5 Ways Hearing Impaired Nurses Excel in Their Career

People think of nurses or those working in care facilities as people with hearing and able bodies. If not, how could they save people’s lives? These poor assumptions and biases are why the nursing industry needs a big shake-up, with more hearing-impaired nurses!

It’s the 21st century, and people must understand that medical services are diverse with many tasks, and not all require a hearing.

The challenges for hearing impaired nurses.

Let me be clear. Being a hearing impaired nurse can come with challenges. The road to nursing can be uncertain, especially if you don’t have role models or examples to help guide your career.

Getting accepted into nursing school with hearing loss

There are plenty of questions you might be thinking about if you are thinking of starting or continuing your career in nursing.

  • Will I get accepted with hearing loss?
  • What accommodations can I get in nursing school and at work?
  • How will I use a stethoscope to take manual reading?
  • What types of nursing work could I do?

Dealing with coworkers who don’t seem to care

Even in the profession and working, you still have to deal with your coworkers’ issues. Some other nurses will be impatient with your hearing loss and frustrated with making adjustments to engage with you.

And if you do ever encounter these people, you need to remind yourself that they are in the wrong career. The origin of the word the nurse is “that which nourishes.” Nurture and care are very much part of the job for patients and those around you. If they can’t make the small effort to communicate with you in ways you need, they can’t provide the level of care needed in the profession.

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Others are excelling as a nurse.

More and more deaf and hard of hearing nurses are showing up on social media and sharing their experiences working as nurses. If you are on Instagram, here are a few hearing impaired nurses excelling in their careers.

Instagram post of Deaf Registered Nurse (@justmecameil)

They’re not letting stigma and workplace challenges stop them from continuing to pursue the field. And you shouldn’t too.

Your Nurse Advantages

1. You can read body language well.

Some patients are either sedated or unable to speak, so relying on verbal communication is out of the question. However, you’ll be able to read their body language well.

While other hearing nurses will be trying to understand what the patient is saying, you’ll have the advantage of being able to read their bodies for what they cannot say. Hearing loss gave you the skill not to rely on verbal communication only.

2. You’ve got accessible tools in your toolbox.

There are clear facemasks that don’t fog up and stethoscopes that can connect to hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Yes, companies are making solutions to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the medical field!

3. Resilient is your middle name.

Your hearing loss is a life for resilience. The world was designed to use audio communication as a default. There is so much stigma around hearing loss, even from people with hearing.

If you can get accepted to nursing school and complete the education, you have managed one of the toughest parts of the career journey. You have achieved a difficult feat if you can get accepted into a competitive position.

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And for you to navigate life, despite the difficulties, it should tell you much about who you are.

4. You’re hard of hearing and deaf patients will love you.

It’s like Christmas morning when you unexpectedly meet someone hard of hearing or deaf at a place you’re not familiar with. Your patients will also be glad to see you. They will feel relieved they have one less thing to explain, and you’ll understand the best way to communicate with them.

Understanding hearing loss and experiencing hearing loss are two different things.

5. You’re not alone.

With all the identities one can have in this world, not all have groups for people in nursing or medicine. This should tell you that you are a majority. Many others, just like you, are thriving in the field.

Sometimes, it is nice to have a group of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in your field who understand what you’re experiencing so well.

Check out the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses or The DeafMed on Facebook for inspiration or connection to your peers. The one who will rally to support you when you need it the most.

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