Can Dyscalculia Affect My Nursing Career?

REVIEWED BY NUMBERDYSLEXIA’S EXPERT PANEL ON MARCH 09, 2022

Every individual has a dream, inclinations, and an end goal in their life. That being a crucial attribute, what’s furthermore pivotal is to inscribe a perfect plan of action to achieve the same.  When the set of strategies is befitting, personal compromises like Dyscaclulia can be governed. 

Nursing, being a respectable position in the healthcare industry, is an ambition for many learners. Nevertheless, a few may get bewildered about how to deal with their hitches in this journey. For that reason, here we look into valuable insights. 

In this post, we will explore various traits you may need to have to become a nurse and possible hindrances that you may need to overcome, taking you closer to turning professional. 

Nursing- A reverent profession

If you are an aspiring individual to become a nurse, you should comprehend what the profession is about. Being a crucial part of the healthcare industry, nurses are not confined to assisting practitioners in surgeries, but they also play a pivotal role in administration and other departments as well. It wouldn’t be erroneous to perceive that the role is all about taking care of patients. 

Nevertheless, their responsibilities may differ based on the specialties and prescribing authorities. Be it a baby-care nurse or an emergency nurse; everyone is well-defined by their duties. A study[1] shows the shortage of qualified nurses, which indicates that your aspiration is appreciable. 

Turning into a nurse- What do you need?

Responses to the Health Communication Interview questionnaire by Finch[2]  identified preferred behaviors patients want and expect from nurses as caring, warm/friendly, professional, competent, empathy, listening, and honest/sincere. Here we look into these along with other relevant traits you would need to aspire as a nurse:

1. Finer Communication 

Communication is crucial to maintain connections and report the scenario. In crucial responsibilities like that of a Nurse, it can be further pivotal. Consequently, Nadzam[3] states- Effective Communication is critical during the countless interactions that occur among healthcare workers on a daily basis. The staff must know how to communicate effectively and work collaboratively in teams, so that appropriate information is shared in a timely manner. When effective communication is absent, patient care is compromised. Suitably, we can comprehend that effective communication skill is obligatory, which can be learned over time with a boost. 

Communication skills vary from one person to another. Special individuals may have varying social and communication skills. Special individuals may sometimes prefer isolation due to various reasons and thereby may need thrust for communication skills.  R. Kazemi[4] being aware of possible substandard communication skills in Dyscalculics, made a study on the effectiveness of life skill training on these attributes. He made a research on 40 students: 20 experimental students and 20 control groups. The results showed that students who were in the experimental group had a significant increase in self-esteem and communication skills than students of the control group. These inferences show that even if the communication skills are inadequate, these can be ameliorated with specialized training. 

2. Supervision and Empathy

The ability to take care and share emotions with patients may often create an instantaneous link with them. For this reason, valetudinarians like empathetic nurses. Studying what abilities are essential for nurses, Julia Williams[5] found that upon both policy and research, it is clear that patients want empathic and emotionally competent nurses. Developing these attributes can make you a well-liked professional. 

supervision and empathy

Empathy may be an area to be amplified or special individuals. These may be caused due to reasons like lack of care, or even bullying. Thankfully, empathy can be ameliorated with some training and thrust. Dorothy L. Espelage[6] studied the social-emotional (empathy) status of students with disabilities. The self-report from the students shows the presence of empathy, due to multiple reasons. Ebrahim Rahbar Karbas[7] studied the effect of self-regulation empowerment training on dyscalculics. The results showed that self-regulation empowerment training can help them manage social and empathetic skills. These researches make us discern that empathy, though it is compromised, can be managed and amplified.

3. Precision-  Ensuring Attention to Detail

Dealing with patients and doses of medicine each day, attention to detail is often crucial for both practitioners as well as nurses. For instance, medicines, when prescribed at the right doses can ensure better health of the patient. Some individuals may need thrust in precision as inferring a number and letters take time. Such people need to be further careful to ensure precision.

 Precision-  Ensuring Attention to Detail

Sarit Askenazi[8] studied attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia. The results revealed deficits in the alerting network–a larger alerting effect–and in the executive function networks–a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by the group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. These observations show the need to thrust towards attention to detail.

4. Problem-solving skills

As a part of professions, nurses can come across various minor hindrances, which they may need to conquer. This shows how problem-solving skills are necessary. Accordingly, Anne Charlotte Vittrup[9] made a study to make some aspirants ready to face challenges enhancing their problem solving and reasoning. The result found that the incorporation of structured group problem-based learning did promote the achievement of these educational outcomes with Graduate Nurses displaying critical thinking, clinical judgment, and knowledge acquisition skills. 

For anyone who may need to learn problem-solving skills, structure group problems may assist. Consequently, implementing structured group-based solving and reasoning may aid special needs as well.

5. Time Management 

To accomplish multiple tasks occasionally, organizing and planning become a prime requisite for the nurses.  Sometimes, they may need to update the bed list in the system while monitoring the medicines on time. A Nurse can accomplish these tasks with significant time management skills. That being the case, Alvac C[10], in the design of an effective nurse curriculum, found that traits like holistic care, time management, prioritization of care, working as a team member, and sophisticated clinical reasoning were needed and ensured them in the third year of the nursing program.

Due to additional time, they may take in discerning numbers and lines, some people may feel it arduous to manage their time. For instance, to measure the dosage of medicine, the number of compromised people may take additional time to ensure accuracy. Such attributes lead them to take additional time, which may hamper their time management abilities.  Marinella Cappellentti[11]  highlights that dyscalculics have reduced parietal gray matter and thereby may be slower in controlling the number-related tasks. This may affect the time management abilities as nurses often deal with numbers in their workplace. 

6. Endurance 

Nurses usually stand for long hours and serve patients; being active in long active hours needs them to have stamina.  While the same is needed by administrators and other health practitioners as well, nurses stay a step ahead here. It turns out to be strenuous to be active and ensure empathy along with endurance in the working hours. Alvac C further depicts the importance of clinical reasoning to judge the scenario. 

endurance in nursing

Endurance can be built over time. Some well-known athletes who were learning and number compromised managed to turn out professional players by ensuring endurance. With such references, it can be perceived that forbearance may be a matter of experience and practice. 

7. Leadership and Experience 

A number of factors related to leadership come in handy to nurses during their duty. Taking a stand to turn social with peer staff and enduring motivation account for some crucial leadership attributes. The review by Braddy Germain[12]  suggests that nurse performance may be improved by addressing nurse autonomy, relationships among nurses, their colleagues and leaders, and resource accessibility. 

leadership and experience

Further, the role of experience is evidently a bonus factor for professionals. Relevant records of past services make nurses know about their powers and tips to manage duty efficiently, thereby motivating others. Leadership and experience are often a result of empathy, communication skills, and logical thinking. Thereby, where these skills are managed, experience and leadership can be built over time. 

8. Humor

It is often an unsung attribute of a nurse. Humor can grasp the attention immediately, ensuring a better connection with the patient. This perception is strengthened by the results of research conducted by Cheryl Tatano Beck. The research[13] found five benefits of inducing humor in the nurse profession:

  •  help nurses deal effectively with difficult situations and difficult patients,
  •  create a sense of cohesiveness between nurses and their patients and also among the nurses themselves, 
  • be an effective therapeutic communication technique that helped to decrease patients’ anxiety, depression, and embarrassment, 
  •  be planned and routine or be unexpected and spontaneous, and
  •  create lasting effects beyond the immediate moment for both nurses and patients.

Humor is often a unique attribute. Nonetheless, these can be developed over time. With eminent social skills and empathy developed, special aspirants may try Humor at the workplace. 

Probable hindrances in your nursing expedition

Acknowledging the above-mentioned traits can make it clear that you can ameliorate these with a thrust and instructions. That being the case, there can be some areas where you may feel arduous to pass through. While the above traits can be managed, coping with the below-mentioned factors may make your expedition further painless:

1. Need of High Grades

 Most of the colleges need the applying candidates to have higher grades in their school. This can prove their ability to master nursing skills. Melanie Gilmore[14] studies the predictor of success in an associate degree in nursing. The results depicted that dependent variables were grade points. In contrast, the independent variables were the American College Test (ACT) composite score, ACT math subscore, ACT reading subscore, ACT English subscore, ACT science subscore, grades in anatomy and physiology, and cumulative GPA prior to entering nursing school. These results depict how crucial grades are for a nursing career. 

2. Grasping STEM concepts

Along with professional subjects, nursing aspirants also come across math and science. Mathematical concepts like mean, median and mode are often used in the healthcare industry. Cheryl Green[15] states that Science, technology, engineering, and math constitute the traditional STEM acronym. These skills employed by nurses in the clinical setting can serve as the basis for the inclusion of the nursing profession as a STEM-designated profession by the federal government and educational institutions within the US. 

While some individuals may feel it taxing to deal with numbers, such hitches need to be managed to grasp STEM subjects better.

Can you become a nurse being a dyscalculic?

nursing and dyscalculia

The insights stated above can aid you in getting inferences about how to become a Nurse with a number of compromises. Professions like Nurse need diversity prior to other traits. With a reasonable thrust, most of the above-mentioned traits may be managed. While some people may take additional time with numbers, offering some additional efforts to learn may enhance nursing abilities. Making friends with peers and communicating with patients freely can ameliorate empathy, communication, and also problem-solving abilities over time. 

Besides these areas, offering a thrust on STEM concepts and academic grades may take a step closer to your aspiration. Evidently,  it is crucial to discern your strengths and weaknesses to deal with instances at the workplace. Ensuring the same can make you ready to compete. 

Tips to strengthen your aspiration 

Before we can conclude, here are some working strategies that you can employ as you walk towards nursing careers, these can magnify your strengths, simultaneously managing hitches with ease.

  • Thoroughly investigate while choosing a college. A university with a better atmosphere, good peer environment, and pragmatic instructions can be a preeminent choice.
  • Working towards the obligatory attributes in the early years can gain an added advantage.
  • Look for and enroll in summer nursing internships to get familiar with duties, concomitantly ensuring pragmatic insights. 

Concluding thoughts

Processing an aspiration and thus an end goal is an appreciable trait, as they thrust the individual towards a meaningful lifestyle. Even if a person has minor compromised, these goals can be kept intact. To ensure the same, one needs to discern their strengths and weaknesses and work on them. Mull over the above insights to infer personalized strategies to traverse a nursing career effortlessly. 

References:

  1. Nurses in Poland — immediate action needed. (2017). Józef Haczyński.
  2. Patients’ Communication with Nurses: Relational Communication and Preferred Nurse Behaviors. (2010). Finch. https://doi.org/10.20467/1091-5710.10.4.14
  3. Nurses’ Role in Communication and Patient Safety. (2009). Nadzam. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NCQ.0000356905.87452.62
  4. Kazemi, R., Momeni, S., & Abolghasemi, A. (2014). The effectiveness of life skill training on self-esteem and communication skills of students with dyscalculia. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 114, 863-866.
  5. Empathy and nurse education. (2010, November). Julia Williams. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2010.01.018
  6. Espelage, D. L., Rose, C. A., & Polanin, J. R. (2016). Social-emotional learning program to promote prosocial and academic skills among middle school students with disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 37(6), 323-332. 
  7. The effect of self-regulation empowerment program training on neurocognitive and social skills in students with dyscalculia. (2019, June). Ebrahim Rahbar Karbasdehi. https://doi.org/10.12740/APP/103051
  8. Attentional networks in developmental dyscalculia. (2010, January). Sarit Askenazi.
  9. Problem based learning – ‘Bringing everything together’ – a strategy for graduate nurse programs. (2010, March). Ann-Charlotte Vittrup. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2009.03.019
  10. Becoming a registered nurse. (2010). C Alavi. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0260-6917(97)80008-1
  11. Cappelletti, M., & Price, C. J. (2014). Residual number processing in dyscalculia. NeuroImage: Clinical, 4, 18-28.
  12. The influence of nursing leadership on nurse performance: A systematic literature review. (2010, May). Brady Germain P. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01100.x
  13. Beck, C. T. (1997). Humor in nursing practice: a phenomenological study. International journal of nursing studies, 34(5), 346-352.
  14. Predictors of success in associate degree nursing programs. (2008, October). Melanie Gilmore. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.teln.2008.04.004
  15. Should nursing be considered a STEM profession? (2019, December). Cheryl Green. https://doi.org/10.1111/nuf.12417

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