Nurses who are deaf, partial hearing loss?

  1. Help!
    I am about to go into my third year as an ER nurse.
    Last Thursday, I began having ringing in my right ear, instant 50-75% of the hearing in that ear. Later developed debilatiting vertigo.
    My concern- if the hearing loss is perm, how will it affect my job? How can I do a good assessment if I cannot half hear?
    We're still trying to figure out what in the world is causing this (possibly a tumor in my inner ear canal, have another f/u MRI this week).
    So no medical advice, I just need to hear that it is possible to continue to be a good nurse despite hearing loss.
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  2. 37 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    I am hearing impaired. There are other nurses here whose hearing is worse than mine. You find things that work for you and you keep going. I read lips. Others use amplified stethoscopes.

    Good luck with the MRI, I hope you get a Dx and it's fixable.
  4. by   llg
    Back in 1992, I suddenly lost 100% of the function in my right ear (both hearing and balance). It started ringing, and in 10 seconds it was totally dead. As no cause could be found, the official diagnosis is "Sudden Hearing Loss Syndrome," which is a known phenomenon that happens to some people. Unfortunately, there is no known cure. I was in graduate school at the time. It took me many months to learn to cope with activities such as going to the store, driving, coping in noisy places, and how to walk around without falling down ocassionally and hurting myself.

    But I did learn how to cope. Since then, I have met many nurses with hearing and balance impairments. It may well change your career path and the specific jobs that are a "good fit" for you, depending on how much hearing and balance you will have long term. However, there are many of us with zero hearing in one ear who are still working as nurses. It is very possible.

    Good luck to you. It's not easy to adapt to such a quick, dramatic change in your abilities. You'll have to develop a whole new set of coping skills and concept of yourself. It's a lot to adjust to and it will take time.

    But ... unless they find something very unusual (and unlikely) to be the cause ... you can still have a very good, and productive life and nursing career ahead of you.

    Feel free to PM me is you'd like.

    llg
  5. by   3ashley0
    Hey! I am hearing impaired and in my 3rd semester of nursing school. I read lips and use an amplified stethoscope. I have had a lot of people (including instructors) tell me I can never be a nurse, but trust me, it is totally doable!! I just always make sure that my patients and their families and those I work with know my situation and to always be sure that I am looking at them before they speak to me. Good luck and I hope you have a positive outcome!!
  6. by   msdobson
    Quote from TazziRN
    I am hearing impaired. I read lips.
    No wonder I am constantly repeating myself with you...
  7. by   TazziRN
    :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
  8. by   msdobson
    Quote from TazziRN
    :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire

    Ahhhhhhh! I surrender! I surrender!
  9. by   TazziRN
    *muttering to self, crossing HIM off friends list*
  10. by   msdobson
    Quote from Aneroo
    Help!
    I am about to go into my third year as an ER nurse.
    Last Thursday, I began having ringing in my right ear, instant 50-75% of the hearing in that ear. Later developed debilatiting vertigo.
    My concern- if the hearing loss is perm, how will it affect my job? How can I do a good assessment if I cannot half hear?
    We're still trying to figure out what in the world is causing this (possibly a tumor in my inner ear canal, have another f/u MRI this week).
    So no medical advice, I just need to hear that it is possible to continue to be a good nurse despite hearing loss.

    It's the compassion and empathy that really counts, Aneroo. All the technical matters can be overcome. You just keep on keepin' on.
  11. by   msdobson
    Quote from TazziRN
    *muttering to self, crossing HIM off friends list*

    Oh...sure. Bust me off the friends list NOW. After all the support with the California thread...
  12. by   TazziRN
    *throwing bits of paper with HIS name on it into fire*


    "Repeat", he sez........I'll show him "repeat"......
  13. by   msdobson
  14. by   LauraF, RN
    I have a hearing deficit. I have learned to read lips, and I just use my good ear with my assessments. My biggest problem is when I'm at my desk and hear someone say "Help" it is hard for me to determine from which direction the cry is from.

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