ADHD Nurses-what area do you specialize in? - page 3

I would very much like to hear from other nurses with ADHD/ADD! What area of nursing do you work in? What do you love about it? I appreciate all who take the time to answer :) Thanks... Read More

  1. by   ohellemarie
    I haven't read all the responses here but I recently found out I have ADD (thanks nursing school--my brother has it but we are TOTAL opposites--never occurred to me I would have it) and REALLY struggled first semester of nursing school. Barely passed but I did. I think I'll be fine the next three if I passed the hardest first! However, any advice is great. I'm sick of my professors giving me negative feedback during evals such as "slow down, take a deep breath, relax! stop being anxious, stop talking so fast!" blah blah. This is who I am and I don't want to conform to society norm just to fit in but its tough. I also work as a CNA on neuro (med surg like) and feel that some nurses just don't "GET" me. I'm sure I come off as flighty. Any advice or helpful hints to make it through nursing school without completely losing my confidence in ME would be greatly appreciated....
  2. by   EMT2ERRN
    I have ADHD and specialized in ER nursing. I believed that this was the best specialty for me as did my psychiatrist at the time. At 41yo and years of experience, I have learned that the ADHD-ER combo has it's pro's and con's. The fast paced and rapid changing environment was a blessing on many levels: I was allowed to constantly run around, burning off energy, and never forced to sit for any period of time (as opposed to OR nursing); my short attention span was supported (as opposed to ICU nursing); and I was never bored (as opposed to all those clinical rotations in Med/Surg in nursing school). When I was younger and have far more energy to expend, I worked in even busier ER's where I'd hit the floor running from beginning of shift to end and my "personality" went unidentified and never became an issue because everyone was too busy to notice that I was different.

    Here are the con's: Long-term exposure to highly stimulated environments such as ER eventually break down the psyche of anyone with ADHD. On the suggestion of my psychiatrist, I took a position in an ER with a far lower census... and was forced to come out of the closet so to speak. Experienced ER nurses have the abilities to identify the s/s of mental illness and chemical dependency. And you know that we, as ADHD nurses, LOVE that the world ties these two very different disease processes together. Because of the slower environment of this ER, where nurses sat around waiting for patients (something I could not do), I continued my energetic path by helping the techs stock, helping the unit secretary with phones/paperwork, and even helping EVS clean. These actions landed me in the DON's office, accused of questionable behaviors consistent with impaired nursing and chemical dependency issues. Even though the DON cleared me of any wrongdoing, the stigma was present among my peers and, eventually, I resigned.

    I have since returned to school to get my BSN, and accepted a part-time job in a clinic. It was a very hard transition but I did it. And today, I have no idea where to go to from here.
  3. by   _MORA_
    Any advice or helpful hints to make it through nursing school without completely losing my confidence in ME would be greatly appreciated....
    @ohellemarie Check out George Glade, APRN's, book "The Stimulus Driven Brain". He's a psych APRN practicing in an urban ER & he also has psych practice where he coaches ADD/ADHD students & professionals. His book is a great place to start - it's written for the ADD/ADHD college student. Its full of practical tips & advice for organization, study skills, etc. By the time you're done with that his book on the ADD/ADHD professional should be out. His podcast area also fairly useful, especially the one detailing the 'Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' of stimulant meds.
  4. by   dthfytr
    Some time ago a thread formed, may even be a different site, asking the difference between ER and ICU nurses. There many responses, some quite involved. But the real gem was the simplest answer. ER = ADHD, ICU = OCD.
  5. by   nasmith1076
    I have Adhd, I was first diagnosised in 1998. I have been an RN for a little over 2 years now and I work at VA hospital on the med / sugical unit. I like working the night shift because of my Adhd. I stay better focused on nights. I have since gotten another up dated testing to confirm my ADHD to my employer. I have had some problems, where I have made mistakes in my charting and forgetting to scan a couple of med, throught our barcode admistation. I was put on a PiP program for 5 mointh. It's a performance improvement program. I was pulled off of my nights and put on days with a mentor. I had to meet with my Nurse Manager every 2 weeks for 90 days. Now the meeting were suppused to non disipliary. She was very harsh . She made fusses over very little things. When I corrected some of the mistake that was included on charting, my nurse manager contiued to come up with new problem that did'nt seem to bother her before. Many of my fellow nurses letters on my behalf that I have improve enough to be put back on my reg shift. My nurse manager knew in April that I had ADHD. She is trying to get me fired for practice issues. I am on administrative paid leave till the make a decision westher they keep me or not
  6. by   Paytynsmom
    I am so glad to have read these posts. I have ADHD but am also OCD, and I work in a small hospital ICU. i beat myself up all the time for things and often question if I am in the right field/dept. I have always struggled with insecurity throughout my life (have been in therapy and understand why). I will be 40 this year, and have decided that this is the year I will no longer feel bad about my flaws, and am taking a more assertive approach to my life/career. My advice to anyone...
    1) not only complete your continuing education but routinely continue to review systems etc. as well as ACLS etc. The saying "knowledge is power" is true and in my case, Knowledge is confidence. Plus, i have a little/mini journal notebook (yes its color coordinated as well) that I have made my own notes/cheat sheets on regarding things I've seen and cared for etc. By using my own notes/language (personal shorthand), it's easier to recall.
    2) I have a few co-workers that I'm close w/ as well as my manager that understand my "issues". I'm fortunate in that they are encouraging and have never made me feel inadequate. Which honestly, is a constant fear I have, mainly because I have such high expectations of myself. (Story of my life lol) .thanks to everyone for sharing their issues/advise. I appreciate them!
  7. by   MereSanity
    I work in the OR! Great place for those with ADD!
  8. by   fetch
    Quote from lelequet
    Me personally, I have a hard time keeping up with the fast pace. I am in a adult day care where its a little more smoother until i know what im doing cause one day i get it and the next my nerves take over and its like ive never aqquired the skill.
    This is how I am too, the faster pace sometimes sends me into overdrive and super-distractability. Especially if I'm on a wonky schedule and can't get 5-6 hours of sleep, my mouth begins running on its own and it doesn't matter what I do, I forget EVERYTHING.

    School nursing has worked out well for me, because it's the same schedule every week (well, except holidays and snow days!) and I know I'll have meds at 7:15, and q30 mins from 11am-1pm, so I can plan special programs around that. But beyond that, I have no idea what or when something will come through my door! It's enough structure that I can make my lists and plan my day and have time for all my double checks, but it's still got enough variance that I don't get bored. (And when I do, I am able to find something to do.)
  9. by   1fastRN
    ER, perfect fit. I would be too bored. i did ICU rotatations during my orienation and i was so bored. icu was too ocd and not enough chaos haha
  10. by   aeris99
    Reading through the responses just floored me! I'm ADHD inattentive, currently in nursing school pulling high honors. I was really worried that once I graduate I would have a hard time finding work. A big thank you for all who posted. You really gave me confidence that it will work out.

    That said I was an LNA before entering school and I loved LTC on the Alzheimer's unit. Always something, always a challenge. It really kept me focused. The only struggle I had was with coworkers. Id' really like to go into hospice care once I get my RN.
  11. by   CalmDownFaceUp
    Hi, How are you going now? Your post was a while ago.
  12. by   Slipping CMA
    I hope you don't mind a CMA butting in with the cool kids but I have a question. When I was young the label they used was hyperactive and the school wanted to put me on Ritalin, my mother thought I was just lazy and wouldn't hear it so I'm used to failing all my classes. Somethings like grammar and spelling I still struggle with today because of the poor education I received.

    Anyway, thank goodness for good EMR's and just having to check boxes. I am now 48 and learned I have ADHD did great in school, to my own amazement. How do you handle learning new things?

    I start a new job and my biggest worry is learning the new system and getting the rooming down to 5 minutes without mistakes. It takes me longer to learn new things but once I catch on I'm a flying wiz.

    One thing i found is in the system some of the patients are practice patients. I don't know how much time I'll have to practice at work but I can take screen shots of the fake patients home and study them. They have a ton more questions they like to ask patients than I'm used to but if others can do it, it can be done I just need the time and practice.

    Any other tricks you've found to learning new things? I wish I could bring the EMR home with me but that's not a logical option.
  13. by   megan_beth
    As a nurse with ADD/ADHD I think besides the proper medication/alternative therapies to help control ADD tendencies, I think it's imperative to self examine (not to beat yourself up but to learn) your distractions at work. I have become a faithful click timer girl - from getting ready and out the door in time for work to charting I find setting an alarm helps me avoid distractions. It's unrealistic for me to think that I will chart for the next thirty minutes as I get distracted, but 10-15 mins of high focused charting every hour (ideal situation - most achievable on nights) is much more realistic. Also, adding an IR stimulant as a PRN as helped as there are times that all the coping mechanisms I learned just are not doing it and an IR (low dose) certainly has helped me. Plenty of sleep. Lots of fluids. I work mostly 12 hrs nights but do a handful of 12 he days - and definitely notice that I'm much more distracted during days as with all the commotion on the floor and at the nurses station with doctors, LSW, care planning, and just more people how could you not be. Also, I find it especially important to utilize breaks and make a point to leave the floor whenever I can on breaks!