Ideas in communicating with deaf and mute patient

  1. 2 Hello,

    I chose a deaf/mute patient for this week's care. I'm a first semester nursing student.
    I have in mind to bring in a small white board as well as notecards to communicate with this patient. I'm planning to memorize some simple sign languages as well.

    Can you give me other ideas as well to communicate with this special patient?
    I'm very excited to have chosen such an interesting patient.

    Thank you!
  2. Visit  hlsg90 profile page

    About hlsg90

    Joined Nov '13; Posts: 1; Likes: 2.

    13 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  krisiepoo profile page
    0
    How exciting! I love choosing patients that have something unique (or more unique than we would normally see)

    Do you guys do any pre-clinical prep? Do you get to learn about him reading the files ahead of time? That might give you an idea of how people are communicating with him now and how you can continue doing what works or maybe bring ideas to enhance this.

    Is it a LTC or acute care setting?

    I guess my first step would be to see what they're using now, take a look at this effectiveness and then see if there's anything that could be improved upon.

    Good luck, can't wait to hear about it!
  4. Visit  amazingdaisy profile page
    1
    Hi, this will end up being a great experience for you. I have studied ASL and Deaf culture and I can you that there are some things you can do to ease their fears and communicate more effectively. It is very frightening and stressful for a deaf person to be in a medical situation. The first thing that you need to do is maintain constant eye contact. Writing notes is also good, Deaf people are used to it. Also, be prepared to mime or act out certain things. You may feel silly but it is common practice and will be appreciated. Learning some signs is great too, there is a great website called signingsavvy.com that will help you with that. Don't assume that they can read lips, some can and some can't. Just treat them with compassion and kindness and do your best, you will both come out of it feeling great! Good Luck :-)
    NurseOnAMotorcycle likes this.
  5. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    1
    The white board is a great idea. The hospital may have something there....what setting is this acute or long term care?
    NurseOnAMotorcycle likes this.
  6. Visit  GrnTea profile page
    3
    I have an app on my iPhone called Sign 4 Me. You type in what you want to say and the guy in the window signs it. I just tried it with, "I am sorry I don't know sign. Is this ok?" It asked me whether "sign" meant "sign language" or a few other choices, and I tapped "sign language" -- if you use a word that could have different meanings, it asks you to clarify before it continues. I love it.
    krisiepoo, poppycat, and Pb&j711773 like this.
  7. Visit  NurseOnAMotorcycle profile page
    0
    Quote from Esme12
    The white board is a great idea. The hospital may have something there....what setting is this acute or long term care?
    THIS.
  8. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page
    5
    While good ideas for less formal communication, you may want to look up the facility/hospital's policy on use of interpreters and when an interpreter is required. For example, for any patient where a formal health history is being taken or informed consent is needed (and some nursing procedures do require consent, just not written), my facility requires the use of a trained and approved interpreter, whether for foreign languages or sign language. We are forbidden from using family as an interpreter- they may answer for the patient or not provide the patient with all information. Bilingual employees who are not trained and approved may face disciplinary action if they interpret. The policy should also be able to direct you to any resources- a number for a staff member who can locate translators or video/phone translation services. When using the white board, you may also need to keep in mind the patient's reading and writing abilities. Either way, it sounds like you'll have an educational clinical experience.
    LL143KnB, GrnTea, krisiepoo, and 2 others like this.
  9. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    0
    When I worked in the hospital, we had ASL interpreters for such cases. The patient may very well be able to read lips. See what you can find out about how the staff is communicating with him every day.
  10. Visit  llg profile page
    1
    The current issue of Nursing2013 (November) has a good article on communicating with deaf/HOH patients. It includes a lot of good suggestions. Well worth your time -- and would be a great resource for your care plan, case study, term paper, etc.
    GrnTea likes this.
  11. Visit  Lev <3 profile page
    0
    In all seriousness, an interpreter.
  12. Visit  dsb_fam profile page
    8
    My son is hearing impaired. Here are some DOs and DONTS-
    Don't just walk into their room, establish that you will flash the lights to signal your entrance(this ensures privacy).
    Don't ask them if they are going to get a cochlear implant to "fix" their deafness(yes, people ask us this about my son).
    Do provide an interpreter. They have a right to privacy and it is your job to help ensure this. Also, you may think they understand, but the only way you will know is if you have an interpreter. Remember that medical terminology is not something that comes up in basic conversation.
    Do stand in a well lit area and make sure you are not back lit. My son uses both a hearing aide and reads lips. This cannot be possible if I'm talking in the darkened room.
    Do not take out their hearing aides. If you need them removed, communicate the reason and the length of time they will be out.
    Establish a protocol for night time. Let them know that you will periodically be assessing them at night. Establish how you will let them know you are in the room.
    Sorry for any typos, its late.

    Good luck!
  13. Visit  NaCl-ty profile page
    0
    My dad is deaf too, everything dsb_fam said is perfect. Be aware if you are touching your face or mouth. People constantly cover their lips unknowingly.
  14. Visit  meanmaryjean profile page
    0
    We have a deaf family that frequents our facility and text messaging is the means we primarily use to communicate. Mind you - we don't SEND the texts- we just use their device to type out our communication, and hand them back their device to read, they type out their response. It eliminates the need for an interpreter- provided your client is literate. This is the method THEY chose, and it works well.

    Originally, they had a device called a Sidekick for this purpose. It was an early texting device not associated with a phone. Really handy!


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