When choosing a career in nursing, you become aware that there are many different aspects of the job. However, there is more to being a nurse than just having a degree and a license.
Nurses have to be organized, focused and they need great attention to detail.
These are skills that some people with ADHD struggle with. But is it possible for a nurse with ADHD to be successful? Yes, of course!
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What is ADHD?
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a mental condition that affects the way people behave and think.
It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that makes it difficult to control impulses. People with ADHD are easily distracted, can’t focus on one thing for too long, and tend to be forgetful.
ADHD in Nurses
Now that it is clear what ADHD is, let’s answer the initial question.
Can you be a nurse with ADHD? The answer is yes! ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that doesn’t prevent people from doing their job.
In fact, there are studies that show that some professions can improve with ADHD traits.
For example, people with ADHD are usually very creative with a great imagination. This is perfect for careers in the arts or entertainment industry.
However, it is the opposite in nursing.
Nurses need to have great attention to detail.
They need to be logical and focused on their job.
Nurses also need to be highly organized and good managers of time, resources, and stress.
What are the opportunities for a nurse with ADHD?
Nurses with ADHD can be perfect for certain roles.
For example, research shows that nurses with ADHD are more productive in crisis situations. When there is a high level of stress and pressure nurses with ADHD tend to be more focused.
See also: ER Nurse Interview Questions
They are also very creative and can develop new solutions to problems. People with ADHD are also usually very open-minded and tend to be great problem solvers.
Besides the crisis situations, nurses with ADHD can also take on management roles.
With great attention to detail, they will be able to solve problems fast and offer solutions from their own experience.
See also: Nurse Leadership Interview Questions
So, how can you be a good nurse with ADHD?
How to Be a Good Nurse With ADHD?
Since we have agreed that you can be a nurse with ADHD, let’s talk about the best way to be a good one.
There are several tips and tricks that can help you succeed as a nurse with ADHD:
1. Manage your time
As a nurse with ADHD, you will need to manage your time carefully.
This is especially difficult in hospitals because nurses are in high demand and they often have a lot of things to do.
This means that you will need to explore different time management techniques in order to be more organized and get your tasks done.
Some of the techniques nurses with ADHD prefer are using to-do lists, timeboxes, and setting priorities.
2. Don’t forget the small things
Another common ADHD trait is forgetfulness.
This means that nurses with ADHD should pay extra attention to details so they won’t be caught off guard.
3. Be open-minded
As a nurse with ADHD, you will oftentimes need to analyze problems and come up with creative solutions.
Since you are passionate about the job, you will be very creative in your process of reaching a solution. This is a good quality that should be encouraged and nurtured.
See also: Qualities of a Nurse
4. Use your vivid imagination
As people with ADHD tend to be very creative, nurses can use their vivid imagination for good.
They could come up with interesting articles about the latest trends in the medical industry or different ways to become a better nurse.
5. Always deal with a single patient at a time
Nurse with ADHD should always deal with a single patient at a time. They should not be distracted or try to take care of several patients simultaneously.
In order to be a successful nurse with ADHD, you have to develop your focus and attention to detail.
When you handle several tasks at the same time, you might end up missing some very important details.
This could lead to mistakes that can sometimes be harmful to patients.
6. Make an alarm your best friend
Another helpful technique for success as a nurse with ADHD is setting alarms and reminders.
You can use your mobile phone or put sticky notes on the monitor. With this simple tip, you will be able to manage your time and improve your organization skills.
You do not want to miss any important activities such as check-ups and meetings.
By setting an alarm, you will always be on time and avoid possible conflicts with your colleagues or supervisors.
7. Always go to work a bit early
As a nurse with ADHD, you need time to prepare notes, set alarms, and organize your schedule.
This is why it is best to go to work a bit early, so you will have enough time to prepare.
Therefore, always arrive at work at least 10 minutes before your shift starts.
8. Think before you act
Another common problem for people with ADHD is making quick and unverified decisions.
This happens often because you are very impulsive, but nurses need to be more careful with their decisions.
Therefore, if you have an important decision to make, think carefully before acting. This could save you a lot of time and energy because you would not have to change your plans.
9. Have a quiet working environment
To be a nurse with ADHD, you have to have a quiet working environment.
All the distractions should be eliminated so you can focus on your tasks.
Nurses should avoid using their mobile phones and other gadgets or talking to colleagues all the time.
You can accomplish your goals much faster and more efficiently if you work in a quiet and peaceful environment.
See also: SMART Goals for Nursing With Examples
10. Seek professional treatment
If you are a nurse with ADHD, you are more likely to suffer from stress and depression. This is why it is very important to seek professional treatment if you need to.
You have a lot of responsibilities, so your mind should always be at peace and free from stress. You can visit a therapist for stress disorders if you are constantly under pressure at work.
11. Always follow the prescribed treatment plan
When you work as a nurse with ADHD, you have to always follow the prescribed treatment plan.
This means that your doctor should monitor your progress and adjust the plan if it is necessary.
If there are prescribed medications, take them as prescribed.
This will help you avoid any unwanted side effects and treat the disorder much faster. It is advisable to take the medication before shifts to be able to concentrate better.
12. Use music to distract yourself from unpleasant thoughts
Another useful tip for nurses with ADHD is to use music.
If you face unpleasant thoughts, like spending the day dealing with demanding patients and feeling overwhelmed, create your own playlist.
Listening to music could help you relax and distract yourself from unpleasant thoughts.
13. Use relaxation techniques
If you feel like you cannot control your thoughts anymore, it is best to use relaxation techniques. Mindfulness meditation is the best relaxation technique for nurses with ADHD.
You can simply close your eyes and focus on your body, breath, and thoughts.
If you are constantly thinking of new things, mindfulness meditation is the best way to relax and calm down.
14. Find a support group
It is very important to find a support group if you are working as a nurse with ADHD.
This is because nurses constantly deal with demanding patients, so it is very important to have a place where you can discuss your problems with other nurses.
Support groups are very useful if you suffer from fear, stress, and anxiety.
There, you can share your concerns and discuss potential solutions with other nurses in the group.
15. Get enough rest
The last piece of advice for nurses with ADHD is to get enough sleep. Working shifts often disrupt sleep, so you have to make sure you get enough rest.
It is important to be in a good mood and have all your energy for work.
If you do not sleep properly, your performance at work will drop. You should aim for 8 hours of sleep a day to be able to concentrate better and feel fully rested.
Conclusion: Can You Be a Nurse If You Have ADHD?
ADHD is a disorder that affects a person’s attention and concentration. Nurses with ADHD have to control their impulsivity, so they can achieve their goals without causing harm to their patients.
However, nurses can work with ADHD if they follow the tips for nurses with ADHD.
The suggestions in this article will help you succeed as a nurse with ADHD. Now you should know whether can you be a nurse with ADHD or not.
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