Hearing-impaired Nursing students

  1. i am a graduate student working on my thesis. the topic of my thesis is to find out what it is like to be a nursing student who is hearing impaired. if any one is a hearing impaired nursing student and is interested in participating in my study, please email me at cmach541@live.kutztown.edu. you have to be a nursing student in one of the following programs:
    diploma rn

    the study requires your consent as well as answering a questionnaire. i have received approval from the university internal review board. all forms are approved.
    hope to hear from you.
    cheryl machemer
    msn graduate student
    kutztown university
  2. Visit cher1157 profile page

    About cher1157

    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 6


  3. by   VickyRN
    Moving this to Academic Nursing Research Requests Forum for better response.
  4. by   cher1157
    Thank you. Cheryl Machemer
  5. by   snow_bear
    I'm not in nursing school yet, but I've have a significant hearing impairment since birth. What would you like to know?
  6. by   momofsix6
    Hi snow_bear

    I wasn't the one who requested the participation but I am responding because I also have a pretty serious hearing loss. I am 50 years old, but my hearing loss isn't from age, it's a genetic hearing loss. I wear bilateral hearing aids. I am about to begin nursing school in January and I am actually having a lot of anxiety about it. I've been experiencing this hearing loss for about 4 years now but don't have the confidence to "expect" people to understand and respect my disability. Instead, I feel like I'm always causing people trouble by having to repeat what they say. Do you feel the same way? What can I do to help me to cope with this and not feel uncomfortable. I'm especially nervous about being a nurse and running into emergencies, like a code blue. any insight?
  7. by   snow_bear
    Hi momofsix6,

    I've been deaf in one ear since birth and have gradually lost my hearing in the higher freqeuncy ranges in the other over the years, so I have had time to learn ways to compensate for it. Alot of people are surprised when they learn of my hearing loss as I get by quite well. I do have problems with loud environments and background noise. Most people are pretty good about being asked to repeat something - that's not anything to feel guilty about.

    I'm nervous about codes and emergency situations, too. For that reason, I will probably not pursue working in the ED. I am interested in the OR, however, but am not sure if that is workable being that I need to see someone's face when they're talking. On the plus side, OR's are confined spaces and people work close together which helps. I'm not sure how noisy it might be with the different machines, though. If it turns out that OR isn't an option, I'll look at general, lower acuity floors...maybe at a Children's Hospital.
  8. by   Lifeofanurse
    I think your most difficult aspect will be clinicals and lab during school.

    We had a person who could not pass lab because she couldn't hear to take vitals such as manual bp or lung sounds. Definitely talk to the nursing dept to see if it will cause you problems before you spend all your time and money to just get in...

    While yes, I do understand that there is a required disability act in place .... it isn't guaranteed if you just can't do the job required.

    I would like to be a firefighter....but I am a bit on the older side, and absolutely cannot carry all that equipment ...so I can't meet the physical requirements to be one. That doesn't mean it's discrimination...it just means I personally can't do it. No one's fault...just how it is.

    I say this because I don't want you to waste time or money if your impairment is severe and it could keep you from passing the classes or completing clinical skills at level.
    It would be worse to start and not be able to do it then to be told up front that your disability will keep you from being able to do the job.

    I do wish you luck and I hope it works out for you both!
  9. by   snow_bear
    Hi Lifeofanurse,

    Before I began my pre-reqs, I did talk to the nursing advisor of my school, director of the CNA program I will be taking next semester, and my ENT as I had concerns about hearing lung/heart/bowel sounds as well. They all said that I will be okay as long as I have the right stethoscope. I will need to obtain permission to take the skills portion of the CNA certification exam with a non-standard stethoscope.
    Last edit by snow_bear on Oct 22, '11
  10. by   FLmomof5
    I just started my RN career and the month after I started my first job I had sudden bi-lat hearing loss across all frequencies from moderate to moderately severe.

    To those that have hearing loss and are in school....don't risk not "hearing" sounds through the stethescope....there ARE stethescoped specifically designed for the hearing impaired. Some are fairly inexpensive.

    I am currently working with an ENT and audiologist to finalize what I need to do about my hearing.

    Also, there is a very cool app I found called ear trumpet for my iphone and it works GREAT!!