Practice Errors: Is Ritalin the Answer?
Marie Dunn RN,C

AJN, American Journal of Nursing
December 2002 
Volume 102  Number 12
Pages 22 - 22
  PDF Version Available!



  • Devin Conklin, an eight-year-old third-grader, has been described at school as “very active,” “sometimes difficult to handle,” and “unable to pay attention in class.” His teacher suggested that Devin might have attention deficit disorder–attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD–ADHD) and should be a candidate for Ritalin (methylphenidate). Upon hearing this, Devin’s mother called his pediatrician and asked for a prescription for Ritalin. She was asked to bring Devin in for evaluation.

    The nurse evaluating Devin noted that his mother seemed exhausted and lacking the energy needed to deal with her son’s lively behavior. Ms. Conklin reported that Devin had been too much to handle since the arrival of a new sister two months earlier.

    Devin was found to be in good health. Discussion with Ms. Conklin focused on the need for accurate diagnosis in order to give ...

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