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Should ADD RN be given "disability" allowances?

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by meatloaf RN meatloaf RN (New Member) New Member

856 Visitors; 3 Posts

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Hello...I've posted before about my 12 yr history of problems with med errors (either giving them way late or forgetting them all together), and am at a crossroad of finding other avenues of nursing that don't involve administration of meds. However, I can't help but wonder if having a diagnoses of ADD should allow one special allowances, ie: lower nurse/pt ratio? Naturally, I feel sheepish that it should be included in this category, being that otherwise I am fully healthy. Please forgive me, as my intention is NOT to offend anyone. I really love being an Orthopedic nurse in the hospital where I currently work and would rather not change my career drastically, but am also aware that I took an oath to "do no harm". I would love any insight you could offer...Thanks!

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ukstudent specializes in SICU.

8,659 Visitors; 805 Posts

I want to preface this with the fact that I have ADD. That said I don't think there should be any allowances made. I had a huge problem while in nursing school with some of my classmates being given special consideration for tests due to ADD. They could take it in a small room away from other and not have the same time limit as the rest of the class (I refused to do this). I kept thinking that if they couldn't deal with the stress of a test how were they going to cope with a patient coding, ask for more time in order to collect themselves before starting cpr!

Like I said, I have ADD and have trouble making sure that everything has been done (such as meds) if I haven't written it down. My 'brains' have every med and every action needed for my pts written down for each hour. I make sure that it is reviewed for new orders and checked on at least once an hour. I know that without my 'brains' I would be lost. Before quitting have you tried having written reminders of what to give and when, it can really help in organizing your day.

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mercyteapot has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Dev. Disabilities, Health Disparities.

21,770 Visitors; 2,756 Posts

Although I fully support the ADA, I wouldn't consider giving a nurse with any disability a lower nurse/patient ration to be a "reasonable accommodation". I wouldn't have a problem with it if the other nurses weren't expected to pick up the slack, but I can't imagine a hospital administrator agreeing to the expense of hiring an extra nurse.

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16,093 Visitors; 2,098 Posts

I am not sure about this. A good school and/or employer will make allowances. Legally they have to. I am Bipolar-2 and ADHD - Combined. When I first started I had many issues remembering to do things. Basically, I ended up making a system that I use on my own. The funny thing is no one else (but my fellow ADD'ers and Beepers) can use it because it makes no sense to them. In any case, everyone knows about my limitations and being nurses are quite aware of when I might be losing it. :) I can see it too but it is nice to have backup.

In any case, it is good that you don't need to use special testing, I never did either. Just remember, if you refuse the special help and then screw up, you won't be able to use that 'disability' as an excuse later.

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1,461 Visitors; 35 Posts

What you need to do is make up a system which is designed just for your benefit. I have found that the standard jot sheet (aka report sheet) is "too wordy", and it caused me to look at too many things that I did not need to look at). I constructed my own, with an area for the information for the particular patient that was necessary for me to know. I do not care if the other shifts do not understand my "system",as long as I know what is going on. I do not know how your med pass works (I am in LTC/Rehab) but you can make little reminders for yourself which are important about their meds, so you will not forget. I have my 1pm med passes written in a different color on my special sheet. I have a spot for the time the pain med was given, or for the o2 sat/vital signs, etc. IV's have their special area... You know what I mean. You have to work out what is easiest for you, it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks. Only folks with ADD can understand it anyhow LOL.:wink2:

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38,015 Visitors; 4,700 Posts

Oh how true.....ADD is both a blessing and a curse.....It is a blessing because as an individual I can think outside of the box...

It is a curse because linear thinkers don't understand how your world works....(I am a slave to multiple alarms...I need to hyperfocus and when I am working on a project I have had to learn to tell my wife no in a firm voice because changing tasks can be a distraction.)

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1,461 Visitors; 35 Posts

I can relate to having to tell people "no", or "hold on", when I am trying to focus on a task, or if I am getting "information overload".

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53,633 Visitors; 11,191 Posts

yeah, that's where i tend to get in trouble.

when i'm pulled in different directions, i have no problems with being pulled from task at hand.

but it's completing the tasks undone-

reorienting is tough for me.

but viking, i totally get the part about hyperfocusing.

when i'm that focused, it literally mesmerizes me and cannot/will not break away.

leslie

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amers573 specializes in Tele, MedSurg.

1,053 Visitors; 14 Posts

Im sure glad there are many different areas in nursing because as a new nurse i am having trouble in acute care facility so i have had to rethink where i will work. I have been told and agree that i need to work in a slower paced position. I just hope i will find it.

AP

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2,030 Visitors; 74 Posts

This thread is helpful - I take clonazapam for anxiety - my son has aspergers - it being driven home to me at work the fact that I have attention problems - I forget keys - I put things down when I am taken off task - then I forget where I put things. I have trouble reorienting. I don't patients wrong meds, but I forget to sign for them - or I forget to give them. I work in aged care - 20 patients. I need strategies to keep me focused during medication rounds. It's humiliating.

I believe I am a good nurse - I am very good at patient assessment - I see things other people don't notice.

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libby231 specializes in None but I am a...HHA ( Home Health Aid).

913 Visitors; 9 Posts

I know the feeling. If I didnt have notes written down everywhere I would be a basket case. :banghead:

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2,030 Visitors; 74 Posts

Thanks for not being judgemental Libby. I looked after I posted that last post and i thought my comments looked terrible.

There are other safeguards if meds. aren't signed for - that makes it clear if medications have been given.

Thanks to information gained in this thread --- I now have a note placed where I can see it easily on my medication trolley - reminding me to "focus - take my time - keep track of my mortar bowl - keep my keys on me at all times" :mad:

I don't have pockets usually to put a pad in - but I want to buy a note pad that I can attach to my keys on my skirt.

Looking at the title of this thread - I wouldn't admit to a disablity like ADD - too risky.

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