Joined: 20 Mar 2017
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?
Joined: 10 Jun 2016
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.
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