Hearing impaired nursing student

  1. i am a hearing-impaired nursing student. i have severe-to-profound hearing loss and wear bilateral bte hearing aids. i have since i was 3. i have about 10% hearing left in both ears. i communicate very well with the use of lip-reading; i am unable to use the telephone.

    i'm in my first semester of nursing school and i'm starting to face the reality of possibly not being able to be hired due to my limitations. most hospitals seem to have a nurse telephone system in place (ie. for md orders, sbar communication, etc. etc.). also, i'm unable to use a stethoscope to assess heart and lung sounds so this poses as a problem. currently, i'm trying to think about areas of nursing that i can go into that will eliminate my use of a stethoscope or telephone in order to do my job effectively. i have heard that some hearing-impaired nurses work in the or, but i wouldn't be able to understand what was being said due to the wearing of surgical masks. are there effective ways to overcome these limitations in the healthcare setting/hospital? i'm mostly worried that i won't be able to be hired or keep my job because i don't have the tools as a fully-functioning rn would.

    if anyone has any advice or information for me, it would be much appreciated.
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    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 104; Likes: 21


  3. by   bookwormom
    I'm not sure how you would manage without using the telephone, but an amplifying stethoscope might help you with auscultation. I had a deaf student who was able to buy one with the assistance of vocational rehabilitation. It helped him a lot.
  4. by   JaydAhn
    I found a very good site which you might be interested in. They have information from other hearing impaired medical professionals and information on assistive technology which you might find useful. Best Regards
  5. by   BernieRN
    Do know that there are also visual stethoscopes out there- you would simply have to learn how to use one! More or less like learning to read an EKG.

    It might be possible for your employer to buy a bluetooth phone/pager for you. Or get a bluetooth cell phone- and aids and have them paired with bluetooth hearing aids. You would then use this phone for your work. (tax deductible). There will soon be a bluetooth stethoscope available as well. As the previous poster suggested...contact Voc Rehab!!!

    I would think that if you couldn't hear sounds through the stethoscope, you would not be able to get through nursing school. The important thing here is not to fake it! Ask someone to hear sounds for you if you don't quite hear something! There are scopes you can use with earphones so you are hearing through the hearing aids. This might help as well.

    There should be a disability services at the college you are attending. Also see what they can do to help accommodate you!


    There are completely deaf people working in the medical field as doctors and nurses, so don't give up!