Hearing impaired RN wants to work but------ - page 3

by stilquilty

17,708 Views | 33 Comments

I am an RN with more than 20yrs high risk L&D exp. After a 5yr illness that left me deaf in one ear, and with only 70% in the other ear. I'm wondering if it is realistic to think I can return to nursing with impaired hearing.... Read More


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    In following the obvious argument that is going on I have to throw my own two cents in here. All too often HOH or deaf people tend to get the impression that they have to prove something to everyone else and take it personal when a question is asked out of awe. Something we have to remember is that not everyone who asks you these questions has the capacity to understand what it is like, hence the questioning. I take it as flattery, that what I do impresses someone enough that they wonder how I manage. How can that ever become bothersome? The mistake that seems to be made is the assumption that you are being looked down upon. Truth be told we do have a disability you know. Why do you think there is so much media coverage on people like the single mother who has no arms? How many times do you think she is asked how she does it. Hearing is a thing people tend to take for granted, they dont know the tricks we do, they havent had to learns them, so it truly does become an amazment to them, the way you can compensate your hearing in an operating room situation. Sometimes the question is simply dumbfound curiousity, nothing to take personal....
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    While I appreciate the time you took to respond, I will say this....The writer who called several people ***** about answering questions was obviously looking to vent and does not seem to grasp the concept that some people do not like being called ***** when they never were.






    Quote from lcynrs8
    In following the obvious argument that is going on I have to throw my own two cents in here. All too often HOH or deaf people tend to get the impression that they have to prove something to everyone else and take it personal when a question is asked out of awe. Something we have to remember is that not everyone who asks you these questions has the capacity to understand what it is like, hence the questioning. I take it as flattery, that what I do impresses someone enough that they wonder how I manage. How can that ever become bothersome? The mistake that seems to be made is the assumption that you are being looked down upon. Truth be told we do have a disability you know. Why do you think there is so much media coverage on people like the single mother who has no arms? How many times do you think she is asked how she does it. Hearing is a thing people tend to take for granted, they dont know the tricks we do, they havent had to learns them, so it truly does become an amazment to them, the way you can compensate your hearing in an operating room situation. Sometimes the question is simply dumbfound curiousity, nothing to take personal....
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    do I need to "quote" how you and llg responded to the question? both of you took offense and by taking offense, it came off as p.issy. How would you describe your response? and "p.issy" was the word I used in my original response, nothing harsher than that.
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    Hi,
    I have been reading this thread- I am severely hearing impaired and wear bilat bte digital aids. I am going in to my second year of nursing to be an RN. The question of hearing when people are wearing masks is a fair question and one that I ask myself- because I don't know yet what my limitations will be when I graduate.
    I was excited to see the question asked- hoping for some good responses that would suggest I might actually be allowed to work in a med-surg unit- or work in the ED- because I assumed those two places would be off limits to me.
    I do take my aids out to use my steth with pts in clinicals, but I would be concerned about needing to use my steth in a hurry and the seconds it takes to remove them- and also the risk of losing them- and also not being able to hear instructions while the aids are out. I would think I would need a lot of experience to be able to rely on body language and such in the medical setting- this being the only good suggestion I have read through this thread after the question of masks was made. (unless I missed something).
    I do have a second scope with cables but haven't been to the audiologist to have my aids adjusted for the tones for it.
    I also am fearful of the telephones in the facilities because of the hearing difficulties, and when I have had to answer a call, I become very frustrated, as a pt shouldn't have to repeat themselves and I am embarrassed to have to tell a co-worked I can't understand what they are saying.
    I would like to see the feuding end and maybe have some real answers to these issues- I was not at ALL offended by the question of the masks- and ask the same question myself.
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    Ok, first off, congrats on not letting limitations keep you from something you want to do. It took me several years to learn that I was the same person as before my hearing loss, just with a little alteration.

    I presently work in the ER. Of course, I have a familiarity with ER prior to losing my hearing, so when the choice came between two job offers, ER or Home Health, you can see which one I took. But, prior to starting back, I had to put myself through several scenarios on how to address obstacles related to my hearing. And all have a way around them, without jeopardizing pt care, yourself or your coworkers.

    Now, it obviously helps to have nurses/coworkers who are understanding and will work with your limitations. And I do have that, in spades. Concerning the pts, "don't want to repeat themselves" comment.....bullstuff! If you are honest about your limitations up front when presenting yourself, they understand and are happy to repeat themselves. In the short period of 3wks, working at the bedside, I have occasionally had to have them repeat themselves, without incident.

    Addressing the phone issue: I have come across a wonderful way to call report to the floors, and again, with a quick explanation of how the phone/computer issue will help me in giving a better report, I have yet to encounter any problems.

    Is there anyway you can just utilize one ear with your stethoscope? I know when I lost the hearing in my left ear first, my remaining good ear was sufficient enough to use the stethoscope in a adequate manner. If you can, then that should also solve the issue of not missing something that is said by the pt or another nurse/doctor. It isn't imperiative that you use both earpieces to hear correctly with auscultation.

    Ok, rambled enough, hope I answered all of your questions. If you are interested in the website I utilize for calling report, just let me know.
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    hey, i am also a hearing-impaired nursing student. i have severe-to-profound hearing loss and wear bilateral bte hearing aids. 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 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.
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    Hello AF Wife,

    The first thing you might want to do if you haven't already is to contact your local Vocational Rehabilitation Office.
    Instead of looking for jobs not requiring the use of the stethoscope and phone, look for tools to help you use them.
    I have phones for the hearing impaired at home- clarity- that are boosted specifically for HI, and those types of phones can be placed in the area you choose to work. ADA requires that employers accommodate you in this area.
    There are visual stethoscopes- and stethoscopes that attach to a hub put in your hearing aid so they go through the sound mechanism of the hearing aid. They only work with specific HA's though. They also have amplified scopes.
    Check out Audex for the phones, and Cardionics for stethoscopes for the HI and visual scopes.
    Vocational Rehab might be able to help you with guidance and possibly financially depending on your financial situation. The phones, of course are just to see what is out there- so you will see there is something available for you to hear on in the first place.

    Hope this helps. Don't give up!

    Diana
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    Getting ready to look into a nursing program and I have bilateral tinitus with those fancy in the ear aids. I found those to very difficult to work with. I was thinking maybe got to the behind the ear so all you woud take out of the ear is a transparent tube. perhapse that tube can still stay in the canaly fitting around the edgs of the ear piecies. Very nice to know that there are others
  9. 0
    I am not HOH but I work with a vent patient (private duty) who cannot speak and must read his lips to communicate. Just a thought!
  10. 0
    I have been an R.N. in Neonatal Intensive Care for the past 30 years. I have been hard of hearing since I was 5 years old due to either high fevers (German measles, red measles, Mumps-those were the days before immunizations) or a Gentamycin overdose(1965). My mother was also hard of hearing we had a noisy household and my 60% loss was not discovered until I was 15(ha ha). I lip read and wear BTE hearing aids. I take out one aid to listen to heart and bowel sounds and my boss has a amplified phone for my use. The in house phone is pretty clear but the post C/S moms are unable to project their voices when they call from home. I tell them I' m having trouble hearing them and then procede to give them an updated report(any changes, weight gain, labs) and ask if they'll be in for visit so I can answer any questions then. If they need to ask more then, my wonderful co-workers will take the phone and relay the questions to me. In exchange, I assist them with IV's, feeds or interference control with patients, doctors. I am now slipping into profound hearing loss and am more nervous to miss verbal orders, alarms and patient questions. The parents have never complained when I ask them to repeat themselves. The docs are well aware and are good about written orders and facing me to speak. I would say if you want to work as an R.N. with hearing loss you need to be "twice as good" as the average nurse so you can anticipate what orders may be needed and pay attention to detail. All patients are happy to have a compassionate nurse and "suffering" with a disability can be a blessing . I am confused at times with rapid exchange of discussion and thereby will have them(Doctors on rounds) summarize at the completion of rounds. I also utilize my sense of touch and smell more than most nurses(fremitus-need to suction ETT, putrid smells on wound-culture please). 70% of communication is nonverbal and keeping you eyes open and remaining alert, questioning what you don't understand and clarifying when needed remain critical nursing skills. I stay ahead of the game by certification so new people know that I may be deaf but I'm not dumb. ADA makes accomodation a legal requirement but the ultimate responsibility is on the individual. Stay up to date, be cheerful and ask questions when you don't understand. It is tiring with active listening but it can be safe. The babies,ortho-nuero, PACU,pediatric nursing homes are all non verbal. Best wishes and here's to a quiet retirement


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