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Deaf nurses

Nurses   (2,121 Views 14 Comments)
by ange26s ange26s (Member)

1,691 Profile Views; 83 Posts

I will be starting nursing school this fall. I have always wanted to go into nursing,and would wonder if my daughter would ever follow my footsteps.When she was born she failed her newborn screening test for hearing.She is now seven months old and she has bilateral severe to profound hearing loss.She cannot hear high frequency tones and right now she is amplified with hearing aids and may need cochlear implants.I was just wondering if anyone knows a nurse that is deaf or hard of hearing.When I researced the net,I read some stories of deaf nurses and it was very inspiring.I believe a person has no limits to what they can acheive with the support of friends,family,and our community.I hope that if my daughter chooses to be a nurse or whatever she desires,no one will hold her back and discourage her.I believe nurses with disibilities can do thier job just the same.

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6,487 Posts; 21,380 Profile Views

If she can hear with amplification, there should be no reason why she wouldn't be able to be a nurse. There are amplified stethoscopes made that a lot of HOH nurses use.

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jill48 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Geri, Ortho, Telemetry, Psych.

612 Posts; 4,446 Profile Views

I will be starting nursing school this fall. I have always wanted to go into nursing,and would wonder if my daughter would ever follow my footsteps.When she was born she failed her newborn screening test for hearing.She is now seven months old and she has bilateral severe to profound hearing loss.She cannot hear high frequency tones and right now she is amplified with hearing aids and may need cochlear implants.I was just wondering if anyone knows a nurse that is deaf or hard of hearing.When I researced the net,I read some stories of deaf nurses and it was very inspiring.I believe a person has no limits to what they can acheive with the support of friends,family,and our community.I hope that if my daughter chooses to be a nurse or whatever she desires,no one will hold her back and discourage her.I believe nurses with disibilities can do thier job just the same.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if she ended up working with deaf patients. Not that she would be limited to that. But how many deaf patients have you had that you felt you did not fully understand and wish you could do more? I know a tiny bit of American Sign Language; just as much as my kids and husband learned through boy scouts. But it is at least enough to communicate in very general terms and I'm so glad I know it. I have always wanted to take an ASL class, but can't afford it. Wish it was free. Encourage her. What a brave little angel. Good luck.

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191 Posts; 2,109 Profile Views

You can have your Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Chinese. If there is one "foreign" language I wish I would have learned it's American Sign Language.

There is ALWAYS room for good nurses, no matter what their obstacles may have been in getting there. But there's always room for good people no matter what they choose as their vocation. Nurse or not, your daughter will do well no matter what she chooses, if given the right opportunities, resources and support. If it's nursing, great. If not, she'll love you for the encouragement you gave her along to way that helped her succeed.

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bagladyrn is a RN and specializes in OB.

1 Follower; 2,286 Posts; 18,459 Profile Views

Many years ago when I worked on a psych unit for hearing impaired patients I worked with both an RN and a social worker who were profoundly deaf. They both were great role models for our patients!

As an aside, if you ever get a chance you should arrange a tour of Galludette University - founded and designed for the deaf population. Many inspiring individuals there.

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26 Posts; 1,198 Profile Views

I just am encouraging you through nursing school,CONGRATS! You are have an angel in your daughter. My niece was born deaf ('83). She also failed all the test. She wore amplifiers when she was little. Before I learned ASL I was a traveling nurse so I did not see her much. We learned how to make our own sighn language as the family was learning ASL. I am not sure what part of US you are in but Rochester, New York has one of the largest deaf communities around. I agree if we are forced to learn Spanish it would be more appropriate to learn ASL. It has been frustrating to help a patient who has a languange barrier, but there is the light when you know what they are saying. My co-workers usually speak the foreign languages but I am the lip reader and signer. The up to this is we pray for your daughter and your family. I work for the Veterans Administration Hospital. They have workers who are deaf either totally or partially. They also have interpreters available in the business office. My daughter will graduate from college with a degree in Sign Language Interpretation in Dec.'07. If ther is any information from agencies, co-ops or any where else I would be glad to share with you.:balloons:

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103 Posts; 2,387 Profile Views

Please introduce your daughter to deaf culture -- is very different than hearing culture and can make a huge difference in how she approaches the world. My husband is deaf since early childhood and was raised in hearing world - is unfortunate for him because he often feels isolated - doesnt have deaf friends, know deaf idioms that accompany ASL, and also doesn't know what is going on in hearing world unless paper and pencil are available -- or he happens to run into someone familiar with ASL. He took ASL as an adult and was not fortunate enough to have learned it during childhood which would have allowed him to understand when deaf people "chat" with him. I use a combination of ASL and SEE to communicate with him, but that does not address the issues of isolation that deaf people can have when they don't have a language that fits with their senses.

Your daughter can definately become a nurse if she so chooses. Even if profoundly deaf, there are special devices that allow her to "feel-hear" vibrations through stethoscope. She will grow up using her eyes for "ears" and be keenly aware of what she sees/senses that hearing people can often miss.

I have had deaf patients at the hospital who have been so relieved that they can truly communicate with someone without having to struggle to get their point across. The nurses at the hospital are pleased to have me there (I am a second semester nursing student) to clarify concerns or issues that the pt had.

Good luck to you in your nursing career and to your precious daughter who will teach your more than you ever knew!!

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puggymae specializes in OB, NP, Nurse Educator.

317 Posts; 4,116 Profile Views

The DON of a small hospital about 30 miles from my home is deaf. She is an excellent lip reader.

When I take students there to clinical many of them do not realize she is deaf.

Plus I have had deaf students in my class - they usually do just fine. One of these students told another - "deaf is not the same as stupid or lazy" when a student asked how he intended to pass nursing school.

Good luck to you and your daughter.

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49 Posts; 2,112 Profile Views

I just wanted to share with you that I am a hearing impaired nurse. I was born with abnormal cochleas. I had surgery on both ears by a doctor from the House Institute in Los Angeles when I was about 6 years old. That was way back in 1978. I now have a 60-65% loss in both ears. I have trouble hearing lower pitches. Growing up, I went to public school and was in a regular classroom in school. Of course, arrangements were made for me to sit in the front of the classroom at all times. I wore the great big behind the ear hearing aids and a lot of kids made fun of me. Life as a hearing impaired person can be challenging. I had a hard time with wearing the hearing aids. I had lived in a muted world for 6 years before I got them. My mom told me one time it rained when I first got my hearing aids and I was terrified by the sound because I had never heard rain before. Today, I only wear my hearing aids when I am at work or someplace where I am required to listen. It's very hard to get used to how loud the world really is. I wear digital hearing aids now which help to muffle out the background noise. I think the biggest thing that hearing people are not aware of about hearing impaired people is just how exhausting it is to simply listen to other people. I can hear low volume. I just have difficulty putting the sounds together to make sense of it. There's been many a day that I have made an idiot of myself because I answered a question inappropriately or completely spoke out of turn. People look at me a little weird sometimes. I rarely tell people that I'm hearing impaired because most of the time, when people find that out, they start talking to me like I'm mentally retarded. I know a little ASL from a course that I took in high school. However, it would be like my spanish abilities. I can't converse with it.

I have an amplified stethoscope to do my job as a nurse. It is a little cumbersome because I have to remove my hearing aids to use my stethoscope, but, it gets the job done. I have heard that there is a stethoscope that is hearing aid compatible. However, it is very expensive. I'll stick with paying $300 every few years for the latest in amplified stethoscope technology.

I'm glad that my hearing hasn't stopped me from doing the career that I chose.

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feisty_lpn is a LPN and specializes in HH, Psych, MR/DD, geriatric, agency.

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Thank you for speaking up, nurseklw72!! Ditto to everything she stated!

I am also a hearing impaired nurse. I have chronic inner ear fluid and infection issues since birth.

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5 Posts; 630 Profile Views

Hi there. I was excited to see this post as I was wondering the same thing. I'm not deaf or hh but I teach ASL as a foreign language at a high school. I also want to go back to school for nursing. I've thought about moving to a large deaf community down the road so that I could use my signing and nursing. I wondered if there were deaf nurses out there...espcecially in the deaf communities where they're needed. I strongly believe that the deaf can do anything they put their mind to.....your daughter can be a great nurse if she wants to be or she can be any great thing she dreams.

NEVER let people and their opinions or ideas hold you or her back. I think deaf children and their parents need to be exposed to or educated about ever option available (deaf culture, ASL, signing, lip reading, hearing aids, cholclear implants) and when they are old enough to decide what works for them then support their wants and needs.

Shasta

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83 Posts; 1,691 Profile Views

first i would like to say thankyou to everyone who responded to my posting and all of the words of encouragement! to answer tazzirn,my daughter has severe to profound loss which means,even with hearing aids she cannot hear much.she is a canidate for cochlear implants.as of now she cannot hear speech.we have to teach her how to listen to sounds she can hear.even though we have chosen oral communication as her main mode of communication,we are still going to teach her asl.i feel not only is she apart of the hearing community,she is also apart of the deaf community.i would not take that away from her.i realize she may feel isolated at times,and i hope that her knowing asl will help expose her to friends that have the same feelings.after reading nurseklw72 posting,i was so excited!i am glad there are people who have overcome their obstacles of hearing loss.i know i am looking far in the future,but i cant help but to wonder.i am very excited that i am learning asl for my daughter and for my future patients that are deaf or hard of hearing.

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