Jump to content

Nurses with hearing loss


Hi everyone, I am a nursing student that suffers from moderate hearing loss. My primary challenge is communication, as I haven't noticed any issues hearing bowel, lung, or heart sounds. To overcome these challenges I wear bilateral hearing aids, which have helped tremendously with communication, and I also chose to purchase an electronic stethoscope as a precaution. Since these purchases, I have little to no difficulty performing my daily tasks and communicating with my patients and any other members of their care team.

My question is for those who also wear hearing aids, and how you adjust when using your stethoscope. I've tried removing my hearing aids each time, which felt not only tedious, but I was also concerned about damaging or losing them; I've tried removing just one, so I was still able to converse comfortably with my patient if necessary, and so there was less of a chance of losing one; and I've also worn my stethoscope earpiece over my aids, which only works if I turn up my stethoscope volume to its max because my microphone is behind my ear, rather than in the ear canal. This also gets quite painful if I take too long with my assessment, and the sound is still not as clear as it is without them. There really aren't any other options for me due to the fact that my hearing aid manufacturer (oticon) has not yet released a wireless receiver, and I've already spent so much on my stethoscope (a Littman master cardiology with an eko core attachment) that I can't really justify or afford purchasing one that can use large headphones.

Do anyone of you have experience with similar situations? How have you managed? I'm open to any and all suggestions. Thanks in advance!

Edited by YouCanCallMeFrank

Dacatster, ADN

Specializes in Ped ED, PICU, PEDS, M/S. SD. Has 23 years experience.

I find wearing a hearing aid the wraps around your ear is easier to use because you can pop them in and out quicker. My biggest problem is if they get caught in face mask loop that goes around ears. So when I take mask of in a hurry my hearing aid flies across the floor. I don’t need the HA to auscultate sounds if I have a good stethoscope.

Thanks for your reply, Dacatster! That's probably what I'll continue to do, but it just seems so inconvenient! Especially when I have to ask my patients questions. I feel like I spend so much time popping them in and out, and I'm just worried that I'm going to lose or break one.


Has 1 years experience.

I saw Bell shaped ear pieces online for wearing a stethoscope with hearing aids.  Have you tried those?  They replace the plastic or foam ones.