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Stardust Parade
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20 Mar 2017, 1:42 am

First off, I apologize if I'm rambling:

I had a panic attack during work last week which lasted a few days (thank god i work nights and nobody was around to see me) but I pretty much lost all the confidence I had as a nurse. I work in home health because I can't handle the fast paced enviroment of a nursing home or hospital and have trouble with multitasking (being on the autism spectrum and having ADD makes it more difficult of a job than it would someone else, yet I have read about other nurses having the same issues and thriving! i just wish i knew how they did it), and because of this and because the training during my nursing program during my clinicals wasn't so great (and my teachers didn't understand or even know what AS/ADD was so pretty much didn't bother to help me), I'm only able to stay at this type of job because I just don't have the skills or confidence to work anywhere else. The times I've tried to work in those types of places I ended up getting fired. Luckily, I've had this job in home health for almost 2 years and have only really been successful working the night shift because nobody is around to breathe down my neck and I don't have to talk to anyone. However, the job doesn't offer any paid time off or benefits and the pay isn't that great, but I really don't know what else to do! I like being a nurse, but the responsibility of taking care of another life sometimes feels like a lot. A lot of times I feel like I don't know what I'm doing and am useless, and that if there was an emergency I wouldn't know what to do. I know on some level this isn't entirely true because my office and the family I work for said I'm doing a good job. I currently work the night shifts 5 days a week from 9pm to 5 am for a pediatric client on a ventilator.

I think I want out of bedside care, but that would mean going back to school and doing something else such as medical transcription or something of that nature, since I'm only an LPN and there aren't many options for us besides bedside care. The only option to stay in nursing and not do bedside care would mean going back to school and getting a bachelor's degree as an RN. Owing to the fact that going through nursing school was horrible for me (I got excellent grades in my studies and even graduated at the top of my class, but when it came to using the skills I learned in class and read about, I had a very difficult time transferring the knowledge to clinicals), I don't know if I could put myself through that again.


I feel so useless and alone. Is there another nurse out there in the same or similar situation? :(



docfox
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20 Mar 2017, 5:06 pm

I work on a ambulance so I only can speak to 'transportation' (well, not most of it, but real medical transports - not really van drivers), but I can tell you at least this end of it honestly isn't for you. Not trying to be negative, but the lack of direct supervision beside your partner on a ambulance sounds great, but I wouldn't recommend it for a average Aspie in the same way I would never recommend being a peace officer to someone with your onset of Asperger's.

You will have to talk down combative people
You will have to physically confront people and restrain them.
You will have to be the voice of reassurance. Be calm, and collected, and the patient will reflect that.
You probably will be physically assaulted. I know I personally deal with 6 to 8 201's (voluntary psychiatric commitments) and 3-4 302's (involuntary court-ordered commitments where we talk someone to the pysch ward willing or not) a week.
You will be the one delivering bad news to people.

All of these are things you have a army of nurses to help you with in a hospital setting, and it's easy to deflect doing anything you don't feel comfortable doing. Pre-hospital it's often you and your partner, and your partner is driving. There is a lot more individual responsibility on yourself, so while it's ok to have anxiety (I do now and then), if you are the kind of person who freezes up in stressful situations I definitively can't recommend the line of work.

That's for emergency medicine/transports, though, I imagine working on a wheelchair van or stretcher van is far less stressful, but I imagine the pay will reflect that. In most places all you need to drive a wheelchair van is CPR, some places not even that, and the pay is dirt. Your LPN won't get you far there.


Personally, I would recommend looking for a odd, but fun job. I.e, school nurse, etc. Something that isn't a average hospital job and that would be fun and engaging enough to make the stress worth it. Then go for your RN if you feel comfortable.


_________________
Diagnosed Asperger's DSM IV ~2001, non medicated since late 2000's.


Dreamsea
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22 May 2017, 3:05 pm

It's hard to get those nice low stress odd jobs unless you know the right people. I am a RN with a bachelors degree. Most nurses end up doing bedside care in a hospital, nursing home, or home health. The odd jobs aren't readily available or abundant. I have been job searching and so far I've only been finding and getting replies from nursing homes, hospitals, travel nursing, and home health. I have been getting lots of calls from travel nurse agencies and home health agencies.



SpiceWolf
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25 May 2017, 12:40 pm

Stardust Parade wrote:

A lot of times I feel like I don't know what I'm doing and am useless, and that if there was an emergency I wouldn't know what to do. I know on some level this isn't entirely true because my office and the family I work for said I'm doing a good job.


I think it's very common to have such feelings, especially in this line of work.
Try not to let it get to you too much.



Stardust Parade
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09 Jun 2017, 7:58 pm

Dreamsea wrote:
It's hard to get those nice low stress odd jobs unless you know the right people. I am a RN with a bachelors degree. Most nurses end up doing bedside care in a hospital, nursing home, or home health. The odd jobs aren't readily available or abundant. I have been job searching and so far I've only been finding and getting replies from nursing homes, hospitals, travel nursing, and home health. I have been getting lots of calls from travel nurse agencies and home health agencies.


The sad thing about it is not everyone is cut out for the bedside either, which I'm clearly not. Finding a low stress odd job with LPN is nigh on impossible it seems. I feel like I can't do anything right now. People keep saying to get those jobs you need experience in nursing home or assisted living but I know from personal experience I wouldn't last a month in either of those places because I can't handle the stress or the multitasking or dealing with bullying coworkers. :(



aangiere
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04 Aug 2017, 10:43 pm

Dear Stardust Parade,

Sorry for the rant in advance, and I'm not sure if anyone is still active on this thread, but I just want to say:

You are not the only nurse feeling this way, believe me! I just ended up making an account here right now after reading your and Dreamsea's posts. I could have written them myself, I never thought there were other nurses out there who so much feel like me.

Nursing has been the bane of my existence since my first day of nursing school. I was unsure of my career choice even back then, due to my personality, and now I wish I had trusted my gut. Even some of my family and acquaintances expressed their surprise at my career choice. However, I figured since I like helping people, I would find my niche, with nursing being such a broad field, and with our economic state and my background as a CNA, it seemed like a sensible career choice back then.

Now, I am an RN working at a hospital, and even though I work half-time, it drains me so much. I thought night shift would be easier for someone like me (introverted with social anxiety), but I feel like in a way it can be harder, especially on the slower nights: you're stuck there with your coworkers having to make small talk to pass the time. Small talk is incredibly difficult for me and I am afraid to let go and be my "weird" self, because most of my coworkers' mentalities and interests are so very different. It's hard for me to pretend to be interested in their conversations and my attempts at conversation seem to bore them. Also, I am better at joining a conversation rather than initiating one. I never know where to begin! It's so incredibly exhausting.

Our hospital isn't very big and people tend to become close knit and there seems to be an unsaid expectation of opening up about your personal life (which is uncomfortable for me). Even though there has not been any open aggression toward me here and people are generally nice, it's still painful to see how uncomfortable others are around me and I hate knowing that I'm making someone feel awkward with my silence or poor conversational skills. I've been working here for a bit over a year now, and instead of meshing with the staff and feeling more comfortable, I feel like I'm becoming more and more anxious. I've never had this much anxiety in my life. I spend the day of my work night dreading it. I also want to switch jobs and go for something more suitable to my personality, but it is incredibly hard to find here. Medical billing/coding is something I'm considering, but I would need to get certified for that and I just really want to switch jobs already. I often question my career choice and wish I went into something less socially demanding, but after this much education as an RN, it feels like a great waste. I am now considering going back to home health. Even though it may not necessarily be the best choice in terms of my growth as an RN, my nursing career, resume, and skill set, etc..., I just cannot do this anymore. The anxiety is sucking the life out of me, to the point that even my days off are spent contemplating this issue and dreading my next workday. I no longer have the same zest for the things I used to be passionate about, and find myself falling into depression, something I've never experienced before. Also, I feel that it is unfair to my coworkers and employer, because my state of mind prevents me from picking up shifts and generally doing anything above the minimum of my job description. I feel like my job position should go to someone who would love the job and be passionate about it.

I have never been formally diagnosed with Asperger's, but I feel that I most definitely must be somewhere on the spectrum. I've had issues socializing with others since I was a teenager. There are very few people that can understand and appreciate how "different" I am. honestly feel like I'm a different species sometimes, because it is so difficult for me to relate with and connect to people. But I am happy I stumbled on this forum, because it is comforting to know that I am not the only one out there that has these feelings and struggles. I just want to thank all of you for sharing your experiences and being so honest about it. I really hope we will all one day find our place of belonging on this lonely earth :lol:



Stardust Parade
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04 Aug 2017, 11:20 pm

aangiere wrote:
Dear Stardust Parade,

Sorry for the rant in advance, and I'm not sure if anyone is still active on this thread, but I just want to say:

You are not the only nurse feeling this way, believe me! I just ended up making an account here right now after reading your and Dreamsea's posts. I could have written them myself, I never thought there were other nurses out there who so much feel like me.

Nursing has been the bane of my existence since my first day of nursing school. I was unsure of my career choice even back then, due to my personality, and now I wish I had trusted my gut. Even some of my family and acquaintances expressed their surprise at my career choice. However, I figured since I like helping people, I would find my niche, with nursing being such a broad field, and with our economic state and my background as a CNA, it seemed like a sensible career choice back then.

Now, I am an RN working at a hospital, and even though I work half-time, it drains me so much. I thought night shift would be easier for someone like me (introverted with social anxiety), but I feel like in a way it can be harder, especially on the slower nights: you're stuck there with your coworkers having to make small talk to pass the time. Small talk is incredibly difficult for me and I am afraid to let go and be my "weird" self, because most of my coworkers' mentalities and interests are so very different. It's hard for me to pretend to be interested in their conversations and my attempts at conversation seem to bore them. Also, I am better at joining a conversation rather than initiating one. I never know where to begin! It's so incredibly exhausting.

Our hospital isn't very big and people tend to become close knit and there seems to be an unsaid expectation of opening up about your personal life (which is uncomfortable for me). Even though there has not been any open aggression toward me here and people are generally nice, it's still painful to see how uncomfortable others are around me and I hate knowing that I'm making someone feel awkward with my silence or poor conversational skills. I've been working here for a bit over a year now, and instead of meshing with the staff and feeling more comfortable, I feel like I'm becoming more and more anxious. I've never had this much anxiety in my life. I spend the day of my work night dreading it. I also want to switch jobs and go for something more suitable to my personality, but it is incredibly hard to find here. Medical billing/coding is something I'm considering, but I would need to get certified for that and I just really want to switch jobs already. I often question my career choice and wish I went into something less socially demanding, but after this much education as an RN, it feels like a great waste. I am now considering going back to home health. Even though it may not necessarily be the best choice in terms of my growth as an RN, my nursing career, resume, and skill set, etc..., I just cannot do this anymore. The anxiety is sucking the life out of me, to the point that even my days off are spent contemplating this issue and dreading my next workday. I no longer have the same zest for the things I used to be passionate about, and find myself falling into depression, something I've never experienced before. Also, I feel that it is unfair to my coworkers and employer, because my state of mind prevents me from picking up shifts and generally doing anything above the minimum of my job description. I feel like my job position should go to someone who would love the job and be passionate about it.

I have never been formally diagnosed with Asperger's, but I feel that I most definitely must be somewhere on the spectrum. I've had issues socializing with others since I was a teenager. There are very few people that can understand and appreciate how "different" I am. honestly feel like I'm a different species sometimes, because it is so difficult for me to relate with and connect to people. But I am happy I stumbled on this forum, because it is comforting to know that I am not the only one out there that has these feelings and struggles. I just want to thank all of you for sharing your experiences and being so honest about it. I really hope we will all one day find our place of belonging on this lonely earth :lol:


I'm starting a medical billing and coding program online at the end of the month. I'm getting help through the department of rehab. I had a mental breakdown in May from my job and have been on temporary disability since June. Like you, I'd dreaded going to work (even on my days off) and not sleep very well (I was working the night shift so that didn't help either). My patient was a kid on a vent and had a loads of medical issues. I'd sit through out the shift each night listening to his O2 sat monitor and it made me SO anxious (he didn't need it until he had a turn for the worst in March and came back from the hospital a month later and had to have continuous monitoring). I was getting through each shift with Ativan and that still didn't help with the anxiety.
I don't have much "hands on" experience as a nurse because I didn't want to work in nursing home because of my social anxiety and AS issues, so I learned as much as I was able at the job I had. I still wasn't comfortable though. Anyway, the s**t finally hit the fan in May when I had a full blown panic attack before work and had to call in sick. I told them a week later that I had to resign the case for medical issues and didn't know when I was coming back. At least I didn't get fired like I have from some other jobs. I'm actually proud of myself for staying 2 years! But yeah, I can't go back to patient care. I hate it, I'm not good at it and I don't want to be responsible for someone's life anymore.

With all of the being said, I still enjoy nursing just not the bedside aspect of it. I'm still going to keep my LPN nurse's license active though-I worked hard to get it, and I'm not giving it up! Hopefully medical billing and coding works out. If I were you, I'd look into a non bedside position. As an RN, you have a lot more options than me. Send me a PM! I'd love to talk to you! Hope you stick around! :)



aangiere
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06 Aug 2017, 9:26 pm

That's exciting! Good for you for actually taking action toward finding a job that fits you better and getting help. I feel like I've been moping around but not brave enough to do anything about it yet haha. Your previous workplace does sound stressful, but that's awesome that you were able to do it for 2 years. I used to be in home health and worked with vented patients well. It's challenging because if anything happens, you're the only nurse there! That would give me a lot of anxiety too.

Yeah, I too realize it more every day, that direct patient care is not for me. I've been regularly looking for positions away from the bedside, but they are few and far in between and seem to be very selective. I think I would be interested in becoming a nurse auditor, so most likely back to school for me :?



Stardust Parade
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06 Aug 2017, 9:55 pm

aangiere wrote:
That's exciting! Good for you for actually taking action toward finding a job that fits you better and getting help. I feel like I've been moping around but not brave enough to do anything about it yet haha. Your previous workplace does sound stressful, but that's awesome that you were able to do it for 2 years. I used to be in home health and worked with vented patients well. It's challenging because if anything happens, you're the only nurse there! That would give me a lot of anxiety too.

Yeah, I too realize it more every day, that direct patient care is not for me. I've been regularly looking for positions away from the bedside, but they are few and far in between and seem to be very selective. I think I would be interested in becoming a nurse auditor, so most likely back to school for me :?


An auditor wouldn't be so bad. It would involve looking at charts. I guess you could also do case management, but from what I know that can be pretty stressful.



Voxish
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07 Aug 2017, 8:53 am

Hi

Not sure if this helps but here is my perspective. I have worked in health and social care for years and have managed a number of care home for kids with classic autism, as you can see I am also autistic at the other end of the spectrum. I was night manager for 4 years at a kids home (classic autism) and have also managed small units 5 bed tops. I did well, was well respected as someone who got the job done and delivered for the kids and staff. I moved on over money, plain and and simple. Since I left the job which I loved at a home which I adored I have been sacked 4 times, 3 times this year including today, yes thats right 10.30 this morning! These were teaching jobs which if I am honest with myself I was not suited too. My executive function is a joke and I become anxious really quickly if I have lots of multiple demands made upon me. My manager got me, I could have stayed there forever, no one expected me to leave and I now regret it. I have no idea what to do next and I have to break the news to my wife later. She has enough on with out me messing things up, and yes she is a nurse.

My advise, hang the money! if you have got a job which you can do, and can cover up your deceits then keep it. We all have to eat. I have been through so many jobs in the last 3 years 6 in total and I am having difficulty making them last more than 2 months at a time. The grass is rarely greener and if I am honest the anxiety starting a new job nearly kills me.

Think carefully and beware.


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aangiere
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09 Aug 2017, 7:27 pm

Yeah, I see your point. However, after sticking with this job for 1 year, I can honestly say it's sucking the life out of me. The anxiety associated with this job is draining my brain power to the point that I can't enjoy other aspects of my life anymore. I don't think any job is worth such a high price. I would rather leave to a lower-paying position, than put up with this any longer. At this point, I think the best option for me is going back to home care until I can get more education and go into something like chart auditing.

I wish you luck in your job search and hope you can find a good fit for yourself!



Voxish
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10 Aug 2017, 6:31 am

aangiere wrote:
Yeah, I see your point. However, after sticking with this job for 1 year, I can honestly say it's sucking the life out of me. The anxiety associated with this job is draining my brain power to the point that I can't enjoy other aspects of my life anymore. I don't think any job is worth such a high price. I would rather leave to a lower-paying position, than put up with this any longer. At this point, I think the best option for me is going back to home care until I can get more education and go into something like chart auditing.

I wish you luck in your job search and hope you can find a good fit for yourself!



If its hurting you then of course you need to find something else. Some of the roles I have had have made me ill, and thats a fact. My special interest is autism, it has been for more years than I can remember and long before the penny dropped and I went and got the diagnosis I so obviously needed. I met with my old boss the other day from the kids home for a coffee and well the punch line is there is a job there if I want it. There is nothing at the level I need right now but I have worked my way up and if the job which I have an interview falls threw I will go back there. I don't care about the kudos anymore, the kudos has made me ill. There truth is the only thing I am interested in is autism (I am such a geek) the only thing I want to talk about is autism, the only thing I have ever been any good at is working with kids with classic autism. I can work with them in a way that others can't and make progress where other fail, its always been like that. I should never have left the place.


_________________
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 1)
AQ: 42
RAADS-R: 160
BBC: Radio 4