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Student with ADHD

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by Scottish _23 Scottish _23 (New) New

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Hi

I was wondering if any nurses or fellow students had ADHD? I am diagnosed with ADHD and was wondering if anyone had any hints or tips? How do you cope?

I know others work with it however it feels very isolating as a student and not knowing other students who have it.

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bluegeegoo2 has 11 years experience as a LPN and specializes in LTC.

1 Article; 753 Posts; 17,733 Profile Views

I apparently didn't cope very well as I ended up on an ADHD med for the 2nd semester. 

I was diagnosed with ADD a MILLION years ago as a child, then again as an adult. I plod along without meds, and can deal most of the time but the rigors of nursing school was too much.

As far as how I cope in the work setting, I use a "brain sheet." It is simply a sheet of paper with the names of pts, room numbers, how they take their meds and code status. (I still always check the chart as those sheets are not exactly up to date.) 

I use the sheet for finger sticks, BP's, orders, pertinent observations, etc. That way, I don't have to rely on my busy brain to recall something that happened earlier. I can't even remember a blood sugar value from the pt to the cart (maybe 10 ft) so I know better than to try to recall a value or instance from 4 hours ago. 

We all have our tools to get along. You will develop yours. 

Best of luck!

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22 Posts; 435 Profile Views

On 1/28/2019 at 7:01 AM, bluegeegoo2 said:

I apparently didn't cope very well as I ended up on an ADHD med for the 2nd semester. 

I was diagnosed with ADD a MILLION years ago as a child, then again as an adult. I plod along without meds, and can deal most of the time but the rigors of nursing school was too much.

As far as how I cope in the work setting, I use a "brain sheet." It is simply a sheet of paper with the names of pts, room numbers, how they take their meds and code status. (I still always check the chart as those sheets are not exactly up to date.) 

I use the sheet for finger sticks, BP's, orders, pertinent observations, etc. That way, I don't have to rely on my busy brain to recall something that happened earlier. I can't even remember a blood sugar value from the pt to the cart (maybe 10 ft) so I know better than to try to recall a value or instance from 4 hours ago. 

We all have our tools to get along. You will develop yours. 

Best of luck!

I would never consider having to go on meds a lack of coping. Instead, its that your condition was severe enough to need it. You wouldn’t tell someone nearsighted that needing to wear glasses was simply that they didn’t squint good enough would you? It’s similar only its in your brain not your eyes. However, your suggestion of having a sheet to record stuff on is a great one- i use a tiny notebook in clinical that i just tuck into a pocket. 

I could no more survive nursing school off *my* meds than i could survive a road trip driving without my glasses. (My “good” side is 20/40, my “bad” is 20/300) 

OP: 

I have it too. 
Have a clinical bag and a class bag. Put everything you NEED in your clinical bag for clinical. Pack it the the last day of the week that you have clinical once clinical is out- eg: after your last clinical for the week, put everything back in the bag. I bought a bunch of my own “supplies” - eg a pulse ox, bandage scissors, gait belt etc. I got them all in the most obnoxious shade of purple, so that upon leaving a room, it’d visually register as “WHOOPS THATS MINE!!!”. 

Do all your assignments ASAP. If your school does ATI? Don’t leave it to the night before. Sometimes it likes to kick people out or just decide not to work for like 12+ hours, you dont want to have an assignment due at 10 the next day and have it poop out on you at 9pm and then not work at all! 

Study in chunks through the week, don’t leave it til the night before. 

Flash cards are great- Writing them helps me remember, AND i tuck them in a pocket/bag and whenever i’m At a stop light, or in line at the store, or at the dentist waiting etc, you get the idea- i pull them out. THere’s a youtuber who has review ones but i just write my own. 



 

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Persephone Paige has 15 years experience as a ADN.

4 Followers; 1 Article; 691 Posts; 3,976 Profile Views

ADHD and Ritalin in the 70s/80s. After years of Medication I've found that if I have a job where I move, I retain. I could sit still to take a test if I knew the info, but I had a harder time retaining in class when I was just having to listen to lectures. So, I brought a recorder and played it again at home where I was free to move. If I have to sit still, I have problems unless my mind is truly engaged. Let the ADHDers move around!

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bluegeegoo2 has 11 years experience as a LPN and specializes in LTC.

1 Article; 753 Posts; 17,733 Profile Views

On 3/14/2019 at 4:24 PM, C_M_L_R18 said:

I would never consider having to go on meds a lack of coping. Instead, its that your condition was severe enough to need it. You wouldn’t tell someone nearsighted that needing to wear glasses was simply that they didn’t squint good enough would you? It’s similar only its in your brain not your eyes. However, your suggestion of having a sheet to record stuff on is a great one- i use a tiny notebook in clinical that i just tuck into a pocket. 

I could no more survive nursing school off *my* meds than i could survive a road trip driving without my glasses. (My “good” side is 20/40, my “bad” is 20/300) 

OP: 

I have it too. 
Have a clinical bag and a class bag. Put everything you NEED in your clinical bag for clinical. Pack it the the last day of the week that you have clinical once clinical is out- eg: after your last clinical for the week, put everything back in the bag. I bought a bunch of my own “supplies” - eg a pulse ox, bandage scissors, gait belt etc. I got them all in the most obnoxious shade of purple, so that upon leaving a room, it’d visually register as “WHOOPS THATS MINE!!!”. 

Do all your assignments ASAP. If your school does ATI? Don’t leave it to the night before. Sometimes it likes to kick people out or just decide not to work for like 12+ hours, you dont want to have an assignment due at 10 the next day and have it poop out on you at 9pm and then not work at all! 

Study in chunks through the week, don’t leave it til the night before. 

Flash cards are great- Writing them helps me remember, AND i tuck them in a pocket/bag and whenever i’m At a stop light, or in line at the store, or at the dentist waiting etc, you get the idea- i pull them out. THere’s a youtuber who has review ones but i just write my own. 



 

No where in my response did I suggest that anyone not need meds. I provided an account of my personal experience with ADHD and nursing school. 

Being an older soul, I had developed a fairly solid coping strategy without medications that served me well in everyday life/work scenarios. Until nursing school, that is. 

The rigors of school proved too much for my coping strategies, so I required medication for one semester. (Med surg! Ack!) 

The strategies you provided are spot on. NEVER wait until the last minute to complete an assignment. Organization is our friend! 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 3/17/2019 at 4:31 AM, bluegeegoo2 said:

No where in my response did I suggest that anyone not need meds. I provided an account of my personal experience with ADHD and nursing school. 

Being an older soul, I had developed a fairly solid coping strategy without medications that served me well in everyday life/work scenarios. Until nursing school, that is. 

The rigors of school proved too much for my coping strategies, so I required medication for one semester. (Med surg! Ack!) 

The strategies you provided are spot on. NEVER wait until the last minute to complete an assignment. Organization is our friend! 

 

 

 

 

 

It was more of an encouragement to regard needing meds not as a failing but as one of the many tools we can use. I’ve dealt with so much med shaming in my life that i can come off a little strong there

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 I know I am just a CMA  and not in anyway a nurse. I also have along with ADHD,  have PTSD, anxiety and depression. So I do go to a therapist. He used to work as a hospital managing for the nurses so he knows a thing or two about healthcare 

 As for school I am on medication but it’s not 100% for me. I made sure to read the chapters ahead of time printed the slides with lines next to it so I could take notes on the slides did my homework  that day.  And when it came to things like A&P   I created flashcards in Excel Put it on my phone and constantly studied it. I mean constantly studied it, if I was waiting to see a doctor in the waiting room I had my phone out and was studying and memorizing the parts of the body or whatever we were studying that chapter.

 As for work  I know we have completely different jobs and I’m not trying to say I’m a nurse in anyway but maybe this will help you too. I created a flow sheet that shows everything I need to do for each patient. I don’t know if this is the same as what you guys are calling a brain sheet. I also take notes in my notebook on everything. Bladder scan sounds simple enough but I have notes on it. Yes we do bladder scans in the office.  Aorta scan Or an EKG yes I know I can do them in my sleep but I still take notes on them in my notebook.

 When it comes to things like procedures the doctor will do, something like a Keppra injection  I take a picture on my phone of the tray that way I know exactly how the doctor likes it. I assume  The doctors are the same way in a hospital as they do in the doctors office some of them want things precisely their way they want the procedure tray done so that they know where everything is  also if you have a picture you don’t forget anything you know you have the ultrasound machine and a Band-Aid which can be easy to forget. 

 I know I am just a CMA but I hope this still helped you in someway to 

Edited by Slipping CMA

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I have ADHD, and it really made life difficult in nursing school.  I had to study so much harder than my peers, and my dosage for adderall XR went from 10mg-25mg, on top of the addition of a 10mg IR PRN prescription.  My peers studied way less and often performed better on exams, but I'm autistic and sometimes I misinterpreted the questions.  It's easier practicing as an independent nurse, although the biggest thing I initially heard was that I had to slow down and stay focused.  Definitely learn to prioritize, and know what you have to do now.  Make sure you have everything you need, because if you keep running back and forth that's bad!  You will learn a routine though.  Know what to do later, what needs to be done now.  It's the core of nursing.

 

My best tip is to stay organized!  Go through your syllabus, write down the dates for everything, homework, classes, plot study times, etc.  I made an itinerary for each week with the chapters I needed to study, when exams were and what topics/chapters.  Many of my professors let us record lectures, and I listened to them often.  Definitely take meticulous notes in classes!  Learn how each professor writes their tests as well, that helped me a lot.  Also, don't cram! 

 

One thing I wish I did less was study the night before an exam, even if I studied all week.  They say that you will recall that information more and it can cloud your judgement, when preparing for the NCLEX everyone told me to do nothing the day before, no parties, no studying, no working, just do nothing!  And I feel that by following that, it really helped me recall information and focus better when I took the NCLEX.

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hotpeppa has <1 years experience.

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I'm currently attending school to complete my prerequisites.

I'm struggling but passing my classes and recently found out that my school has a disability office. They told me I need a letter from my doctor regarding my diagnosis of ADHD.

Thing is when I asked my Dr. About the letter, both he and the receptionist pretty much discouraged me . They said that this would "follow me" and become part of my college record, inspite of what the office told me about confidentiality. 

So I'm conflicted. Intellectually I know that's discriminatory. But the fact that a Dr is telling me not is making me wonder.

Do I register and take the accommodations while in school now. I could definitely use the additional time needed to absorb the info. 

But I don't want to start my career with a negative. 

Help.

Edited by hotpeppa

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LC0929 has 16 years experience as a ASN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Critical Care.

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FYI....none of us, including you, are “just” anything....you have the support of myself and many others... I was diagnosed at 28 years old, AFTER my second associates degree, when I figured it out by accident, but that’s another story.... I have thought about your question for a while and am convinced that those of us who have ADD/ADHD, choose nursing/firefighting/law enforcement, BECAUSE the jobs are constantly changing and all over the place....it’s where we feel most comfortable and we tend to excel in marginally “controlled chaos”.....especially in ER or Psych settings..... I personally LOVED the ER, as well as being a FF/EMT, because no shift was boring or like the previous one.....I’m no doctor, but that’s my take on it....my suggestion is to be mindful of who you share personal information with....unfortunately, I’ve seen it come back and bite people in the a**.....just be vigilant and you’ll be fine....😎

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FRIENDS! I have no idea how I did it, pre-diagnosis, pre-adderall. My girls got me through. Thank god for the type As who made me study. Also lots of cramming nights w 5 hour energy drinks- oops. I know I am aging because now I go to youtube to watch videos on topics and wish all these videos were here when I was in nursing school. Biggest tip is to study out of nclex practice books. Our test questions were almost exactly like the ones in those books. As they should be.

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Hello!  I am a nurse with ADHD.  You will learn how to organize.  I always like to set up a pt. List with names, room number, meds and anything else important.   There is no shame in taking meds to help you function better.  I would be lost at work without my ADHD meds.

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