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  #1  
Old 05-28-12, 07:39 AM
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any nurses with ADHD?

I'm thinking about studying nursing so I have a few questions for nurses with ADHD:

Do you often forget stuff?

Does the ADHD cause you any diffuculties?

Are you medicated?

Would you say nursing was a good choice for you?

Does your boss know you have ADHD?

thanks
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Old 05-28-12, 07:58 AM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

I don't think ADHD determines whether you'd be good at a certain job or not.

They'll be great nurses out there with ADHD and terrible nurses out there with ADHD.

If you believe you have what it takes yourself to be a good nurse, then go for it.
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Old 06-07-12, 12:26 AM
amg7613 amg7613 is offline
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

Hi---I'm a nurse with ADHD!

1) I don't forget things all the time. However, this is because I compensate. If someone is giving me an order (dr) or request---I write it down as they are telling me. I make a list with all my tasks and cross it off as I go. I use a planner. I use a Google calendar. I actually find organization fun (but do not come by it naturally).

2) I feel like it causes difficulties in becoming overwhelmed and showing emotions. Usually, I just take a break and come back to it. I don't have a hospital job--and I have flexible hours--so sometimes I'll go home, and come back. I am very lucky that way.

3) I am medicated. It helps.

4) I love nursing---but all the details make it a challenge! Plus, I have to delegate and follow up with people who seem to forget things all the time sometimes themselves---and it's a double whammy. I have to stay organized or I would lose it. There are better jobs for ADHDers than others, but you can compensate!!!

5) My old boss did, but I didn't tell her after I had worked there a couple of years. Just let her know, but didn't dwell on it. New boss doesn't, but I don't think she'd care if she did know.
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Old 07-12-12, 02:16 AM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

Do you often forget stuff?
yes, but writing stuff down, my blackberry and google calendar REALLY helps
Does the ADHD cause you any diffuculties?
socially,yes, with co-nurses
Are you medicated?
yes, but, I have been nursing for 16 years and only started meds 2 years ago

Would you say nursing was a good choice for you?
nursing is a very good choice cuz you can work in many different areas.
hospital, community, offices. Where i had probs was rotating shift work

Does your boss know you have ADHD?
yes, but, I only admitted to it when I was having probs with doing notes, after 12 years of being employed at the same job
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Old 07-12-12, 02:24 AM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

My mom is a nurse practitioner, and I think she loved it. I say it in the past tense, because migraines have put her on disability, unfortunately. I think she was probably pretty good at it too. She's never been diagnosed with ADD, but it's fairly obvious.

When you look for a career, you want to focus on getting what you, as an individual, need. Some ADDers like accounting and some don't make very good accountants. We all have different needs. Don't look for perfection. Look for the best situation, which fits your skills and talents (ie if you're not good with needles, stay away from medicine).

I would try to find a local hospital and ask if you could shadow one of the nurses in the area you would like to focus on. Nurses are so cute.
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Old 07-22-12, 12:23 AM
Missy83 Missy83 is offline
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

Hey! I'm not "technically" a nurse yet but I'm pretty sure I passed my boards on Friday (I'll know for a fact tomorrow). Anyways, I have been working as a nursing assistant/tech for over a year now and I definitely know that it is harder with ADD/ADHD. Sometimes after I get home (or even a day or 2 later) I find myself freaking out over things I forgot to do. What has helped is writing down EVERYTHING! I find that when I write down notes to myself I do so much better. Even if it's something simple and "obvious", still write it down! I have beaten myself up too many times over stupid stuff that I forgot to do. I've even called the unit after leaving work to let someone know something I forgot to do or chart and fortunately no one thought I was stupid or anything because of it. If anything they appreciate my diligence and concern. Even though I may not be the most organized and focused tech where I work, I have been told constantly that I would make a great nurse. What really matters is your dedication and care.
Obviously though I have yet to experience what it's like to be an actual RN with ADD. Honestly I'm so nervous, but I'm trying to remain positive. I work at a large teaching hospital and level 1 trauma center. I'm interested in trauma/critical care and would like to pursure a phD in nursing. I know for someone with ADD/ADHD this will be very challenging. I plan on taking it one day/step at a time. Keep us posted on your plans! I would really appreciate hearing from others who are in the same situation as me. Good luck!
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Old 07-22-12, 12:52 AM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

I am a nurse. I have been an RN for 16 years now. I have done most of my RN work in a hospital setting. I do general med/surg nursing. I am certified in ACLS, PALS, and TNCC.

I am not a bad nurse. I am not the greatest nurse in the world i am sure, but i do a fine job. My co-workers and patients seem to like me. I do not cause any problems at work. One thing that is different at my work than in my day to day life is, i dont take any crap off anyone. Otherwise, you will get run right over and treated like crap. There are too many people there and they will take advantage of you if you let them. I may be a pushover in my home life, but as a nurse, I am not. I have no problems at all telling other nurses, doctors, aides, etc....and even patients....exactly what I think. I demand respect at work, and by God, i get it. If i dont, i have no trouble telling someone off.

Make sure you do NOT get run over. Otherwise you will be doing everyones work and getting yelled at. Do your work and do it well, but dont take anyones flack or rude attitude. You are not a peon. You are a licensed professional who went to college for 4-5 years and passed a state exam. You earn a good wage. You are nobody's dog.

Another suggestion....you are in a female dominated profession. Not trying to bag on females, since i am the proud owner of a vagina myself, but occasionally, some women are known to play games, gossip, and backstab. If you hear someone complaining about someone else, go where you cannot hear it. If someone attempts to involve you in it, make sure they understand that you, 1) are not interested and 2) are here to work and take care of patients. If you consistently do not tolerate this around you, they will find someone else to gossip to. Remember, if they will talk about and backstab one person, they will do it to you! Be careful who you confide in.

When you work with people all day, you tend to make friendships. Some of these are GENUINE friendships. But when you are at work, your job is to be a NURSE....the same as your friends jobs are to be NURSES, AIDES, and DOCTORS. You can be friendly with your friends, even at work, because you need to enjoy your job....but remember work is WORK. If it was fun, it would be called BAR, SEX, or DRUGS. Work is work and you have things that you need to do. The important thing when you are there is taking care of patients.

Good luck! Being a nurse with ADHD is fun and interesting because there is always something new. You will do great. In time you will become good at certain things. Everyone is better at some things than others. I am terrible at interpreting ABG's etc and deciding if someone is in acidosis or alkalosis. But i am AWESOME at putting in IVs, and i can interpret rhythm strips and EKGs VERY well.

((((((nurse hugs)))))

Oh and yes, i am ALWAYS medicated at work. On Ritalin, i am more driven and less superfriendlychattyhuggy which is GREAT. People think i am smart and have my act together.

And no, i do not share with my co-workers this fact about myself. One of my friends was bipolar and left a bottle of her meds out of her purse when she was digging through it. Next thing you know, EVERYTHING she did was "wrong" and she was "crazy and unstable". It is like being in a pen with a bunch of chickens. Once one chicken gets a cut and in bleeding, the others attack it. Don't get cut!!! LOL. ONE person i worked with knew about my ADHD....he was a Dr but he isnt there anymore. He was my friend. Everyone ganged up on him because they found out he had a history in the past of drinking and abusing drugs, even though he was clean and sober over 15 years. I befriended him immediately.
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Old 07-22-12, 04:24 PM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

I'll be on sabbatical from my nursing career for the next five years, surrendering my license because of addiction issues. I am almost certain that my addictions (gambling, benzos, opiates) are rooted in my growing up experiences with ADHD. But that's a different debate altogether.

ADHD, addiction, and nursing.... not really a great combo. So I've decided to drop the addiction and nursing. I'll keep the ADHD (coz I have to), and replace nursing and addiction, with technology. Of course, most would agree that ADHD and technology is a great fit, especially us guys.

I was a nurse at age 19. I did skip a grade in elementary, coz supposedly I was "gifted". Only to later find, gifted not with a super-high IQ, 130 is around average, but with gifted with ADD. Some gift!

What I've learned about nursing, with this ADD brain of mine, is that the nurse relies mainly on two key skills: organizing and prioritizing. That's bad news for those of us with ADD, but the good news is that they are skills that can be learned (or will be learned...one way or another.)

ADDers are typically not good at organization and prioritizing. And disorganization certainly lends itself to forgetfulness. We are procrastinators and typically don't perform well, or focus our attention well, unless we're under pressure. So an ER or critical care unit could be the ideal environment, given our natural deficits. But we could certainly be successful in other settings. After our skills have been improved.

Socially. Er.. well, relationships....intimate ones.... For me, there are two kinds, in the ratio of 4-to-1. One kind of relationship is passionate, consuming, dramatic, turbulent, extreme, and stressful (both good stressful and bad stressful). The other kind is stable, warm, constant, reliable, nurturing, and perhaps even boring (where "boring" is in comparison to the first kind, and is not necessarily a negative). So 4/1 is right in line with my ADD traits, not surprising. And it took me about 12 out of 16 married years to develop "skills" to be successful in this kind, with my wife.

No, I do not advertise my ADD, except to my doctor and others in this forum, in the hopes that I may help someone, sharing my experiences.

Though for me, there was always the problem of impulsivity. Not that I couldn't shut up, but that I'd be doing so well for a period of time, and later follow it up with doing something totally absurd, which usually gets me in trouble. This was baffling, not only to me, but to my family, my wife, and son. This was the story of my life. I didn't know why the plot was to be like this, until I got diagnosed.

I was diagnosed at 41, as I was attending grief counseling after the death of my 19yo daughter, Lisa. Somehow, during counseling, the topic with my therapist switched from grieving my daughter, to how all the stupidest decisions i've made in life, that we discovered, were made not from a lack of skills, but from my impulsivity. This was quite a revelation to me because I could now understand most of the negative happenings in my life were not because of stupidity on my part...or laziness, or indifference, or selfishness, or a lack of integrity. And I've been on a path of self-renewal ever since that time. Giving up my nursing license, is one of the thoughtful decisions I have made on this path.

So for now....

I hope this has been informative for you, and I'd like to thank you for reading.
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Old 07-22-12, 05:18 PM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

I'm not a nurse, I'm an MD.... and to be honest I would have been better off in a different field.
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Old 07-23-12, 02:14 AM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

I am also a nurse and still have my license but I am not using it presently - I work with my husband in his business which is recycling.


Do you often forget stuff?

Some times yes, I had organization problems but finding routines helped in that area. I am also fast as in fast moving which also compensated. Other times I was just scattered.

I also made list, heck I kept a small spiral note pad in my pocket so I could remember which patient wanted what.

Every nurse has areas where improvement is needed.



Does the ADHD cause you any diffuculties?


Life causes me difficulties. Some times yes but the years before medication I compensated by staying on night shifts. See the patients and the work wasn't a problem the zillion and one distractions due to the increased number of folks hanging around - Things like families wanting to talk, administrative people moving charts standing hall ways, doctors making rounds, phone calls for this that and the other distracted me and mixed poorly with my impassivity.


After medication I was able to foreground and back ground the stimuli and reining in my tongue opening up the busier shifts and better positions. Maturity allowed me to stay out of the gossip rings as I learned to walk away without offering any input. Honestly is NOT the best policy when it comes to scuttle-butt silence is.

- There is always a patient who could use some thing down the hall and I spend as much of my time as possible nursing and as little time possible with nonconstructive discussions


Are you medicated?

I am now and have been sense 1993 - I began nursing in 1984 so I was nursing almost ten years before being diagnosed



Would you say nursing was a good choice for you?

I am at the hyper end of the ADHD spectrum - Nursing was a career where walking and talking is a good thing - I never would have made it in a career where I would have been expected to sit down and shut up!

I have left nursing a couple of times but I am one of those sorts who can do more than one thing for a living.



Does your boss know you have ADHD?

Some of my bosses did others did not, much depended upon the bosses.

Now I am my own boss so yeah I guess she does!
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Old 08-12-12, 01:23 PM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

Hey there, (future nurse here). Well, I am starting on my first semester of nursing school so I have a ways to go. I have ADD but was always in denial about the issue. School, social life and work were all effected by this and I never really put it all together. I have been in several relationships of which all of them failed. (but learned a lot) But that is another story.

School was hard and it was a challenge to graduate with my first degree. My work record has been diverse and I have had plenty of jobs which I am not proud of. Originally not being happy in sales I knew I had to change my career and do something that makes me happy. So after loosing my last job 4 years ago I entered the medical field and am a nursing tech and VERY happy. It is nice to see a few nurses that have ADD and how they have worked with their condition rather than fighting it.

I know that is is something I want to do but the fear of ADD getting in the way is scaring me a little. I get by at work fairly well as I have developed a fairly good plan to stay on track (ie writing stuff down, or confirming tasks back to the RN) No one really knows I have ADD but I have told my boss in the past to protect myself a little when I was pulled into the office for some issues of forgetting things. And no worries, it was nothing life threatening etc.

I am great with the hands-on things but its the testing that kills me. I am worried about the NCLEXs. I am not sure if I should tell the school that I have ADD as I am afraid they may "persuade" me to quit if things do not go right a little ways down the road. So far I have stuck 2 years of private schooling under my belt to get my pre-requisites out fo the way, so financially I am pretty "in the hole"....for a good reason I think. I just know that taking care of patients makes me happier than I have ever been. I suppose I dont have any points to make but I feel on the inside that this is right for me. Just my thoughts.

Cheers
K
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Old 08-12-12, 05:18 PM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

I think in the right setting, nursing is a good career for people with ADD. I can't speak for all settings, but where I work, with computer charting, I don't have trouble seeing what needs to be done. The meds that are due or overdue pop up in red and are quite obvious. The current orders are listed right in front of me to acknowledge, tackle, and then hit the "complete" button. Even vital signs have a complete button after you have done them. In the past I have always checked my meds multiple times (4-5) before administering and always always always check name, birthday, and allergies, every single time (patients get annoyed b/c you've asked them every time you've given them meds so they wish you'd know their name....and I do...but this is routine and the safest way to do it. Now we have scanners in the rooms. The scanners make me slightly less compulsive on my checks. I scan the patient's armband to confirm identity and then the medication. I always double check the drug and patient's name and allergies anyway since I don't know for sure the band was placed on the right patient. All nurses have a double check on high-risk meds. I like that I'm moving around a lot during the day at my job. It's been probably the best possible fit for me.
School was very hard for me, but I did restart dextrostat for school. . . . and should have been on it in clinicals and my job orientations. Perhaps because I wasnt taking the meds and because of my anxiety, I had a lot of trouble keeping my first jobs and had 3 jobs within 15 months. In terms of passing the NCLEX, I did hundreds of practice questions, maybe even a thousand, and in my opinion, that is the best way to study for exams like the NCLEX.
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Old 08-12-12, 11:54 PM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

To be honest, myself, I did not even study for the NCLEX. I figured if i didnt learn enough to pass it in 4 years of college, cramming wasn't going to help, and was just going to freak me out and make me a nervous wreck. I passed it on the first attempt. I think getting freaked out about it and studying like mad until you are exhausted would be detrimental. If you have time, though, I think reviewing areas you are weak in is a great idea. I didnt study for my ACT or GRE tests either. I bought a book to study for my GRE, but all i did was take the sample exams.

We have cheat sheets at work that are very helpful. They are arranged with a space for you to write your patients, what room they are in, their diagnosis, allergies, etc....any important info....etc. Next to each patient, there is a space for each hour of your 12 hour shift, and you can use this space to write if there is a med due for your patient, what it is, etc....there is room to write if you have given a prn, or if other things have happened. There is a place to write the intake and output. This sheet is very helpful when charting or giving report to the next shift, as well as if a family member or doctor calls to see how a patient is doing.

I like to be medicated at work. It keeps me on top of my game. Otherwise, i will have unfinished things happening. I always use these cheat sheets, also.

If there are things that you find confusing or dangerous, chances are, they are confusing and dangerous for NT nurses, too. Don't be afraid to make a fuss, that is how things get changed and improvements are made. Dont be a jack*** about it. Just make sure you say, hey, this thing....I do not like it....i think we need to do it this other way...

One time, when i was working at a larger hospital, I was assigned two patients, in the same room, who were both named Bob or something, and had the same last initial. They were roughly the same age, and both were receiving blood....two different types. I threw an absolute FIT about this. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Of course, there, i was young, new, and very unimportant, and my fears were ignored. But it was a STUPID situation, asking for trouble.

We used to buy our IV potassium in little vials which held 20 cc and 40 mEq of Potassium. This was used to add to IV solutions if a patient was low on potassium. Potassium is an electolyte that HAS to be diluted....if it is given IV push....you will give your patient a heart attack. The vials looked very similar to the ones that contained normal saline. One day, i caught a vial of Potassium half used, on the shelf with the normal saline. I don't know who did it, and i didnt care. It wasnt about getting someone in trouble. It was a VERY dangerous thing, and i threw a fit about it. Now, we actually buy IV solutions that are premixed with potassium. Because it would be too easy to pick up the wrong one...*shudder*.

When i am getting my meds ready, i dont want ANY interruptions, and i dont want ANYONE talking to me. If someone attempts, i will tell them in a kind way, "I have to finish this, and i will be out in just a minute. Please wait for me!" I have never had anyone fuss at me, but if someone did, i wouldnt have a problem shutting the med room door in their face.

I am very careful when giving meds, I am cautious when giving blood, I take it seriously. Med errors happen, generally they are not serious, and i am sure i have made med errors. But they can be very serious. Generally, i am very focused when i am doing things like this, so i have not had trouble. When i give blood, i monitor my patient every few minutes at first, and i run the blood slowly, so that i can make sure they are not having a reaction. If their vital signs are fine and they feel fine, i will speed it up after the first 20 minutes or half hour or so. At first, though, i monitor my patient constantly, and if there is something else that needs my attention, i will tell someone else they have to take care of it, or i will postpone starting the blood til i can be with my patient almost constantly at first. It's a big deal.

You have to be careful.

You will do great as a nurse.

I think the meds help a great deal. I wish i had taken them in college.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:16 PM
Ken's MKV Ken's MKV is offline
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

@ Joker_Girl,
You made a great point. In today's world everything is scheduled by the HRM and meds are quadruple checked by the pharmacy before reaching the pt (of course as a nurse you do that "extra" check) Honestly, (I dont meant this in an offensive way) after being a nursing tech for 3 years i can probably do 70% of their job just by observing them. I also firmly believe that being a nursing aide before helps immensely. Of course there are countless things that are learned either in school, or on the job. I firmly believe that a lot of this job is learned after school doing the actual job. I know being a bad test taker it will be difficult but I suppose I made it this far, right?

Cheers
Ken
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Old 08-13-12, 10:17 PM
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Re: any nurses with ADHD?

Being a nurses aide before is a TREMENDOUS help to you. I was a nurse's aide in high school and college. It definitely helps in a BIG way, and you will certainly have an advantage over the nurses who have only experienced patients in clinicals during school. You learn ALOT as an aide. It will make the NCLEX easier for you, no doubt about that.
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