Can you be a nurse with bipolar disorder? Yes, you can be a nurse if you have bipolar disorder and legally, the employer cannot discriminate against you because of that in the US.
There are probably employers who don’t like that a potential nurse could have bipolar disorder and might be very hesitant in hiring them.
Though, many nurses who do have bipolar disorder will find it harder to find a job as well as taking care of themselves.
Obviously, an employer wants what is going to make for the best work environment and they might hire someone who is less qualified instead of the person with bipolar disorder.
This essentially means that people who do have are going to have to work harder to get to the same result.
What many people don’t realize is that people with these problems actually have a lot of talent and are generally able to keep their personal issues away from work.
If you’ve already gone through medical school with bipolar disorder, you have probably been through the worst experiences in life with it.
Some employers will see that as a positive, that you overcame those problems in your life despite your disorder is definitely going to inspire employers.
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It may not be that way for everyone, but the important thing to note is that the employer can’t discriminate against you because of your mental disorders.
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Can you be a nurse with bipolar disorder in the UK?
In the UK, the situation of becoming a nurse can be a lot more complicated.
Over there, the focus is much more on consistency, rather than someone who does or does not have the disorder.
Employers need to look at your recent medical and mental history to know if you are ready to be working.
For example, if you’re someone who has been hospitalized due to their mental state, multiple times in recent history, they will not hire you.
Like many other jobs, hospitals are a business and it would build a bad reputation if they let people who had severe mental illnesses work at the hospital.
This isn’t just about keeping the people at the hospital safe, they all need to make sure that the nurse is protected as well.
It’s not responsible to let someone who may have suicidal thoughts work in a place with a ton of drugs and sharp objects.
Related article: Do Nurses Get Drug Tested?
The key detail to note is how recent those things happened.
If they happened only a few months ago, then they are probably not going to hire you.
If these incidents happened years ago, it could be very different.
It all depends on your situation right now.
Employers don’t want to deal with people who are going to cause problems in the workplace, even if you’re really talented.
Just because you got the job doesn’t mean the employer can’t fire you based on how your mental illness is putting yourself and other people at stake.
See also: Can You Be a Nurse With Hep C?
How bipolar disorder can affect the work of the nurse?
Bipolar disorder is very hard to live with and can affect many aspects of your life.
It will definitely change a lot in your relationships, friendships, and may even impact some of the jobs that you get.
Optimally, you should seek therapy and fix your problems before you seek out a position as a nurse long-term.
Being a nurse is still very difficult and having bipolar disorder can be a major blow to your productivity in the workplace.
Some days, you will be the best person working in that hospital and objectively be number one in getting work done.
Other days when you don’t feel like yourself, you’re going to be wishing that you weren’t at the hospital and that you didn’t have to communicate with other doctors or patients.
Even for those who are mentally healthy, this is a difficult status to maintain and is something they really have to be dedicated to.
For a nurse with bipolar disorder, their situation is probably a lot worse.
They don’t have to do as much work, but that also means their mind is going to be occupied with serious problems some days.
In the best scenario, it won’t affect their job but is maybe a sign to take time off and see a therapist.
In the worst of situations, it can mean very bad situations and possible malpractice in the hospital.
Conclusion: Can you be a nurse if you have bipolar disorder?
Having bipolar disorder is a real problem that can have very practical detriments in the workplace.
You are responsible for fixing it yourself and you can’t just rely on drugs or that your brain chemistry will magically fix itself.
Bipolar disorder may not affect you at work.
You may have very real problems that control how you feel outside of work, but some people are able to suppress those feeling and not have it be a problem for you to work.
When you wanted to be a nurse, you more than likely didn’t have these problems, yet you slowly developed them as time went on.
Before you apply to be a nurse, you need to truly ask yourself if this disorder has actually had a practical effect on your life.
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If it is impacting the way you operate as a nurse, then the problem is much bigger.
This is why your employer has the right to look at the impact of your mental health on your job, it’s a really important thing to look for and fire you if they think you could be a danger to yourself or other people at the workplace.
Just know that if you are trying to control your disorder and making an effort to suppress it as much as possible, the law is going to protect you as much as possible in keeping your job.
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