RN - New ADD Diagnosis

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    First I want to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the posts about your ADD experiences. I was fired from my last nursing position. I worked for a year in a clinic performing outpatient therapies. Their reason is "falsifying medical documents." The only verifiable history, was a two hour window where vitals were not entered into the computer. Well, we all know that when you have 1 RN with PCT and 12-24 patients, without the backup of your co-workers, some things get missed. But thats not actually falsifying, is it. They also say that co-workers were the ones, telling management that I falsified documents, which I did not. The state I live in is a free to higher, free to fire, with no reason necessary. I had been reprimanded on my tardiness, failure to complete tasks on time, and having disruptive behavior. Of this they are talking about when I would attempt to instruct PCT's or LPN's, about proper procedure. Or when they were doing things to place the patient in jeopardy. And lord knows, I frequently found patients in jeopardy! One had been placed on treatment and wasn't even conscious!!! I didn't really like the job and was looking for another one, just didn't quit before they fired me. Shame on me. I lost 58 hrs of PTO and they fired me one day before I was get a $3300 hire on bonus! They royally suck!!!!

    I left the job prior to this one, having similar problems. I even had a major med error, pt was okay, but it shocked me so badly.

    Trying to understand the why's, I've come to the conclusion, have been tested, and am getting treatment for ADD!!!!!

    I'm really worried though. Am I cut out for this profession? Will I find a job that fits me? I'd like a job with more regular hours and less stress. Like an office or clinic job 8-5pm M-F.

    Like many women, apparently, I had been diagnosed with depression for years. Now I find out it could be all or partly ADD! I look back at my life and now know its been ADD my whole life!!! I've read that ADD can get worse when your pre-menopausal. Don't think I'm there yet, but could be why its flared so strong of late.

    Would just like to continue a thread with those of you suffering the same as I am. Do I tell my new employer? Do I wait to get another nursing job, until my meds are adjusted? I'm broke! And support two children! I'm just extremely overwhelmed!!!! Making lists, everyday!! Can't wait to meet you! Thank you.
    Shadow's friend and SamB12rn like this.

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  2. 17 Comments...

  3. 1
    i would hold off telling my employer too much. also you might want to look into a chiropactor that has knowledge in the "arc of life". my son was dx by his school (who knew they were handing out medical degrees w/ teaching certificates?). any way, i never put my son on medication, i don't like the idea of medication too much, too many side effects. research online and be proactive--there's a lot of things you can do to assist with your dx that will either enhance or allow the doctor to lower your medication or allow your meds to take effect sooner than later without having to adjust the dosage.
    also look into taking a class that will decrease the stress level in your life. i was a single mom all my children life, with absolutely no consistant help at all and a doctor told me many times that i was depressed but i didn't have time to take meds and cause another issue in my life--so i did "alternative natural" things but i also was a strick mother with my children: ie--strick bedtime, no tv watching (brought family videos to watch), kept them in after school activites, no over nights at friends house until at least 12 and i had to know the family very well and i kept them in church & church activities--my daughter is now going to college and she just informed me she won't be doing girl scouts in college . i'm just thankful she humored me this long and the same for my son, whose now in the navy--if i had put him on meds for add/adhd he never wouldn't been allowed in the navy.

    good luck to you--remember, don't put yourself down, that's society's job & rest assured, the world is ready, willing and capable--so don't give ammo & join in--keep yourself encouraged.
    SamB12rn likes this.
  4. 4
    I've never worked as a nurse... just as a CNA, a waitress, a college student, and a million other things that require an attention span and focus greater than my spastic gnat-like reticular formation can easily handle. I can picture myself in your position easily... I hope I never have to go through what you did. I feel distressed just thinking about how you must feel.

    I definitely agree that alternative approaches are essential to managing and improving ADD symptoms. Meditating, for example, have been proven to provide significant improvments in ADD brains. UCLA has done some cool research on this! http://www.adhd.ucla.edu//index.php?...d=16&Itemid=33

    When ADD really interferes with my life, my symptoms are often indistinguishable from depression. I can't focus on anything important, I feel like I can't get anything accomplished, I'm overwhelmed, I just want to quit because I don't feel like I'll be able to keep up (actually, I KNOW I won't be able to keep up). And when it gets bad - like if I had decided to go off meds, because I felt in control, then I took on a new responsibility, Ritalin is a start to getting my mind back on track. Once I resume medication, however, the hard part of getting myself on track begins. I guess that's where you are now!

    It sounds like you had a crappy employer, and having an employer who doesn't make any attempt to empathize and help you succeed sucks for everyone. I've read on other 'nurses with ADD' threads about different settings that worked for for some people (search ADHD on this website)... but maybe the biggest thing is having an employer who wants you to do well, and can tell the difference between you being lazy and you working hard but being overwhelmed. Treating a talented person like they are incompetent or bad at what they do is a good way to stress them out and make them bad at what they do. Yeah, you need to be organized and work on yourself, but you also need a boss who recognizes that you are working hard and need support.

    When you go back to work, remember that you are talented, you are caring, you are hard working, you don't "falsify medical records" nor are otherwise dishonest, and if your coworkers are baselessly accusing you of whatever it is to cover their own butts. You need to be confident and consistent when you make your own arguements, or else you're too easily pushed aside. (Just remember to be talented, caring, hardworking, and honest when you go back to work.) If you excell at patient care (which is what it sounds like) but you're having trouble with organizing the other responsibilities that comes with the job, you should not be portrayed as some kind of bad person... you just need a little support and understanding.

    At least, this is what I've learned in other environments, maybe nursing is different.
  5. 2
    Re: Nurses with ADD/ADHD?HELLOto all you ADDers! My story is so much like so many of all yours. I have been in the Nursing field for 20+ starting as an LPN and graduating with my ASN (barely) but yea me. 2 of the instructors pegged me as the one they would try to fail out or get me to quit. Fortunately after many years of being emotionally beaten up by nurses in the field, it is nearly impossible to get me to quit anything. . Its not the nursing that is defeating it is the details, paperwork, and the tornado in my head around hour 8 of a 12 hour shift. I do not have The "H" part, so finding the right mix of meds has been difficult ( I was diagnosed while in school a few years ago when I was almost failed out of a class) I fall into a very small catagory of ADDers, female, and never able to find coping skills through the years. multiple almost fatal car accidents, failed marriage, shy, due to always having the wrong thing fall out of my mouth at the wrong time!!! Many lost wallets, I even remember on several occasions leaving something in the oven an leaving,,, I gave my neighbor a key, she has saved my house a couple of time!! Its bad. When I started medication I was like the sun coming through rain clouds after years of raining. BEAUTIFUL. But it did not fix everthing. I found working as a case manager for a small home health company was a good fit, but alas it got to busy for my mind to keep up with and I was let go. It was devistating, the people were like family to me. A crushing blow. Now I am just starting a job On a VERY busy ortho-med surg floor. I can turn over discharge and admit all six patients in one shift. I am drowning. I feel so stupid, the charge nurse asked me on the fly if a patient in a paticular room had gone home, I said yes only to realize that it was the wrong room I told them, only after the removed this patient from the computer system, meds and all, aughhhhhhhh! they think I am more and more incapable as each day goes on. I am smart, I love being a nurse, my patients love me, but that is where the love ends, as new grad, (2008) I need to put in at least 2 years on the floor in order to reach my long term goals. I need help advice how to pace myself, I am methodical (if i thing slower I am very accurate, but at such a high pace I cant remember to PEE somtimes!!!! I made my own cheatsheet, but I cant seem to get a rhythm that gets me through a 12 hr shift. any advice from those of you who feel people see you as stupid, and incompitent. 45 single mom, frustrated and wihout a support system. i am at the point I would rather quit than deal with the humiliation, the tears are ready to flow. Can ANYONE give me advice?
    SamB12rn and mh356 like this.
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    OMG! I am a 40 year old new nurse who graduated in 2008. I read your post and thought you are my twin! The funny thing is that I do have a twin but you can be my triplett!. I am so scattered at work myself and it is depressing to me. I look at everyone else and they seem so calm and together. Me- I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off! I am seriously thinking of starting to take some med like ritalin, My son was diagnosed with ADD and I KNOW that I have had it all of my life. I am just curious if you were taking a med that worked for you. Good luck to you!
    Titania2009 and SamB12rn like this.
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    It nice to hear that it's not just me. I have been on the job for 5 mo now. The first 2 mo were hell. I do take med have for 3.5 years now. It made. Huge difference in my life across the board. I developed my own cheat sheet and took a 1 in binder cut off the front and bought dividers with pockets one for each patient. I mark each room on the tab. I also keep tiny note book in my pocket for order or right now todos. Everyone at work is amazed ot my organization and call me OCD!! ...close it's survival. But it works for me!! I take adderall xr 15 mg and strattera 25 mg , adderall alone give me tremors and strattera alone makes me sleepy. Together thier perfect. It has made all the difference at work. And I do things one at a time cuz it I let myself get rattled I can't think straight at all ... Chase you tail syndrome!!! Good luck it gets better.
    Siennah, Titania2009, and SamB12rn like this.
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    Let me know how things are going. I love to get new tips on what works for other adders. I have 5 kids 1 ADHD and one add. We drive each other crazy. My house is a funny farm!!!
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    I am a LPN that was diagnosed in Feb of this year with ADD. This year has been extremely rough for me because I was terminated from my job in April because of my ADD. Of course they tired to cover it up to make it look like it wasn't that but I flat out asked my manager what they real reason was and she said it was because of my performance. I was diagnosed in Feb and started on medicated and had a bad annual review which I told them then what my diagnosis and i was started on medication. They put me on a 60 day termination plan and it was towards the end of the termination plan is when they found there excuse to fire me. I had to fight for my unemployment all the way to a hearing where the judge told them in the award letter they had no reason to fire me. I am basically in the place of not know what to do.

    Should I continue with nursing or change to something else. I enjoy being a nurse but not sure what area I should work in. With being a LPN I am limited to what I can do. I keep applying to jobs every week and hardly get any calls. I think when they see the reason why you left your last job and I put, I will explain at interview, it either makes them not interested altogether. When they have the question, have you ever been terminated? I have to put yes and then I say I will explain at the interview. I don't get calls. I feel like my career has been ruined from them terminating me because no one wants to hire me now. I know they are thinking in the back of their mind well they must of had a good reason why they wanted to get rid of her. Most of the jobs in my area it seems like I am over qualified for or under qualified for. I am stick in the middle. I thought about going back to school for my RN but not sure if I can handle it right now with a 2 year old, 3 year old, and a 6 year old. We are also in the process of having our 6 year old tested for ADHD/ADD. He has a diagnosis of anxiety and a nervous tic of using the bathroom at school A LOT through out the day his teacher says. I am now questioning a learning disability because he is struggling in school and is in the bottom of his class. I say this because it runs on both sides of my family. So I don't think I could handle going to school right now. I believe what exacerbated my ADD to be diagnosed was my son starting Kindergarten and I was working 2nd shift, having the younger kids, my husband working first shift and my son was playing soccer in the fall so everything was crazy. Thing then got crazy at work and I just went down hill.

    So I have been unemployed for 6 months now which looks bad on my resume and have no clue what to do or where to go.
    SamB12rn and bcglc5 like this.
  10. 1
    I can't comment on the work stuff because I am only still a student in my pre-reqs, but, I was diagnosed with ADD about 4 months ago (I'm 41). I used to laugh and say I was the queen of multitasking. The problem was it was very difficult for me to focus on one thing long enough to get something finished. I got A's in school and when I asked my Dr about why I should consider meds with such good grades he asked me 'how long does it take you?'. Bingo! He hit it on the head. I was spending huge amounts of time trying to get stuff finished. I had the drive, just not the focus.

    Anyway, I decided to go on medication for my ADD. I am taking Concerta and I love it. I am focused now and no longer bouncing from assignment to assignment. It's one at a time checking them off as I go along. What used to take me 3 hours, now only takes me 1. I am still maintaining my grades and am very happy with my results. I do experience dry mouth and loss of appetite, but I could lose a few pounds anyway. I only take it when I am working on schoolwork, I don't care about being unfocused if I don't have anything really important to do.

    BTW. My 11 year old son was diagnosed with ADD, the inattentive type, just like me (that's why I went to be tested). I home school and it was miserable, a constant fight to get him to do anything. The Dr and I decided on the patch Daytrana and I can't believe the difference. He can work on his homework for hours straight. He used to get 1 lesson done, now is getting 8, sometimes more. I put the patch on him before he gets up and he takes it off when his schoolwork is close to being done. It has not changed his personality at all and, like my pill, he only uses it for school. He has a loss of appetite during the day, but I try and make up for it at other times.

    Please keep this thread updated how everything is working out, all of you. I will be thinking of you!
    SamB12rn likes this.
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    your story sounds so much like mine when my 23 yr old was young. I hear you distriss and truely understand. I remember my sons kindergarden teacher tried tohave him suspended!!! For not sitting still and not getting work done. At the time it was VERY distressing. He now is a very good loving man and difinetly an adrenalin junkie! He needs to stay busy and he manages his ADHD well with out meds.
    Regardng your youngest. 2 of my chiildren started school before thier emotionally and developmentally ready. Don't get to upset about your son. I don't think meds are the answer as so many other readers with such a young child. One trick... My 8 year old is delayed in reading. Special classes and all. We started my talking to the teacher about the large overwhelming. Work load. I told her out home plan was a little different. My parents are retired teacher and they found me 6 "dick and Jane" books. Basic repetitive new work learning books. I got a pint clear plastic container filled it with m&m's and each hard word he did correctly and later full sentence correctly he got 1 piece. Talk about modivation!!!! His self esteem rose quickly as thinks started to click in his head. It took alot of time and sti does but he is learning how to focus. I dont know that he is add as 2 of my other kids but either way focus is a ongoing. Problem.
    I agree with other readers about you old job, they did not deserve you. I have lost so may jobs over the last 25 years. Don't give up on nursing. Patients need you. Don't talk about your add at work, don't list your last employer, list only good references, read about you add, find out you limit days worked, hours that you can handle before getting over whelmed.
    Get and read the book " I'm not lazy crazy or stupid" I have not yet finished it I cry enery time I pick it up!!! Itliene they wrote it for me. I need time to digest and put to work thier advice one at a time.
    Sam ask your self if you are the person who wants to help the sick and needy. If it's yes you owe it to them and you to continue nursing. When your ready get your RN. You and your kids will feel so smart and proud!!!
    PLEASE don't let others beat you down. You will find your place in nursing it just takes time.
    Keep in touch. Yours and others stories and support is what has help me to feel strong
    SamB12rn likes this.

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