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workplace accommodations for ADHD

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by pinkiepieRN pinkiepieRN (Member)

pinkiepieRN has 8 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

6 Articles; 16,520 Visitors; 385 Posts

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I was diagnosed with ADHD in December and put on meds. I have a long acting stimulant (Vyvanse) and a short acting one for when the Vyvanse wears off (Zenzedi). I am easily distracted and have difficulty finishing tasks. I have exceptional documentation skills, I'm great with patients and I love my job. 99% of the time, I have everything done that needs to be done, but there's at least 1% of the time where I'm missing a little bit of charting or still have a med to give when it's time for report. (We give meds between 0600 and 0700 and report starts at 0700. Meds cannot be given any earlier. I work with kids. Giving meds can either take 15 minutes for 5 kids or 30 minutes for just one.) I have a spreadsheet/shift brains that I use but if I get distracted for one minute, I'll likely forget something. I'm not in a clinically/skills based field so if I miss something, it doesn't cause any physical damage. I give my meds (all of them) in a timely manner 99% of the time, but if one kid gives me pushback, I have a hard time staying on track. I'm also in charge and have a full load of patients, which makes it hard to get everything done AND charge at the same time. Not all the kids have meds in the morning but everyone requires a minimal amount of documentation (sleep note, sleep hours, observation level). I try 100% to be accountable for my actions. If someone tells me I missed something, I'm all about staying later and fixing it. I usually catch myself if I've forgotten something and I'll add it while giving report. I realize this can likely be tedious for my co-workers, who must think I'm a spaz that just doesn't remember anything.

My NM has discussed these issues with me and she's brought up a suggestion - take less patients as charge. So, I would have 4 patients and my co-worker would likely have 6. I think this is a great accommodation because it's a good idea for everyone running as charge to take at least one less patient or maybe even a lighter mix of patients. She's asked me to consider any other accommodations that might be helpful and I'm kind of at a loss. I'd honestly like to be treated just like anyone else. What I'd like is to be held accountable for my actions and not be punished. Unfortunately, it leaves people to feel like they're cleaning up my mess by pointing out that I've missed something, even when I acknowledge I missed something and resolve to fix it.

I'll admit I'm probably not optimized on meds. I see my psychiatrist within the next few weeks and will see if we can adjust my medications upward but I don't want to rely on just meds. Aside from organizational methods and people double checking my work, any work place accommodations that anyone else has been able to have that have worked?

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4 Followers; 18,016 Visitors; 2,767 Posts

Personally I think you should be taken out of the charge rotation so you can focus on one role at a time until your treatment is optimized and you can handle both responsibilities. Your co-workers should not be required to take both a larger patient load AND have to monitor your work for mistakes. That is not reasonable accommodation by any definition and will likely make you unpopular at work. Even if they change it for everyone in charge I think there is a good chance you would struggle with the larger patient load when you are not the one in charge.

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pinkiepieRN has 8 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

6 Articles; 16,520 Visitors; 385 Posts

Understood. While that is possible, it won't always be possible. A lot of the nurses on nights are newer and I'm in charge maybe 50% of the time. This is something my NM has been thinking of for everyone, not just me but I triggered her to think about it more closely. It comes down to balancing the patient load, which I guess we're all not so good at. It was just a thought but I see now how it seems unfair.

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4 Followers; 18,016 Visitors; 2,767 Posts

Understood. While that is possible, it won't always be possible. A lot of the nurses on nights are newer and I'm in charge maybe 50% of the time. This is something my NM has been thinking of for everyone, not just me but I triggered her to think about it more closely. It comes down to balancing the patient load, which I guess we're all not so good at. It was just a thought but I see now how it seems unfair.

I think, for the time being, it would be better for all involved if you focus on stabilizing your ADHD. It doesn't mean you would never be in charge again just not until you are able to handle both roles without making multiple mistakes, even small ones. That would be a reasonable accommodation and I think your co-workers would understand. Good luck to you.

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