Quote from wackymole
Happy New Year! My question relates to my hearing disability. I'm 33yrs old and have been diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss about 3yrs ago. I didn't realized that this was going to be a problem until I got accepted into the nursing program (2nd choice--I was still on the waiting list for #1) and barely could hear my clinical instructor's soft voice. She told me that if the program was made aware that I had a "disability" that they wouldn't have accepted me. To make a story short, I got discouraged by the lack of resources at that program and their attitude that I decided not to go back and was contemplating about a career change. However, after almost 2yrs I decided to try nursing again, this time with the program of my first choice. They didn't have that many resources either, but at least they were helpful and they tried to accomodate me in everyway they could. I also finally purchased hearing aids; which I was hesitant in the first place because of the stigma.
My question is, have any of you encountered an obstacle due to your hearing disablity but were able to overcome it, be it as a nursing student or as a nurse? Also, how were you able to manage through school and clinical? Every time I have to use my stethoscope I need to take out my hearing aids and it can be annoying. I was wondering if any of you know of a special stethoscope that can be used with hearing aids? or headphones or special ear tips that can replace the regular kind? I've heard about amplified stethoscopes, but those are very expensive.
Thank you for all the information that you can give me. I think this is one of the reasons I always get anxious during clinical...the ability to hear or not to hear...
I have profound loss on one side and have a hearing aid as well as a cardonics amplified stethescope that has an attachment that goes directly to my aid. I am quite happy with it, the beauty of the story is how I got it.
I went to the disabilities coordinator on campus and asked about any help they may be able to provide regarding my loss. She allowed me to use an amplifier for classes; it had a microphone and transmitter for the instructor and a receiver with headphones for me. It worked great for classes, but obviously for clinicals I needed something else. The disabilities coordinator directed me to the state Vocational Rehab office. I went there and after doing all the paperwork and meeting the qualifications I got a digital hearing aid that has three different setting and the amplified stethescope for free as a person with a disability changing careers. I don't know where you live but you might check out VocRehab for any programs they might have available. In some cases, depending on your situation there may even be some financial assistance available.
Finally, I would report the school that made the comment about not accepting you if they knew you were hearing impaired. SHAME ON THEM!!!!
If any perspective employer or school made any comment like that to me I'd come unglued and explain that there are laws against that. At my school the instructors bend over backwards to ensure my hearing loss isn't a concern up to and including allowing me to have a note taker in class for me.
Good Luck in all of your endeavors and I hope that your goal of Nursing School becomes a reality, don't let something like a little hearing loss stop you.