Getting into nursing but have OCD - page 2
Hello, I was wondering if there are any other people out there that have moderate OCD and are in nursing school or are already a nurse? I was wondering if nursing school or nursing in general made... Read More
Jun 24, '09From: US ; Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 125; Likes: 51Quote from DolceVitaI have been diagnosed with OCD and will be starting nursing school in August . I feel that my OCD is an illness that is not going to stop me from doing what I want to do. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 8 years old and I am now 23. I COMPLETELY refuse to let it control my goals and my future. After all...cognitive behavioral therapy is the best way to overcome OCD. By being exposed to what bothers me it will lessen the anxiety, which has been proven. Therefore, I expect that over time my obsessions over germs (my form of OCD) will lessen. However, it is up to each person to decide what they can or can not handle.Question...My understanding is that there are very few nursing positions that are not stressful. Also nursing school is stressful. Further, I understand that stress can exacerbate conditions such as OCD.
So the question is: what is it that appeals to you about nursing that makes you want to risk your own well-being? Can you achieve what you want from nursing in another profession?
Now I know that some people may wish to jump on me about this post. I am not saying that someone with OCD isn't suitable for nursing...I am questioning if nursing is suitable for YOU.
Now, assuming that you have in fact been diagnosed with OCD, I would expect that you have a health professional that looks after you, with regards this condition -- what do they think?
P.S. There is a new show called "Obsessed" on A &E about OCD.
Jun 24, '09Occupation: Registered Nurse Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in PICU/Pedi ; From: US ; Joined: May '08; Posts: 612; Likes: 279Interestingly, I recently met a couple who came to my register at the grocery store where I work. The woman insisted on bagging her own groceries, and her husband explained that she has OCD and wants it done "just right". He also said that she was a nurse and that the best nurses often are obessessive-compulsive in nature. He was a radiologist who admitted to being somewhat OCD himself! Very interesting people.
Jun 24, '09Joined: May '09; Posts: 85; Likes: 29at the grocery store I also have issues. I do not like different "animals" packed in the same back, pig products with pig, cow with cow, chicken with chicken. more of i'm afraid of cross contamination!
Jun 25, '09Joined: Jun '08; Posts: 840; Likes: 774Hi Erica - I wasn't offended and I hope that I didn't offend you! I wouldn't disregard your post as you made great suggestions. I just wanted to clarify that one little point is all. I think that stems from my mother not being able to admit that she has OCD too, as well as many of her brothers and sisters, and insists that I don't have it either...anyway, I just wanted to clarify.
Jun 25, '09Occupation: Registered Nurse Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in PICU/Pedi ; From: US ; Joined: May '08; Posts: 612; Likes: 279Quote from mrsanderton2205Yeah, we bag all that stuff separately. I understand completely!at the grocery store I also have issues. I do not like different "animals" packed in the same back, pig products with pig, cow with cow, chicken with chicken. more of i'm afraid of cross contamination!
Jun 25, '09Occupation: LTC Staff RN Specialty: Geriatrics, LTC ; From: US ; Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 77; Likes: 85Quote from CalebMommyNo no, you didn't offend me! I just wanted to make sure I didn't offend anyone else!! :-)Hi Erica - I wasn't offended and I hope that I didn't offend you! I wouldn't disregard your post as you made great suggestions. I just wanted to clarify that one little point is all. I think that stems from my mother not being able to admit that she has OCD too, as well as many of her brothers and sisters, and insists that I don't have it either...anyway, I just wanted to clarify.
Jun 25, '09Occupation: LTC Staff RN Specialty: Geriatrics, LTC ; From: US ; Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 77; Likes: 85Quote from rbezemekCouldn't agree with more. Esp in the pre-op and intraoperative areas...Organization and priorities are a necessity, the work environment is very routine, etc. The best way to advocate for your patient is to learn the ropes and not go out of bounds. I would suggest same-day or ambulatory surgery as well, in which you basically admit patients and are in charge of preparing them for surgery. I know all of this because I have an internship in the OR this summer (and love it, by the way). I'm not sure what kind of moderate OCD you have, but for individuals who desire a lot of routine and organization into their career, working in the OR is excellent. I don't even suffer from OCD but can see myself working in the OR over floor nursing for those very reasons.Career-wise, there are many areas of nursing that provide an ideal environment for anyone who needs a very structured environment. Perioperative areas, or other procedure-centered clinical environments for instance -- where strict adherence to process is critically important.
But go for your dream specialty when you discover it...I'm just making a suggestion. :-)
Jul 4, '09Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 283; Likes: 72I have mild OCD and got treatment for it in the past with Lexapro. However I don't remember if the psychiatrist (who prescribed me the drug) diagnosed me officially. I also have not been through CBT before.
That being said, when I started nursing school was when I noticed that my OCD got noticeably worse - at least, to me it did. One of the ways I could tell was at the beginning of nursing school, I used to be able to put my notes on the desk to take notes. Towards second/third semester and beyond, I stopped taking notes on the desk and took notes on my lap (due to my fear of germs). I also had a hard time in clinicals (some days worse than others), but towards the end I was able to deal with it better.
It may be different for everybody, but for me, my OCD symptoms were at its worst during nursing school. I heard that sometimes symptoms "flare up" when one is in a more stressful time in their lives - I think that was true for me. I also developed a new symptom (or maybe it just got more noticeable during nursing school) that I guess has some aspects of a certain form of OCD, called scrupulosity.
I want to add that in some ways, nursing school was like exposure therapy to me as. For example, during fundamentals clinicals, I remember how hesitant I was to go into an isolation room. However, by my last semester, I was a bit more comfortable with gowning up and going into isolation rooms. It still made me a little worrisome, but I am extra good about washing my hands and practicing good isolation precautions.
And here I am today - I graduated in May 2009 and became an RN in June 2009 - you can do it! Austin (and anyone else with OCD) please don't let anyone discourage you from becoming a nurse if that is truly what you want to do. For me personally, sometimes I had to just refrain from telling people I had OCD. Mostly because it was embarrassing. But I only told people whom I thought would understand because I simply did not want to hear any negativity from people, like them saying things like, "Well then how are you going to become a nurse?"
"Obsessed" on A&E is a great show. I really hope that many people are watching it because that show is a more realistic picture of what OCD is.
I know that the first year of nursing is a hard one, so I am not expecting these symptoms to go away anytime soon. It might be a good idea for me to find a therapist who specializes in OCD. Because in the past year, sometimes the anxiety and guilt have been so bad that I can't focus on anything and have this constant "bad feeling" in me. And that is not how I should be living - nor should anyone else.
Sorry if this reply was super long and disorganized. It's just that there is so much I could talk about re: OCD. I wish you the best!
Jul 4, '09Occupation: volunteer nurse From: US ; Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 533; Likes: 306i'm a little different here (though i have been accused of be ocd about cleaning the dynamax) adhd. do some reading on it and on how to work with your ocd to get things done, is the best advice i can give you. find out how you learn and work best.
with my adhd, i keep a little pad of paper and write down things-rm 207 ice and a soda, rm 204 towels and a fresh gown, rm 203 a bedpan-when i make my rounds, if nothings urgent (complaints of pain, sob, patient needs cleaning up because of incontinence) that i need to report to the nurse immediately or take care of then, i go collect everything i need and then deliver these items to the rooms. my list keeps me focused. this is what works for me. i just have to remember to allow for flexability for the unexpected things.
a little ocd and nursing can be a plus, too much and you'll drive yourself and those around you a bit crazy (hubby has severe ocd-so of course he married me with the short attention span.) self knowledge and learning how to work within your limitations and around disorders like ocd and adhd makes you a better nurse. it also helps you to work with your patients who have similar issues and have more compassion for them, because you've been there.
Jul 5, '09From: US ; Joined: May '09; Posts: 11; Likes: 1I know I have thanked everyone before a couple of times but I am going to do it again. I didn't think that a forum thing like this could be so helpful and reassuring. I appreciate everything that everyone has said, you have all been very compassionate and supporting and I am thankful that I have found this website. You are all very nice people and I understand why you want to be nurses! Thank you all for all the kind words, I now have a better understanding of what I should expect in nursing school when it comes to my OCD. But anyway, thank you all for everything.
Jul 13, '09Occupation: NICU RN Specialty: NICU Level III ; From: US ; Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 1,813; Likes: 500I was diagnosed in the early 90s and nursing school had no effect whatsoever on it. It's been well controlled for years though.