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Hard of Hearing, Where Can I Work?

Nurse Beth   (168 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

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Dear Nurse Beth,
I am a hard of hearing nursing student. I am actually working as an LPN in a nursing home. Going back to school for my RN. I would like some advice on which setting I can practice. 

Dear Hard of Hearing,

Congrats on going back to school! When you apply for a job, you are not obligated to tell your employer that you wear hearing aids or have a hearing loss unless you are requesting an accommodation. Pre-employment, an employer may not ask about any physical impairments. You can apply to any setting you prefer, and practice nursing in any setting as long as you can perform the job.

You will need to be able to hear breath sounds and heart sounds in a clinical position.

Since you are working as an LPN, you may already have an amplified stethoscope. 

Organizations

You are not alone-there are many organizations that support nurses with hearing loss and other disabilities.

The Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses (amphl.org/) advocates for all healthcare professionals with hearing loss.

Know your rights. On the Exceptional Nurse website, read about a hard of hearing LPN attending a RN nursing program who successfully sued the college for discrimination when they attempted to block her education.

The National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities  and the Society of Nurses with Disabilities  both provide resources.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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