Deaf Student Nurses

Students General Students


You are reading page 2 of Deaf Student Nurses

twinmommy+2, ADN, BSN, MSN

1 Article; 1,289 Posts

Specializes in ED.

I can't imagine that it would be impossible for a person who is deaf to find a place in the nursing field to work in.

Can't there be a special type of stethescope that turns sound into vibration that could be felt with the nurses fingers? That could work for breath sounds quite nicely (I'm just thinking). Does it have to be assessed through the ears?


174 Posts

I can't imagine that it would be impossible for a person who is deaf to find a place in the nursing field to work in.

Amen to that one, twinmommy! I'm really surprised how quick people are to assume others CAN'T do something. (Tell me I can't do something, that's probably the quickest way to make me go on and do it, though, I guess!) I'm hearing, and I'd have no problem having a deaf nurse by my side - There's nothing they can't do ~ there are just some things they'd have to do differently.

To the OP: I seem to remember reading once that there are nursing schools in the UK that have specialized programs in training deaf nurses. I don't have the names or anything - maybe you can Google it. You might be able to find some great contacts at the universities that would give you some insight as to what works and what doesn't work. Good luck to you!


2 Posts

Kudos AKAkatydid!

twinmommy+1 : u're absolutely correct. There are even handheld gadgets that changes heart sounds to actual visual sine waves (looks almost like an amp meter) .. personally I use an E-scope II which pumps up the volume to up to 120db (I have a 75db bilateral loss since 3yo)

No doubt, it is more difficult and I've been lucky to work in a small hospital so some changes here and there, plus a handy addition of a tty, have enabled me to do my job with relative ease.

With regards to educational accomodations, thanks to the ADA of 1990, public institutions are required by law to put in place any form of assistance (ie note takers, interpreters, CART) to disabled students. Like that one Deaf medical student in Florida.. he had an interpreter all through med school.. cool stuff

just adding my 2 cents worth :)


32 Posts

I was reading about this post. I know the last post is old but i just want to give my opinion. I understand their concerns. I am hard of hearing/deaf. You can not tell a person who are in special needs that they can not do it. I will encourage everyone if that they want to do for the dream, then do it. We have technology that will help us. I have special stethoscope that hook to my hearing aid to be able to hear the heartbeats, lungs or anything. Also, i have blood pressure digital wrist band that will help me. There are so many things that we can come up with or ideas to help them to follow their dreams whether nurse, doctor, Emt, firefighter, lawyers, etc.

God bless!!



151 Posts

Specializes in ENT, NH LTAC, WOUND CARE.

I read that story on angelfire and now my eyes are watering up. I too thought how could one be a nurse if he/she was HOH


32 Posts

About Angelfire is a good story about her dream to become LPN. I respect her. There is a website, there is a deaf lady who is a doctor. It had a short story about her and other deaf/ hoh in medical field.



143 Posts

Specializes in OR.
I don't mean to be discouraging, but I do think it will be very difficult for someone who is entirely deaf to work as a clinical nurse. The reason being is that we use our ears frequently. We listen to and evaluate breath sounds, and bowel sounds. We need to be aware of slight changes in respiratory patterns. Our patients that can communicate will talk to us. I know there are many alternate commications out there, but I can not imagine a sick person in pain, being interested in trying to use something new. Many units use sound alarms to alert when something is going wrong- while a light can be used, you have to be looking at the light- not seeing the light could cause a delay in treatment for the problem, and cause problems for the patient.

I can imagine, however, that there would be many opportunities in research, or QA, or infection control which this student could be very successful.

Good golly, miss mollie- I am an RN who is profoundly deaf and wears 2 BTE aids and I work in the OR. I would like to address the comment about breath and bowel sounds. Ya know sometimes I can tell when subtle changes occur in a patient before a hearing person because of the different feel that those changes make and also the subtle changes in the patients appearance and behaviour. While I respect your viewpoint, I think that limiting deaf people and forcing them into discriminating limits is wrong. There are many deaf and hard of hearing nurses in this grand USA. I can read lips too. Many times a fellow nurse will drag me into a patients room to see(aka. decipher) what they are trying to say. What forms of communication are 'new'? There are many different kinds such as body language which requires no wordage exchanged. Observational skills are important too.Just my lil old 2 cents worth.:twocents::idea:

Diary/Dairy, RN

1,785 Posts

Thank you all for your interesting and informative posts. I experienced some hearing loss last year in one ear and have been wondering what will happen when/if I lose more. Thank you all.

Specializes in GYN/Med-Surg.

Marvie, I am a nursing student set to graduate in less than a year with my RN-BSN. I have severe to profound hearing loss as and wear BTE as well. I wanted to ask you how you function in the OR as a HOH nurse. I communicate via normal speech but I use lip-reading therefore I cannot hear what is said behind my back--or behind a surgical mask. I also am unable to use a stethoscope or the telephone. I know your post is old, but I figured I would try asking how you manage in your nursing career.


1 Post

I find this interesting that you are unable to use a stethoscope, Did your university no offer you funding to help with items like this?

Specializes in LDRP.

they make visual stethoscopes with screens that tell you the hr

can be pricey, but if its your only option, its probably worth it.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X