Speech and Nursing/Nursing School



I just wanted to see what others feel about this position of mine, and whether I would have any problems. I start a BSN program tomorrow, but I have a bit of concern with my speech and what people will think about me. (And any complications that could arise.) I was born with a cleft palate and had tons of speech issues throughout my childhood mainly. From what my family has said, and from listening to my own recordings, I figure that the main problems I have now are with "S" sounds and having a somewhat nasally voice. However, I can pronounce pretty much anything (medical terms as well, just need to say it a few times to learn/perfect it.) But I'm finding more and more it makes me sound like a have some sort of lisp/gayish/not sure how to describe it voice. And sometimes if I'm not paying attention and speak to fast it can get somewhat unclear, especially if I have tons of words with s's. As for making the speech better, I don't really have money to spare (and soon probably time as well) on speech therapy, and really only relied on the public school's one when I was younger. I haven't had any real help with it since I graduated high school, and that was before my last major surgery (jaw corrective surgery). I probably won't be able to do anything to help improve it other than the at home stuff I'm doing now, not until I get a nursing job at least. And even that is not a guarantee considering the medical history involving my palate/jaw/mouth in general.

I obviously got through the interview part, so I do think they felt it wasn't bad enough to where I couldn't be a nurse... But my question is what kind of complications might I have? Are there even nurses with speech issues out there? If so what do their co-workers think of them, is it looked down upon? Do you think having this speech problem would make it hard to become a nurse? How bad would it look if I have to repeat something because I said something like "Student Nurses Association" (or any combination of too many s sounds) too fast?

I look forward to reading your honest opinions!

Specializes in Telemetry, Primary Care. Has 8 years experience.

There shouldn't be any "looking down" or discrimination with any type of disability. If someone does look down on others, shame on them and they shouldn't be a nurse. I honestly think you'll be fine. I've come across plenty of nurses and doctors with HEAVY accents, but they all get the job done right and the patient is A-OK. I think your speech should be the least of your worries.

And in regards to speech. Although I don't know anyone personally with a speech disability, my former classmates that have English as a 2nd language turned out to be great nurses despite a huge language barrier that made it difficult to pass nursing school and NCLEX for that matter.