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injured1 injured1 (Member)

Desperate and need advice

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Hi,

I need your advice. I am a nursing student with a 3.8 G.P.A with 115 credit hours. Yes I have taken Pharm, Ap1 and Ap2, Advanced physiology , micro, Algebra 4, Physics, Patho etc etc.  My nursing G.P.A is just a 3.0. My overall is based upon the 115 credit hours outside core nursing classes, like Fundamentals etc. 

I am at the point where I don't know what to. I suffer from sleep wake disorder. Basically my body doesn't naturally sleep until 3 A.M.....from there I can get 6-7 hours of sleep. This is important information.

Before I applied to this Nursing program, I called the Director of Nursing. I asked if they offered evening or afternoon clinicals, they DON replied yes they did, in fact sometimes they have to force students in afternoons because most want mornings. So I applied based on this ( see my sleep patterns ). I get accepted. Upon acceptance, I met with a new nursing director ( DON ). This is their third Director in 3 years. When I met with the new DON, 2 months after the previous conversation with the previous DON, I had a sheet of 7 questions, 3 pertained to my sleep, if none of these could be checked off, I was not going to. I looked the new DON directly in the face and gave a brief summary of what me and the old DON talked about in regards to afternoon clinicals. I then said, they were a new DON and did not have to honor what the old DON two months previously stated in regards to afternoons. I informed the new DON with documentation of my sleep circadian rythym disorder. The new DON informed me she would uphold what the last DON said two-3 months previous and afternoons are there, 

Well I got my schedule in end of August and it said 6:30 in the morning. I then went to the DON and stated their must have been an error in schedule. I got the reply that they didn't have afternoons ( which defies the convo I had with her and the old DON previous ). She did state that next semester they probably will have afternoons, and if she known they had a student with a disorder, she would have pressed for an afternoon ( which again is here say, on the premise she new when I got accepted ). 

I go through a semester with limited sleep. Showing up to exams with 1 hr of sleep. Going to clinicals with no sleep, and almost got into two car accidents on the way. I passed all my skills on no sleep. Got a B in my first semester nursing classes. Next semester roles around, .....get my schedule, no afternoons yet again.....it was one deceptive statement after another.

Well now I am desperate. I would have only 3 semesters to go. However, I only got 2 hours of sleep in 4 days. On a clinical this past week, I thought I would barely make it. I was in the shower and my body dropped to one knee as the water hit my back. I did make to clinical on time, but my body was shot. I took care of a Parkinson's pt ( that is all I will divulged ) and was in their room from 7:30 A.M-10:00...bc not stop requests and multi commode, and had to transport many times. I am sure the Nurse was thinking, "Glad we got this guy here." 😂. I talked with the wife and seen every body fluid besides blood. That's when I knew, I can handle this from a nursing prospective, academics....always a straight A student. In patho 98.8 %, Micro 97%, Advanced phys, 95%, AP1 and Ap2 A's...etc etc.  This is not gloating, this is just letting you know how torn I am.

I am torn and desperate for opinions because my sleep. Now, I am not going to bed at 3 A.M and sleeping till 11, even on my off days. My whole rythym, which was off already got worse. I think it is because of my body now use to almost no sleep on a daily basis because of what I was open about, with afternoons. So this past week I went 4 days with only 2 hrs of sleep. My whole body ached from sleep deprivation, I was dizzy while walking. My girlfriend took me to the E.R, I was desperate. The E.R Doc asked if they could give afternoons.....I explained the situation....they were suppose to. I got injected with 2mg Ativan and took an antihistamine for sleep. It still didn't hit me....so after 2 hrs of sleep in 5 days, I slept 5 hours yesterday, I am dizzy and fatigued to where I can't study much. I even brought my powerpoints to the E.R to study. I just don't know if I can continue to do this to my body. However, I only would have 3 semesters after this to finish. It's a shame because on the last clinical I was given the worst pt out of all, even the Clinical coordinator told me this, and I handled it with 2 hrs of sleep, and at the time 2 hrs in 3 days. I just don't know what to do. I am thinking about withdrawing. I have a test on Tuesday, that since my sleep has been so deprived, I couldn't study....although the N.P at the E.R gave me an excuse for the whole week. However, you know the politics of nursing school, I use the medical excuse and.....you're screwed. AM I wrong? 

Yes, I do take sleep meds, Xanax, doxepin, and melononin and still nothing. Even with the 2mg IM of Ativan with al that, just 5 hours of sleep. 

I can see if I was just having troubles sleeping for a morning clinical and that was it...I can live with one day a week. However, you have to understand this is 5 days of the week. 

Should I stay? Drop? I am desperate. All of this could have been midigated had the Nursing DON's just been honest about the clinicals up front, or delivered on what they said. However, it is what it is. 

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 These questions are for your doctor and your academic advisor.   The school does not owe you any accommodations. 

Nursing is  physically and emotionally demanding. Some health issues can interfere with safe patient care.  Taking Xanax,and doxepin will not go over well with your employers, prescribed or not.

With your medical issues, I would rethink my career.

 Best wishes.

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I'll be honest, you sound a little childish. You actually want them to accommodate your sleep schedule.  They are not going to do that nor is an employer.  

I would talk to the pharmacist about an over-the-counter mild sleep aid or talk to your physician/nurse practitioner.  

Just so you think I'm not being entirely unsympathetic, something similar happened to me in nursing school.  I had the worst insomnia of my entire life.  This went away when I was working...so why?

It's because I think your body registered sitting and studying as resting.  That is why even if you can't sleep, it's important to at least lay in bed and rest and try to turn off your thoughts.  

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Best wishes. However, you need to work with your provider to get this resolved. 

Moved to general student forum

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Did you file disability forms with you school?   If you are claiming special scheduling because of a physical disability, the school probably has a special procedure (and lots of paperwork) to document your need.   Until the school's legal requirements are met regarding your request for special scheduling and approve that request, I don't believe they have any legal requirements to provide you with anything special.

You'll need to find out what the legal procedure is for requesting accommodations for a disability ... and then work with you health care provider to meet the requirements for documenting the disability and justify your request.

Of course ... if the school does not offer afternoon/evening clinicals for any students, there is nothing they can do to meet your request for those clinical hours.

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1 hour ago, llg said:

Did you file disability forms with you school?   If you are claiming special scheduling because of a physical disability, the school probably has a special procedure (and lots of paperwork) to document your need.   Until the school's legal requirements are met regarding your request for special scheduling and approve that request, I don't believe they have any legal requirements to provide you with anything special.

You'll need to find out what the legal procedure is for requesting accommodations for a disability ... and then work with you health care provider to meet the requirements for documenting the disability and justify your request.

Of course ... if the school does not offer afternoon/evening clinicals for any students, there is nothing they can do to meet your request for those clinical hours.

This is important. Even with documented disabilities, schools only have to make accommodations that are "reasonable." Their definition of reasonable may not line up with what you want or need, and it's not a given that you would be successful if you challenged them in court.

Good luck.

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11 hours ago, Jory said:

I'll be honest, you sound a little childish. You actually want them to accommodate your sleep schedule.  They are not going to do that nor is an employer.  

I would talk to the pharmacist about an over-the-counter mild sleep aid or talk to your physician/nurse practitioner.  

Just so you think I'm not being entirely unsympathetic, something similar happened to me in nursing school.  I had the worst insomnia of my entire life.  This went away when I was working...so why?

It's because I think your body registered sitting and studying as resting.  That is why even if you can't sleep, it's important to at least lay in bed and rest and try to turn off your thoughts.  

Thanks for your reply. I wasn't being childish I think you need to read this in its entirety. I was not asking them to fix their program around 1 student, that wouldn't make sense. What I did do, is called and asked the Director of Nursing if they had afternoons ( AKA innately ). They said they did and even confirmed this by stating that they sometimes are forced to move students in the afternoon because most want mornings. I then stated why I was asking if they had afternoons. The Director said it wouldn't be a problem. So that is the reason why I applied, that they innately had afternoons/evenings. When I spoke with the new director ( 3 in 3 years for this program ), I recanted in brief the convo with previous director just a few months earlier. This new director stated they would uphold what the previous director stated in our conversation. So this was not me asking them to bend their program around 1 student, it was me asking ( innately ) and being honest by explaining after I asked, why I was asking. This is the reason I drive twice as long this program than those around me. 

An employer, you work mid or night shift. 

I have talked to an N.P. I was asking if it was worth all this? It's not pure insomnia. I wish it was for only 3 days a week...I wish lol. It's different than pure insomnia. 

I didn't write the above to insult you, but to clarify. 

I can't change what the Director said the program had etc etc.

I am glad you reached your goals as an N.P. Did you go straight for nursing into N.P school?

Thanks for the response. 

 

 

Edited by injured1

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Don't use your room for anything but sleep.  Go to bed early.  Shut off all your lights, don't even put a TV in your room, don't read, don't touch your cell phone, just get in bed and try to sleep.  Try to put your body on a routine.  You don't just randomly only naturally go to sleep at 3AM from a disorder.  They don't come equipped with clocks.  Our rhythms are based mainly off of light and dark.  Consistently going to sleep around the same time every night, during normal times for sleeping, seems like a lot of lifestyle is causing it.

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This all sounds bizarre to me, but I'm wondering  ...did they actually promise you an evening clinical? I'm guessing not.
I'm a night owl, and one of my 6PM clinicals was changed to 6AM with less than 24 hours notice. I'm under the impression that nursing school schedules are chaotic like that.
I don't know what you should do, but hospital orientation is usually held on day shift, too. As a new grad hired for nights, I oriented for three months on days. The hospital saves money that way because they don't have to pay shift differentials. I was miserable and nauseous a good part of the time.

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1 hour ago, Sour Lemon said:

This all sounds bizarre to me, but I'm wondering  ...did they actually promise you an evening clinical? I'm guessing not.
I'm a night owl, and one of my 6PM clinicals was changed to 6AM with less than 24 hours notice. I'm under the impression that nursing school schedules are chaotic like that.
I don't know what you should do, but hospital orientation is usually held on day shift, too. As a new grad hired for nights, I oriented for three months on days. The hospital saves money that way because they don't have to pay shift differentials. I was miserable and nauseous a good part of the time.

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I was told they have afternoon clinicals and it would be no problem and would be placed in there. In fact, they had none. Reason why I went to the school. There are nursing schools way closer to me so I drive 2-3x the distance thinking I had afternoons. 

The most sleep I have gotten is 3 hours. Most clinicals zero sleep. This time it was 2hrs in 4 days. If it just happened 1 time like that, but since my body is overall sleep deprived because the above......this time, I ended up in the E.R. I was dizzy, slow to walk, and my body ached all over because no sleep. This is not like a.." I worked 12 hours, then slept crappy." This is a constant. I think in my opening I wrote too much and some took it as, I got accepted to the school, and then I wanted the school to morph around one student. No, I had a 30 minute conversation with the Director of Nursing before even applying because of the sleep issue. Then the new DON, I talked to when accepted. Had anything like, " We can't guarrantee afternoons." or something like that, I would have walked. If I wanted early hours...there are nursing schools much closer. Also, I have a scholarship who is aware of the sleep issues, and sold them on this school because of the afternoons. I left that out of the original post. Had I known, then I could have had the scholarship apply elsewhere. 

Yeah, sucks to be a night owl ( for whatever reason it can be from ). However, hopefully you are reaping the benefits from it now.....like night shift. 

Thanks for the reply though. I am just stuck on what to do. I can handle the academics and the clinical( pooh, blood, transferring, medication etc etc )......it's just the time with relation to sleep. I would be shocked to see what I could do with sleep...even 5 hrs. That's how I got A's in patho, Physics, Advanced phys, Micro, Pharm, Ap1 and 2, abnormal psych, etc etc......Is that afternoon I was more alert. So A's. Nursing it's B's.

Edited by injured1

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Sounds like a really rough situation. Since afternoon clinicals are not an option you are going to need to address your sleep some how - continue to work with your medical provider if you are not already. Have you had a sleep study done? Tried any therapy for sleep disorders (e.g. CBT-insomia)? Does your school allow for a medical leave of absence while you figure this out?

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