Could I be let go because of my ADHD?

  1. Hi all!

    I am finishing up my junior year of my BSN and recently have been offered a positon as a PCT in the ICU. I was filling out my physical questionnaire when I saw "Do you have add - yes or no" I hesitated for a while - but ended up circling yes. I thought it would be best to be upfront since I was recently diagnosed a few months ago. I also figured it would be discrimination to disqualify someone for that. Then at the bottom of the page I saw boxes for only the physician to check that said "qualified, or unqualified." My heart sank. I am so worried that I will get a call from HR saying I am not fit for this position. Did I make a wrong move for being honest? Can I be let go because of my ADHD?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   pebblebeach
    There's no way that would disqualify you. If that was the case re: ADD/ADHD and everyone answered truthfully, a lot of healthcare workers wouldn't have jobs! I have intermittent depression and ADHD and I take meds for both. I always disclose that info with job/school applications to cover my butt (if something were to come up on a random drug test).

    You should be fine.
  4. by   caliotter3
    If you were ever let go, it would be for something you did or did not do, not because you have ADHD.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    That isn't necessarily so. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but I once made the mistake of disclosing my mental health diagnosis to my employer, and found myself out of work a few weeks later because suddenly no one trusted me to do my job. I'd had to go out on medical leave of absence and was fired within days after I got back. It was devastating, and my career never recovered.

    That being said, I wouldn't advise you to lie on your questionnaire, just be aware that healthcare supervisors aren't always sympathetic to people with mental illnesses. You'll probably have to work twice as hard as a neurotypical to be considered successful. I hope you have good bosses who will work with you and have reasonable expectations for your performance. Best of luck in your new job!
  6. by   NurseSpeedy
    I have had many co-workers with ADHD.

    I recently filled out a questionnaire that I had to check "yes" for back issues-herniated discs and stenosis, and disclose my scripts. I still got the position and no one ever questioned me about my health history.
  7. by   pebblebeach
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    That isn't necessarily so. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but I once made the mistake of disclosing my mental health diagnosis to my employer, and found myself out of work a few weeks later because suddenly no one trusted me to do my job. I'd had to go out on medical leave of absence and was fired within days after I got back. It was devastating, and my career never recovered.

    That being said, I wouldn't advise you to lie on your questionnaire, just be aware that healthcare supervisors aren't always sympathetic to people with mental illnesses. You'll probably have to work twice as hard as a neurotypical to be considered successful. I hope you have good bosses who will work with you and have reasonable expectations for your performance. Best of luck in your new job!
    LOVE your signature/quote btw - so true. A blessing and a curse to feel everything so intensely.

    That is terrible that your diagnosis was used against you. Makes me so angry. With ADHD, I feel like I will always disclose because I take the lowest dose possible of Adderall, and if it shows up on a drug test I feel like that could put me in jeopardy. All the yellow tape with stimulants these days, I don't want to mess around. With my depression/anxiety though, I guess there is no reason they HAVE to know about it... but ugh, why can't we be transparent if it's a medical diagnosis we are successfully managing!? And if there was an emergency, like an asthmatic who may need albuterol in an emergency, there might be a 911 day when I need help or need to take a day off to get myself together - how is that any different? Stigma is the worst.

    Can I ask if you don't mind, was it an issue of a medication you disclosed you were on that your supervisor didn't trust? Or the diagnosis itself? I am a newbie/almost done student nurse and this makes me nervous for future jobs.

    "You'll probably have to work twice as hard as a neurotypical to be considered successful."
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    It was because of the diagnosis itself (bipolar I) and the fact that I'd been unstable enough to require medical leave per my psychiatrist. I didn't blame them for wanting someone, in this case a corporate nurse, to keep an eye on me for awhile, but she literally trailed my every step and constantly peppered me with questions while I was trying to do my job. The company also refused to grant me reasonable accommodations, such as being allowed a couple of hours every day to do my work without interruptions and working four days instead of five days per week. (I was the DON for an assisted living community, a position I'd held successfully for over 2 1/2 years). I'll never forget what the corporate nurse said to me when I was fired: "Your work habits have been consistent with your diagnosis. It's not your fault, it's just your brain chemistry." Sure didn't make me feel any better when I was escorted out of the building though.
  9. by   soutthpaw
    I think the key is to read the questions very carefully, Usually it is asking if YOU believe YOU have a medical issue that would prevent YOU from doing the job safely and effectively. (with or without reasonable accommodations). It is not asking if YOU think OTHERS will think you can do the job safely and effectively!!!! Obviously you are in school and are pursuing this profession because YOU believe YOU can do it. If you are having a physician sign off on a medical form for employment, be sure to address why YOU feel YOU can do the job and what reasonable accommodations you need, if any. YOU have the task of getting others to see your medical disability or diagnosis from YOUR perspective. You may have to sell this to them during an interview. Show how you have adapted and succeeded in nursing school, life etc.
  10. by   Glycerine82
    I'm not sure how it's OK for them to ask you that, but either way I don't disclose this information. It's usually pretty apparent upon working with me for any length of time but I don't feel it's any of their business. I don't ask for accommodations, I figure them out myself. I go somewhere quiet to chart and I try to learn from my mistakes. I can't see how this would disqualify you but in the future I wouldn't answer it. Little do they know, ADHD isn't a bad thing - it's kind of a super power

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