It is because of her severe delay in literacy; right now she is reading at an elementary school level. We work with her all the time, and she is slowly gaining in her reading comprehension. I hope this will speed up a little, since she recently has begun to enjoy the act of reading. I know that reading on a college level is required for nursing, therefore my daughter will not be able to consider that career.

    It does warm my heart to hear of nurses that fit on the spectrum... just to know it can be done is awesome. Autistics are very empathetic, they just have a lot of difficulty developing the ability to show it. They also can be very focused on tasks, and very stubborn, and hardworking. These are good traits. I know it must be really he!! trying to be flexible, change priorities, and have to multitask the way nurses need to do even on good days. Y'all hang in there.
    DermottMcSorley and jtm11 like this.
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    OK ...I think it is time for me to chime in on this topic. I am a nurse with autism and I can tell you that I am very good within this profession. I achieve everything other nurses do as far as being able to assess a patients needs and interaction is great, also. It takes a toll on me personally, but others do not see this side of it. Working in any field with others would have the same effect, so what to do? I love this job because it makes me feel very connected to others and gives me the direct ability to help people, which is extremely rewarding to me. Autism is a spectrum disorder and therefor ...no definitive assumptions about those with it should be made. The proof is in what each individual is able to accomplish and that is all we should be looking at. I have met many neurotypicals that would not make a good nurse just as I have known people with autism that should not try it either. There you have it (: I would say the answer is...it depends!


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