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The masks are making life hell!

Disabilities   (431 Views | 3 Replies)

heather7781 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Periop nursing.

553 Profile Views; 11 Posts

I am a nurse with moderate hearing loss. I use aids and they help but I find that I lip read a lot. Since covid and masking of everyone for entire shift I am constantly struggling. Being a nurse with hearing loss is hard as it is but this is crazy. A lot of my coworkers are very understanding and try to speak clearly or pull the mask down for a second when possible. But honestly the biggest issue is with the surgeons and anesthesiologists. Many of them are cool about it but many are jerks. If I need them to repeat themselves they don’t bother to hide their irritation. And don’t worry about speaking clearer or louder then the soft mumble they said it in the first time. I honestly have left work close to tears about it. Heck I’m close to tears writing this. These kinds of people really make me feel stupid. As if my stupidity is the reason they think I didn’t understand something. I was written up for the first time ever recently (another post explains) and although I can’t prove it I feel like some of the things in that write up, if it’s true at all, have to do with the providers that treat me this way. I really don’t know if there is anyway to improve this situation for myself. Does anyone else experience this?

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Mywords1 specializes in nursing ethics.

63 Posts; 909 Profile Views

Sorry to hear this.   They should sympathize but instead you get indifference and apathy. In my experience recently with moderate hearing loss, most people are not interested or care at all.  People in business will not repeat themselves even when I tell them I didn't understand anything,  because they spoke too fast, high pitch or mumbled. Shameful in a medical setting where communication is crucial. Masks are increasing the problem and no one cares. My veterinarian looks very annoyed when I tell him to repeat something, as if every word costs fifty cents. My advice is never take it personally--it is not your fault. Try repeating  a few words of what they said and hope that they finish the sentences. "So you are saying the patients temp. is high." Rephrase your question or their answer, say you are not hearing and it is not their fault--even though it might be. Or ask a staff what the doctor said.

 

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juniper222 has 2 years experience.

439 Posts; 2,795 Profile Views

Hearing loss is a handicap and should be treated as such.  Doctors of all people should know this!   It is not like you are just refusing to hear them. They need to accommodate your handicap.

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Kitiger has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics.

1 Follower; 1,124 Posts; 19,709 Profile Views

I almost always hear the vowels; it's the consonants that are so hard to decipher (high tones).When what they say doesn't make sense I repeat back what I heard. ("What I heard you say was . . . ") That way, they know exactly what it was that I missed. 

I also will sometimes ask them to rephrase it.

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