Nurses with ADD/ADHD? - page 33

Hey all! I was wondering if there are any nurses with ADD/ADHD out there who want to comiserate and support each other? I know I need the help/advice. It might also be a place for "regular" people... Read More

  1. by   Sharing as RN w/ADHD
    Hello fellow nurses with ADHD!

    I was diagnosed late in life. Back in the 80's it was commonly missed d/t the fact that children with ADD/ADHD may be highly functioning and get good grades- which was my case... However my relationships as a "professional" in the 5 years of nursing last led me to several changes of venue-sedation, endoscopy, telemetry, PCU/ICU, and now Psych. I was never an unsafe nurse, but I struggled with my relationship with my peers at work. I made them uncomfortable with my hyperactivity, hyper focusing, distraction, and trouble staying engaged in meetings and prolonged conversation. It created a stigma around me-frequently going under the microscope, getting "special attention", and the atmosphere of a raised eyebrow. These situations were often prolonged for preforming my duties, engaging well with patients, and having a good attitude at work. At the end of these repeated cycles of scrutiny, my self-esteem plumetted-filled with self-doubt, and anxiety it finally became unbearable and often resigned my job. I wasn't doing anything wrong. finally I went for help from a psychiatrist, convinced I had some mental disorder- I was told about my ADHD and started therapy and medication.

    My life had been saved. I could be a nurse again, slow down and communicate well with my co-workers.

    My heart goes out to nurses with ADD/ADHD. I'm sure they have suffered the same.

    willing to share my war stories and overcoming this hurdle.
  2. by   Carol1958

    I'm so glad people are still posting to this thread because I will be completing (hopefully) nursing school in May. This semester I have come face to face with my undiagnosed ADD. I have been seeing a therapist who suggested (without my input) that I get evaluated for ADD. I have "known" for years that if I was a younger person, I would definitely have been given the ADD label in school, but they didn't know about it when I was in school. I was born in 1958 (yes, I'm am an older nursing student).

    So, I'm struggling with school, but getting through. I'm not sure if I will be evaluated in time to get to try medication before my program is over - I'm on a waiting list for ADD evaluation. And I'm not even sure if I want medication. So, in the meantime, I am trying to exercise more, which definitely helps. And I'm trying to eat better and take more vitamins and herbs that help with brain power.

    I think my biggest problem is procrastination and organization. This leads to problems with time management, which leads to sometimes feeling overwhelmed in clinical. It also means that I am "learning more slowly" than my fellow students. And all of this leads to feeling of low self-esteem and irritability. It sucks. So, I'm looking at nursing school as something I will endure and make it through.

    On the bright side, I know that when I finally learn something, I understand more about that topic than most people. My theory is that while learning something, I need to understand all aspects of it, therefore slowing me down with getting the basics. But, once I learn it I know it inside and out, giving me more flexibility with what to do with that information. Giving me more ability to be creative with that information, more ability to make connections with other pieces of information. I think that's the good side to my "disability."

    I hope this makes sense - so now I have to get back to studying for my final tomorrow. I think this is so wonderful that we are here to support each other.
  3. by   etaoinshrdluRN

    I appreciate your post, especially the bit about needing to know all aspects of a topic in order to integrate it. I've often felt that way about different paperwork procedures. I deeply need to know why I am doping what I am doing. Might be perceived as impertinence and restlessness by some, I suppose.
  4. by   finallyfound10
    There are also really good ADD/ADHD threads started on the 'Nurses with Disabilities' Forum.

    I discovered my ADD in my late 30's when I failed a nursing class. It makes so much sense why all through school growing up things were harder for me. I take 36mg Concerta and 150 mg Zoloft (depression and anxiety are very often present along with ADD/ADHD.)

    Great resources:

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Forums

    CHADD Live | Home Page

    Good Luck to all of you!!! :spin:
  5. by   trpowell
    Hey! Would you mind replying here or sending me a message regarding the method you learned for taking report? I'm finishing school with ADHD and could use it desperately. Thanks!
  6. by   trpowell
    Sorry, this was a misdirected private message. All the same, suggestions for the above post are welcome. Thanks!
  7. by   neverbethesame
    I haven't graduated yet but I was soooo glad that at many of hospitals where I had clinicals we used the voice recorded system so I could listen to report 2-3 times. On the other hand I've done in person hand-off and that has gone well IF the RN giving report speaks slowly, includes all information and doesn't use too much jargon without explaining it. There was something very concrete and lasting with the in-person ones where questions could be answered and clarifications made.

    As far as the form that you will use to write this information down, there are as many as there are nurses!! If I saw one that I liked and thought could work me, I would ask the RN for a blank copy. Sometimes she/he had created it or got it from another RN/website/school. I think that process of finding one that works for you and the type of nursing that you are doing is hard for everyone but even more for those of us with ADHD. I am expecting a lot of trial and error until I find one that works for me.

    If we could attach on here I would send you one that an RN had emailed me when I asked her about it. I'll see if I can send it in a PM.
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    Just an FYI: The private messaging system isn't fully enabled until a new member reaches 15 posts. Until then, they can receive, but not send PMs. Hope that helps clear up some confusion.
  9. by   folkfaerie
    I am a 56-year-old LVN (Texas version of an LPN). I have been an LVN for 3 years now. I made A's in nursing school except in Clinicals I STRUGGLED with "Time Management" (I HATE those 2 words!!). I had to drop out of the RN program due to my struggles in Clinicals & took the LVN NCLEX & passed it on the 1st attempt with the minimum number of test questions, so I know the Book stuff, I always feel kind of frantic & like I'm in a race coming from behind when I am passsing meds or charting.

    I work in a LTC (Long Term Care/Nursing Home) & have 2 hours to pass meds (& do 8 bedtime Accu Checks & Insulins) to 35 residents (patients). Right now I am home, however, I worked a partial extra shift this afternoon/evening (2pm - 10pm shift, But only worked from 1645 until 2200) & it took me 4 hours just to pass the meds & do the insulins!! I did not have to chart Thank God! The on coming nurse is the sister of the ADON & I made her late getting started due to my running behind. My stomach knotted-up & still is. I feel like an incompetent failure. I try & try to get faster, but when I speed up I make errors, drop things & in general believe I appear even more scatter-brained & incompetent. Every week I get "talked to" about my time management & overtime. I haven't been to sleep since 2 am YESTERDAY Morning I am exhausted, but have trouble sleeping. I only had had 3 - 4 hours sleep before I woke-up at 2am & that in my recliner, not reclined though; I had finally fallen asleep after working my regular schedule of "Weekend Doubles" 2pm on Saturday thru 6am on Sunday, then home from about 4.5 hours of sleep, & back again at 2pm on Sunday until 6am on Monday.

    I have not been "officially" diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, but I KNOW that I fit the profile. I have no Insurance of any kind so to get a DX I'll have to pay out of pocket to get a true evaluation. When I get the official DX, I hope what ever TX is decided on helps with my time management, success at work, & the clutter in the house.
  10. by   mstacer
    I'm very grateful to have found this thread. I have been struggling with my ADHD lately in a way that I haven't since I was a child. I had some great help from an amazing woman in elementary school that helped me learn to focus and showed me I was actually smart if I could just slow my brain down. I was handling things more or less well for a long time (good grades, happy life). But now that I'm in nursing (and maybe also because I'm 34)... it's really causing trouble again. I graduate in August, but I'm nervous that safety may not be 100% if I don't address it.

    I'm having a really hard time focusing on the med-surg floor. Other students are taking 4-5 patients with ease and I struggle if I have more than 3. I get distracted so easily... I'm always focusing on the next thing that I have to do and not what I'm doing. I end up having to redo assessments because two seconds later when I'm charting, I can't remember what I saw. Then I get behind, then I get even more frustrated with myself. I love nursing, but I have a feeling med-surg is not where I can best contribute to the field. I sometimes wonder if I need to work somewhere where I'm just focusing on one patient at a time...

    I'm very seriously considering getting back on medication, but we're trying to start a family and I can't be on those meds and be pregnant. From reading this thread, I'm pretty convinced to see a behaviorist/ coach to help get me through until we have our first kiddo. I want to be a good nurse. I take pride in doing things well. I'm so grateful to hear that it's doable and that I might actually be able to handle it.

    Thanks for your honesty and willingness to share,
  11. by   folkfaerie
    I was FIRED on Thursday! Yes, just 2 days ago! Its a mixture of relief & fear. Relief I don't have to deal with the ADON any longer, but fear for my finances. I have NO SAVINGS. I have had SO MUCH trouble with "Time Management" that I feel Nursing is the WORSE profession I could have picked!!! I wanted to help people, but I never have time for anything but "slinging" meds at folks & charting! I am 56, owe over $100,000 in Student Loans & have been a widow since 1991. I feel like I'll never have a car newer than 15 years old & in needed of numerous repairs or time & money to actually go on a little trip just to relax, I want to visit the MacDonald Observatory in the Davis Mtns of Texas (an 8 hour drive). My guts are always in a knot. I smile & try to stay positive for my sons (all adults, not at home) & my residents/Patients, but I really don't feel like I am doing anyone any good.

    I know I can get another job by next week, but I fear it'll just be the same circus. I need to find some part of nursing I can be successful in.
  12. by   ahnwan

    You have ADD, and you are getting to the age it is difficult to run around buzzed up on adrenaline like you used to (I am guessing).
    ADD people often think faster in more directions than others, and also move faster. I see a mirror of myself.
    Have you considered public health?
    There are about five drugs in an STD clinic. You can write them on index cards (Gonorrhea = Rocephin )
    Repeat this : Let's get you treated so I can move onto the next patient. I don't like to keep people in the waiting room too long.
    You don't have to organize care for 5-6 people and put up with the %&* phone calls.
    Is pretty predictable. Height weight Do you have a headache? Are your feet swollen? Let's measure your tummy.
    Anything odd gets handled by the NP or MD.
    It's not boring, because every day patients come in with problems you never imagined in your wildest dreams.
    Patients may love you because you take school diffculties are real disabilities.
    I hope things go well for you. Take your meds. Ahn
  13. by   ahnwan
    There are Primary Care Doctors out there who will diagnose adult ADD and prescribe you stimulants. Generics are cheap.

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