Any nurses here deaf in one ear?

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    Hey everyone, I'm a 1st year nursing student and I had to drop out of this falls semester (med/surg). The reason for this is that I'm having brain surgery next week to remove a large acoustic neuroma...a benign tumor that has been causing me hearing loss and which is compressing my 4th ventricle and putting pressure on my brainstem. The surgical approach the neurosurgeon wants to do is a translabyrinthe, in which they go through the middle ear. This approach destroys the middle ear, meaning I'll be permanently deaf in that ear after the surgery. He wants to do that approach instead of a retro-parietal approach because I have very little usable hearing in my right ear and apparently the translabyrinthe is the preferred approach for pts like me. Anyway, I just wanted to see if anyone here at allnurses has unilateral deafness (for whatever reason). Can you still work effectively if you are deaf in one ear? Do you have any problems with a stethoscope or any other things in the hospital environment? I love what I'm doing and I don't want to give up my dream of being a nurse because of something like this. I'd be crushed if for some reason this precluded me from becoming a nurse. Can you become a nurse with a disability like this? Thanks.
  2. 20 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I knew a great floor nurse who had only 1 arm and 1 eye. If she can still be effective so can you.
  4. 0
    I'm pretty HOH and wear a HA in my right ear. I just need to turn the ear with the HA in it towards people when they are trying to whisper. And I place it CAREFULLY into a pocket when I use the stethoscope. The HA, not the ear.
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    Thanks for the responses. Do you have to use a specialty stethoscope SuesquatchRN? When I talked with the director of our nursing program and the reason why I had to withdraw for the semester, she mentioned that there was a person at the college who can get special stethoscopes or whatever for people with disabilities. Do you use something like that? And aside from having to turn your good ear toward the general direction that noise is coming from, how has being HOH affected you as a nurse? Do you run into any other problems that a person with regular hearing wouldn't?
  6. 0
    I can use a good Littmann - can't hear anything with the cheapies. The electronic ones won't help the ear (yours) that has nerve damage anyway. It would probably help me because mine is not and amplification helps.

    No, I haven't had to do anything differently.

  7. 0
    Great. That's awesome to hear (pun intended). Now I just hope I don't have long term balance issues or facial paralysis as complications of the surgery that sometimes happens with this type of surgery. I have a feeling those types of issues would be a lot more difficult to overcome than one sided deafness.
  8. 0
    I am betting that you learn to compensate for balance. And I work with a nurse who has a very deformed face, let alone a little paralysis, and does fine.

    Good luck. Brain surgery is, you know, serious stuff!
  9. 2
    I am legally deaf and HOH from birth. I finishing up my 3rd semester of nursing school. I swear by the litmann 3100 stethescope. It is electronic one and I hear really well, acutally better than the other students. I had tried other ones from a friend and found a free trial of this stethescope at 3M and I loved it. It is around 300-350$ and its the best I've ever spent. You can get a free trial below, no tricks or anything to see if you'd like. Nothing compares to this one. DARS may be able to help you if you have one in your state. I live in texas and they will buy it for you. It is the best 300$ I've ever spent. Just do the trial and you'll love it. I was worried if I would be able to hear since I went into ICU and I found with this stethescope that I hear better then hearing students and It really is amazing. Try it, its free Wish u the best of luck

    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...l-3000-series/
    SuesquatchRN and ChuckeRN like this.
  10. 0
    I am hard of hearing in both ears and wear hearing aids. But when I'm working, I only wear one aid so I can answer the phone without the hearing aid feedback. Whenever I need to use a stethoscope, I just take out my one HA and reinsert it when I'm done. Most people don't notice when I do this.

    Some people think that I am a little weird or even aloof because I don't always hear them when they say something to me, or misunderstand what they say. However, when I feel comfortable around them, I explain that I have hearing loss, everyone makes sure they get my attention when they speak.

    It is very difficult and very humbling to know you have this disability, but you just deal with it. I just deal with it.
  11. 1
    Wow! I was thinking about buying a 3100, and now I just signed up to try one for 30 days. Thanks.

    Quote from Jackfackmasta
    I am legally deaf and HOH from birth. I finishing up my 3rd semester of nursing school. I swear by the litmann 3100 stethescope. It is electronic one and I hear really well, acutally better than the other students. I had tried other ones from a friend and found a free trial of this stethescope at 3M and I loved it. It is around 300-350$ and its the best I've ever spent. You can get a free trial below, no tricks or anything to see if you'd like. Nothing compares to this one. DARS may be able to help you if you have one in your state. I live in texas and they will buy it for you. It is the best 300$ I've ever spent. Just do the trial and you'll love it. I was worried if I would be able to hear since I went into ICU and I found with this stethescope that I hear better then hearing students and It really is amazing. Try it, its free Wish u the best of luck

    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...l-3000-series/
    SuesquatchRN likes this.


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