NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With ADHD/ODD

Sample Answer for NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With ADHD/ODD Included After Question

NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With ADHD/ODD

Diego, a 9-year-old third grader, had always been an energetic child with a short attention span. For years, his mother attributed his behaviors to him being “all boy” and assumed it would improve as he grew older. Instead, daily tasks like chores and homework became increasingly overwhelming for Diego, resulting in disruptive behaviors at home and school. After being evaluated by his healthcare provider, Diego was diagnosed with and treated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD is a prevalent disorder for patients across the lifespan, as more than 6 million children (CDC, n.d.) have been diagnosed with the disorder. Further, consider that about 60% of children with ADHD in the United States become adults with ADHD (ADAA, n.d.). Like Diego, individuals of all ages find that symptoms of ADHD can make life challenging. However, when properly diagnosed and treated, patients often respond well to therapies and have positive health outcomes.

This week, as you study ADHD therapies, you examine the assessment and treatment of patients with ADHD. You also explore ethical and legal implications of these therapies.

NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With ADHD/ODD References:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Data and statistics about ADHD.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (n.d.). Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).

Learning Objectives

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NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With ADHD ODD
NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With ADHD ODD

Students will:

  • Assess patient factors and history to develop personalized therapy plans for patients with ADHD
  • Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in patients requiring therapy for ADHD
  • Synthesize knowledge of providing care to patients presenting for ADHD
  • Analyze ethical and legal implications related to prescribing therapy for patients with ADHD
  • Identify concepts related to psychopharmacologic treatments and therapy for patients across the lifespan

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)


Prince, J. B., Wilens, T. E., Spencer, T. J., & Biederman, J. (2016). Stimulants and other medications for ADHD. In T. A. Stern, M. Favo, T. E. Wilens, & J. F. Rosenbaum. (Eds.), Massachusetts General Hospital psychopharmacology and neurotherapeutics (pp. 99–112). Elsevier.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

Hodgkins, P., Shaw, M., McCarthy, S., & Sallee, F. R. (2012). The pharmacology and clinical outcomes of amphetamines to treat ADHD: Does composition matter? CNS Drugs, 26(3), 245–268.

Martin, L. (2020). A 5-question quiz on ADHD. Psychiatric Times.


Medication Resources (click to expand/reduce)


U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (n.d.). Drugs@FDA: FDA-approved drugs.


Note: To access the following medications, use the Drugs@FDA resource. Type the name of each medication in the keyword search bar. Select the hyperlink related to the medication name you searched. Review the supplements provided and select the package label resource file associated with the medication you searched. If a label is not available, you may need to conduct a general search outside of this resource provided. Be sure to review the label information for each medication as this information will be helpful for your review in preparation for your Assignments.

  • armodafinil
  • amphetamine (d)
  • amphetamine (d,l)
  • atomoxetine
  • bupropion
  • chlorpromazine
  • clonidine
  • guanfacine
  • haloperidol
  • lisdexamfetamine
  • methylphenidate (d)
  • methylphenidate (d,l)
  • modafinil
  • reboxetine

Required Media (click to expand/reduce)

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The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.

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Important information for writing discussion questions and participation

Welcome to class

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Hi Class,

Please read through the following information on writing a Discussion question response and participation posts.

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Important information on Writing a Discussion Question

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  • Student paper example
  • Citing Sources
  • The Writing Center is a great resource

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With ADHD/ODD

Title: NURS 6630 Therapy for Patients With ADHD/ODD

Assessing and Treating Clients with ADHD 

The management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among the pediatric population is quite challenging due to the limited amount of evidence supporting the safety of several recommended drugs for this disorder. To illustrate further the management of ADHD, the case of an 8-year-old Caucasian female has been provided. The patient presents with symptoms of ADHD as suggested by her teacher who completed the Conner’s Teacher Rating Scale-Revised. Her teacher claims that the patient is forgetful most of the time, and easily distracted with a very short concentration time. The patient also displays poor language, spelling, and arithmetic skills, hurting her overall school performance. The teacher also reported that lately, the patient has been failing to follow instructions, leaving her homework incomplete. Despite the patient’s parents refusing their daughter has ADHD, the patient reports that she gets bored most of the time at school with a lack of interest in school work. She however denies bullying of any kind at school with a good home life experience. With the findings of the conducted mental status examination and the Conner’s Teacher Rating Scale-Revised, the patient has been diagnosed with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly inattentive presentation.  

Several factors were considered when deciding on the specific pharmacological agent and the right dosage to prescribe in the management of the patient’s condition. Such factors include the young age of the patient, her Caucasian race, her ADHD diagnosis, and the reported symptoms. The completed Conner’s Teacher Rating Scale-Revised can also help determine the severity of the patient’s condition which is crucial in determining the dosage of the selected drug. As such, this discussion aims at developing the most effective treatment plan for the 8-year-old patient in the management of ADHD, with a rationale for each decision made.  



Selected Decision and Rationale 

Administering Methylphenidate 10mg chewable tablets once a day in the morning was selected as the initial intervention. Methylphenidate is a stimulant to the central nervous system that acts via noncompetitive blockage of noradrenalin and dopamine reuptake into the terminals, by inhibiting the action of the dopamine and noradrenaline transporters thus raising dopamine and noradrenaline levels in the synaptic cleft (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Cipriani et al., 2018). Previous evidence supports the substantial effectiveness of Methylphenidate in the management of children diagnosed with ADHD, with a great safety profile and high tolerability levels (Hodgkins et al., 2012). The drug is only recommended for children of age 6 and above (Grimmsmann & Himmel, 2021). Finally, with consideration of the patient’s Caucasian race, the drug is metabolized in the liver via the CYP3A4 pathway, which is predominant among this ethnic population, hence limiting the risks of toxicity (Bonati et al., 2018). The chewable tablet formulation is normally recommended for children to promote compliance (Kikuchi et al., 2021).  

Intuniv was an inappropriate choice for this patient given that previous studies report that the drug being a non-stimulant is more effective in the management of ADHD when used together with a stimulant (Pelham III et al., 2022). Wellbutrin on the other hand is a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) discouraged among children below the age of 9 years old due to its elevated risks of seizures (Kikuchi et al., 2021). 

Expected Outcome. 

Up to 50% of the patient’s symptoms will be resolved within the following 4 weeks (Kikuchi et al., 2021). She will be able to concentrate for longer hours with increased attention and memory (Hodgkins et al., 2012). Her overall academic performance will also improve significantly. 

Ethical Consideration 

Based on the provisions of legal and ethical guidelines for nurses, the PMHNP is obliged to consider the patient ethnicity and race to promote culturally sensitive care (Bonati et al., 2018). The patient’s parents also have a legal right to information concerning the health of their child, for sound decision-making (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Respecting the patient’s autonomy is key to promoting patient satisfaction. 


Selected Decision and Rationale 

Out of the options provided, the most effective second intervention was to change the treatment regimen to a long-acting Ritalin 20mg administered once daily in the morning. The patient has reported the potential effectiveness of the drug in managing ADHD symptoms (Hodgkins et al., 2012). However, since the dose is quite limited to resolving the patient’s symptoms all day, using a long-acting agent will help prolong the duration of action, improving the patient’s attention, concentration, and memory the entire day (Cipriani et al., 2018). Studies show that long-acting Methylphenidate lasts in the body system for up to 10 to 12 hours (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The side effect reported of elevated heart rate is common among pediatric patients on methylphenidate which resolves as the patient continues taking the drug (Pelham III et al., 2022). Consequently, previous evidence confirms that using a long-acting agent, hence reduces the concentration of the drug at one point, reducing the risks of toxic doses, when used for a long time (Kikuchi et al., 2021). 

Maintaining the dose of methylphenidate was not necessary as the patient will continue experiencing limited effectiveness of the drug later in the day (Grimmsmann & Himmel, 2021). Administering Adderall in place of Methylphenidate was also inappropriate at the moment given that the former is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular complications which would compromise the health of the patient (Bonati et al., 2018). 

Expected Outcome 

The patient will be able to attain full concentration and attention level with the use of the drug for 4 weeks (Pelham III et al., 2022). This should help promote her overall academic performance and interest in school activities. The side effect of increased heart rate is expected to return to normal within this period (Grimmsmann & Himmel, 2021). 

Ethical Considerations 

“Not harm” is one of the main ethical obligations of nurses, especially when taking care of children (Bonati et al., 2018). As such, the PMHNP needed to explain to the parents of the patient why the side effect occurred and the main cause of action to resolve the side effect and promote the health of their child (Kikuchi et al., 2021). 


Selected Decision and Rationale 

Advising the patient to continue taking the long-acting Methylphenidate 20mg once daily and report for reevaluation after 4 weeks was considered the final decision. The patient reported completely resolved side effects with improved effectiveness of the drug in the management of ADHD symptoms all day (Hodgkins et al., 2012). Previous evidence demonstrates that patients on Ritalin may exhibit maximum benefit within 8 to 12 weeks of treatment therapy (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Cipriani et al., 2018). Most pediatric patient on Methylphenidate has reported great tolerance to the medication with a desirable safety profile in long-term use (Grimmsmann & Himmel, 2021). However, in rare cases, the patient may exhibit ineffectiveness to the medication which might call for the dose titration, hence the need for reevaluating the patient after four weeks (Kikuchi et al., 2021).  

At this point, it was not appropriate to increase the dose of methylphenidate to 30mg as studies show that low effective doses are safer for use by children, with reduced risks of adverse effects (Pelham III et al., 2022). Consequently, based on the current patient heart rate, it is not necessary to obtain EKG, as her pulse is within the normal limits of a child of her age (Bonati et al., 2018). 

Expected Outcome 

For the next four weeks, the patient will report further improvement in ADHD symptoms all day (Grimmsmann & Himmel, 2021). She should display appropriate language, spelling, and arithmetic skills, with improved attention and concentration level (Hodgkins et al., 2012). No side effects are expected.  

Ethical Consideration 

In the final decision, the PHMNP had to consider several ethical principles including nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Since the patient was fully satisfied with the treatment outcome, the clinician needed to utilize his/her clinical judgment to advise the patient to continue using the medication for optimal benefits (Pelham III et al., 2022). 


The pediatric patient described in the case study provided presents with symptoms of ADHD as reported by her teacher. In the development of the treatment plan for this patient, her young age, Caucasian gender, ADHD diagnosis, and presenting symptoms were considered in the selection of the safest and most effective drug. As such, the initial decision was to administer methylphenidate 10mg once daily in the morning (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Methylphenidate is a stimulant medication that has been proven to be safe and effective in managing ADHD symptoms in both children and adults. Wellbutrin and Intuniv were not considered in this decision as a result of safety issues among children associated with increased risks of side effects (Hodgkins et al., 2012). After 4 weeks, the patient reported significantly improved ADHD symptoms earlier in the day, with minimal effect of the medication later in the day, in addition to side effects of elevated heart rate (Pelham III et al., 2022). It was thus necessary to administer long-acting Methylphenidate 20mg once daily to promote management of the patient’s symptoms the entire day. The long-acting formulation has a longer duration of action (Bonati et al., 2018). Maintaining the dose of Methylphenidate or switching the drug with Adderall was not appropriate at this point (Kikuchi et al., 2021). 

The patient reported resolved side effects with well-managed ADHD symptoms the entire day after 4 weeks. This shows that she was tolerant to the drug with great safety and effectiveness hence the need to continue the same medication at the same dose for another 4 weeks before the reevaluation (Grimmsmann & Himmel, 2021). Increasing the dose of Methylphenidate or obtaining an EKG was not appropriate at this point. The PMHNP also encountered several ethical considerations when taking care of the patient with the main one being “no harm.” Additional ethical principles observed include justice, nonmaleficence, and beneficence (Cipriani et al., 2018). 



American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). 

Bonati, M., Reale, L., Zanetti, M., Cartabia, M., Fortinguerra, F., Capovilla, G., … & Lombardy ADHD Group. (2018). A regional ADHD centre-based network project for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD. Journal of attention disorders, 22(12), 1173-1184. 

Cipriani, A., Adamo, N., Del Giovane, C., Coghill, D., Banaschewski, T., Hollis, C., … & Cortese, S. (2018). Unbalanced risk-benefit analysis of ADHD drugs–Authors’ reply. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(11), 871-873. 

Grimmsmann, T., & Himmel, W. (2021). The 10-year trend in drug prescriptions for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Germany. European journal of clinical pharmacology, 77(1), 107-115. 

Hodgkins, P., Shaw, M., McCarthy, S., & Sallee, F. R. (2012). The pharmacology and clinical outcomes of amphetamines to treat ADHD: Does composition matter? CNS Drugs, 26(3), 245–268. 

Kikuchi, D., Obara, T., Tokunaga, M., Shiozawa, M., Takahashi, A., Ito, M., … & Watanabe, Y. (2021). Drug prescription for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs in pediatric outpatients: A retrospective survey of Japanese Administrative Data (2012–2018). Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 57, 102512. 

Pelham III, W. E., Altszuler, A. R., Merrill, B. M., Raiker, J. S., Macphee, F. L., Ramos, M., … & Pelham Jr, W. E. (2022). The effect of stimulant medication on the learning of academic curricula in children with ADHD: A randomized crossover study. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 90(5), 367.