Sign Language


Just looking to get everyone's opinion on this subject:

Do you think it is ]Valuable to know Sign Language?

]Do you think a hospital would take a canidate who knows sign language over someone who doesn't

]Do you get paid more if you know sign language?



Has 4 years experience.

yes i think its invaluable to learn it! i have looked into sign language classes at my community college. my cc has 4 different campuses all over the metroplex, and the one they offer sign language is almost 45 mins away. i am not a fan of the commute and that is the only reason i did not take the class. i don't believe its even offered online, otherwise i would take it!

i am not sure if a candidate who knows sign language would be hired vs someone who doesn't know sign language. the person who doesn't know sign language may have skills/strengths/experiences that could make them a better candidate without the sign language....

mama_d, BSN, RN

Specializes in tele, oncology. Has 10 years experience.

I can't say that knowing sign language in a traditional hospital setting would be an advantage...probably knowing Spanish would be better as far as a "foreign language" IMO.

However, when I worked at a pediatric facility that did long term rehab, you almost had to know some basic signs as many of the babies and toddlers had trachs or were severely hearing impaired. My name (given to me by one of the toddlers) was "silly nurse" b/c the first time I worked with her I hadn't learned any signs yet...she wanted to be suctioned and I took about fifteen minutes of pantomime, with her finally dragging me to the suction maching and getting out a suction kit, to figure it out. I had to laugh when one of the ST's told me what the sign for me meant.

thanks for your imput. I understand what your saying about the hiring piece of it. I was thinking the same thing

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

It's only valuable if you work with a population that uses it to communicate. Not many people do -- but in some environments, it can be very useful.

flightnurse2b, LPN

Specializes in EMS, ER, GI, PCU/Telemetry.

i am fluent in american sign language, as well as spanish and italian, and have never been paid more for it. asl comes in handy depending on where you work.

i worked EMS/ER for most of my career and i think that i came accross three patients who were deaf that actually knew how to sign. i have come accross many more hearing impaired patients who never learned. alot of people who are hearing impaired and are able to sign will usually have a family member with them who is able to interpret.

i would say never deny yourself more knowledge! BUT, i would say take spanish if you are looking at a foreign language. that has definately been a plus for me... it helps at work and also outside work.

I'm sure Spanish is more valuable in today's US but diversity (with ASL) is always a plus on your CV. :)

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