ER nurses w/ impaired hearing

  1. I must wear bil hearing aids and w/ them I have about 80% normal hearing ability. Would this prevent me from working ER?
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    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 66; Likes: 1


  3. by   jojotoo
    [quote=1st edition]I must wear bil hearing aids and w/ them I have about 80% normal hearing ability. Would this prevent me from working ER?

    Are you still able to use a stethoscope?
  4. by   1st edition
    Yes I can. I use an electronic scope.
  5. by   elizabeth321
    I find it difficult with no diagnosed hearing impairment to hear in two critical is triage...a very noisey busy area and another in a code.

  6. by   cardiacRN2006
    I worked with a RN in CVICU who had bilateral hearing aids. It was no problem for her...she used the same steth.
    Good Luck!
  7. by   jojotoo
    Quote from 1st edition
    Yes I can. I use an electronic scope.

    I think you'll be Ok In ER. Your hearing impairment might actually work to your advantage - maybe you won't hear the names that patients and visitors will call you! :wink2:
  8. by   Mr. Grumpy
    1st Edition,

    I have bilat. hearing loss, as well. I have been working in critical care environments for 13 years. The last 5 have been spent in the ED. Nowadays, I generally do not use a stethescope at all. There are several reasons for this. First, listening to sounds (breath or bowel) is just one tool or sign of an overall condition. It is similar to watching a nurse fuss with pulse ox cables to get the perfect waveform. You can usually see that somebody is SOB and needing treatment before you actually listen to their lungs. Basically, what I'm saying is that you have to rely on other things like your eyesite and listening to patient history. Some nurses would argue that this is unacceptable. However, I can't claim disability and become one of those ED pt's that abuse the system. Besides, when was the last time you placed an NGT and asked a pt. to speak. Can't speak if the tube is in your trachea. One would surely be gagging and SOB otherwise. Pulse ox would drop. Etc. Another reason for lack of stethescope use is the cost to replace hearing aids. Each time I would use a stethescope, I would remove my hearing aids. Where would one set them down. In a pool of vomit, or blood, or urine. What if they were steped on? Do you think the hospital is gonna fork over $4800? The safest place for my hearing aids are in my ears. Finally, I don't use a stethescope due to cost to obtain one that is compatable with my hearing aids. Besides, I don't like carrying all that crap with me. The only things I carry are trauma shears, tape, and pen. So, that is how I survive non-stethescope practice. Next time you are involve with an intubation or code, just glance around and notice all of the stethescopes in the area. Then, ask someone to listen to breathe sounds. Watch how many people step up, willing to listen. Usually, I get a minimum of three. Back to your question. The only thing preventing you from working in the ED is yourself.
  9. by   1st edition
    I want to thank everyone for their confidence and support. I was curious how normal hearing nurses felt about working w/ hearing impaired nurses. So far I do fine but I worry about missing things, ie, breath sounds. Your comments give me hope that I can move to ER eventually.
  10. by   teeituptom
    I have selective hearing loss

    I hear what I want

    I dont hear what others want

    works very well for me
  11. by   TazziRN
    Wow, this is weird.......I knw I replied to this thread the first day it was posted, but my post is gone!!

    Okay, try again: I have bilat neuro loss, diagnosed in childhood. I do not wear aids because I can hear sounds/noise, I just have trouble distinguishing words. Aids don't help that. I have been in the ER for 18.5 years. My docs and coworkers know I have a hearing problem (sometimes we all laugh about it!) but it has not interfered with my work. If I don't hear an order I ask for it to be repeated. If it's a critical situation where all my orders are verbal, everyone is going to be speaking loud enough for me to hear it.
  12. by   erdaynurse
    There is an NP in our ER who has worked in ERs as an RN and NP for many, many years. She wears bilat hearing aids. She does a great job and I have no concerns about her competence at all!