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Deaf People Can Be Nurses

By October 19, 2006

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Did you know a deaf person can be a nurse? There is a severe shortgage of nurses in this country, and deaf people can help fill that gap. I have posted on the forum an excerpt from a book on disabled nurses - it was too long to post in this blog.

October 19, 2006 at 11:55 pm
(1) W. David Samuelsen says:

I know of a few deaf/Deaf nurses who still can not get employment.

The problem centers on the understanding by the employers, be it a major hospital range down to nursing home or Home Nursing programs that there have been technological advances putting the nurses with disabilities on same level as the ones without the disabilities.

October 20, 2006 at 3:58 am
(2) Rev. Jay Croft says:

The Bailey Deaf Unit at Greil Memorial Psychiatric Hospital, Montgomery AL would love to hire qualified RNs who use sign language.

Competitive pay and benefits. These are state positions.

October 20, 2006 at 1:02 pm
(3) Christina Sentelle says:

I am actually currently a Patient Care Techician and studying to become an LPN, I have long fought to be able to get into the Program but I did and have been the past two years, Being Deaf into Nursing shouldnt be an issue.. There is so many folks like us who needs us as a nurse.. So I am letting you know it shouldnt be an problem, as long as Proving that One can communicate by using very good and skilled Body Languages as it is being used 80 percent of times daily in Medical Enviornment.

January 7, 2007 at 12:45 am
(4) Gwen Ford says:

I have nerve deafness and started going deaf at 22. I am now 51 and I qualify for a cochlear implant,have excellent speach, and would like to get into an occupational field that doesn’t require strong communication. Do you have any suggestions on what type of jobs would be good. I would like to go back to college to become more employable……. Thanks Gwen

September 8, 2007 at 5:05 am
(5) Anne Greenwald says:

Of course deaf people can be nurses, I am one of them. I currently work in the OR and I do wear 2 BTE aids. I speak well, and recently became a candidate for a cochlear. Many of us out there in the world. See allnurses forum and Amphl, and National organization of nurses with disabilites(NOND).

October 8, 2008 at 1:14 pm
(6) Anne says:

hey everyone! I’m Anne n full deaf. i’m 17 years old…so anyone who are deaf nurse please tell me that deaf can be nurse! because of my votech school thinks deaf cant be nurse but finally they will let me tryout in nurse class for 2 or 3 days..so i knew that deaf can be anything same hearing people do! So please email to me to let me that you agree me that deaf can be nurse or anything! So, i can prove my school about! Please help! I really wanna PROVE THEM that DEAF CAN DO ANYTHING! Here’s my email address is xmissaiina@tmail.com….THANK for taking your time to help!

June 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm
(7) Tashonda says:

Hello, I am writing in regard to my niece who is hearing impaired and dreams of becoming a neonatal nurse. She has a moderate to sever hearing loss in her left ear and moderate hearing loss in her right ear. She does verbally communicate however, she uses sign language most of the time. She is self conscious of her voice because of the muffled soun however, we constantly encourage her to use her voice. I am writing to ask do others think this is an attainable goal for her or should we also look into other career choices. thanks in advance for helping!!!

October 25, 2008 at 9:19 am
(8) John says:

How on earth could you ever hear lung sounds, heart sounds, bowel sounds or take a manual blood pressure?

These are some of the reasons I would assume that deaf people couldn’t be a nurse.

I think the OR job would be possible but nothing with bedside assessment skills.


May 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm
(9) Kirsty says:

Theres nothing to stop someone with a hearing impairment being a nurse theres lots of technology out there to improve things for deaf nurses im currently in the third year of my nursing degree and have been told by many nurses my nursing skills are very very good

November 22, 2011 at 10:45 am
(10) andrew says:

u assume wrongly mister. hard-of-hearing people are more sensitive to sounds/noises than people who aren’t hearing impaired. so there’s never any problem in assessing lung sounds, heart, sounds, bowel sound or taking a manual blood pressure. i knew coz im a nurse who have a “hearing impairment”.

i only encounter problems when a doctor relayed an order about medications that im not familiar of.

im from the philippines.

December 27, 2008 at 2:58 am
(11) Veronica Anderson says:

YES Deaf people can be nurses. I am in my senior year in the nursing program. My teachers have never given me any problems. There are equipment the deaf and purchase to amplify the sounds of the heart rate and breathing sounds. Recently I brought a amplified stethoscope so I can hear the heart rate and breathing sounds. Also, those sounds are like vibrations. So you really feel them in your ear. So yes, Deaf people can be nurses.

January 11, 2009 at 8:36 pm
(12) Kay B says:

Hi, y’all! I’m looking to interview deaf nurses about the field before I send in my nursing program application. Is there anyone who’s willing to answer my questions? Thank you!

January 13, 2009 at 10:46 am
(13) Diana says:

I never new that deaf people can become nurses until I read an article about it in my english class. I think they have an advantage because they can use sign language. I think this is great!

March 4, 2009 at 12:50 pm
(14) anne says:

where did you go to school? i have a deaf son (19) who wants to be an np. we’ve been met with resitance by one community college already saying he’d never qualify because he’s deaf. any one with info plz e mail me….i would appreciate it. e mail is afreel@chartermi.net thank you so much.

July 5, 2009 at 5:54 pm
(15) Daniel says:

Hiya. i’m 17years old male, i’m really interesting to join nurse because i love help people & i’m deaf..been trying to ask for job it very difficult and make me angry & stressful because i’m deaf, it so wrong.deaf can be nurses there no excuse.. can any1 help me to make them aware that i can work in hospital. please email me or msn me.. sexy_dannyboi@live.co.uk Thanks Daniel

August 7, 2009 at 11:18 am
(16) Hannah says:

Hi. My name is Hannah and I am a licensed registered nurse and I am deaf (hard of hearing actually). I was reading some of the comments and noticed that some are struggling just to get into nursing school because they are deaf. Please visit this website. This may help guide you into some direction, but please do not give up. If you really want to be a nurse, please go for it. FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT! If I can do it, so can you.


Here are some guidelines from AMPHL about becoming a nurse and about getting into nursing school.


Good luck. Keep on pressing for your dream.


September 1, 2009 at 8:03 pm
(17) leah Lovett says:

Hi I am 15 years old and i plan to become a RN. I belive if you want to really become a nurse go for it. I am hard of hearing and i support anyone who wants to become nurses

October 23, 2009 at 9:37 pm
(18) susan says:

Hi- I am a hard of hearing nursing student right at this moment attending nursing school and loving it!! I am blessed to have a nursing director of the school believes in me and I just love her!!! when there is a way, there is a will. Right now io could use some one who been through nurse’s training to help me get through this training. Iwear 2bte’s
and have a severe hearing loss and I’m doing it!!!

November 20, 2009 at 4:13 am
(19) Tiffany says:

I am a deaf LPN myself and planning to become an RN in the coming year. I currently work at a deaf school, but I am seeking to work full-time at a nursing home. I know it is very tough and challenging to get a job anywhere. Therefore, I need some help on how to convince an interviewer to hire a deaf nurse with her/his abilities to work in a challenging environment. Or you guys can share your work experience with me. I m very desperate in finding a good job because I am a single mom with one son. Thanks

November 20, 2009 at 6:58 pm
(20) deafness says:

Given the high demand for nurses, I don’t think you should have much trouble finding a job?

December 27, 2009 at 3:16 pm
(21) Jessica says:

I’m a hard of hearing nurse. I purchased a amplified stethoscope and have learned to read lips and I do just fine in my clinical setting. I was the first disabled student to graduate from my program and passed my boards on the first try. One of my instructors told me I would never pass and that just made me more determined. My Coworkers understand and usually my patients never know unless I tell them. My husband has learned sign language because at the end of a 12 hour shift it’s easier for me to sign. Usually I don’t have any problems and my co workers are great to help if I need anything.

March 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm
(22) rebecca says:

I am a pre-nursing student and I am deaf. To date, I did not have any problem going through nursing school application and taking the required classes to get in nursing school. In fact, I have bee enjoying it. I believe whoever has the nursing career interest like me can be a nurse and can obtain any kind of nursing job.

Please find Deaf Nurses on Facebook!

August 24, 2010 at 3:46 pm
(23) Ricardo Aleman says:

Hi, my name is Ricardo Aleman and I’m deaf person.. I want to be Nurse or Doctor but one day i will going to Howard College in Big Spring, Texas. I want take a BA In 4years. So, hopefull y’all can to be nurse or doctor very very very soon as me.

Thank you.

February 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm
(24) LVD says:

IVe been a nurse for 30+ years and am now considered deaf. I wear bilateral BTE aids but can no longer practice. Nursing is more than assessment–it also entails phone conversations, being able to hear alarms and announcements and hear the speech of others–sometimes in emergency situations where asking for info to be repeated is not feasible and could be dangerous. For the past six years I’ve done some consulting and chart review, but this does not give me enough employment to be considered a real job. Although sign language, TDD and computer systems and lip reading (I lip read) do help, you cannot do the entire nursing process WELL with a hearing deficit. Call it vanity, but I just cannot give up my license or the right to use R.N. after my name.”

May 14, 2011 at 4:18 am
(25) rhonda says:

You are so right, LVD. I am in the same situation. I have had a BSN since 2004. I have been a floor nurse since graduation. I am just now getting to the point where I can not hear breath sounds, lung sounds, parts of pt conversations, ect. It is making my job so hard. I am dealing with “what do I do now”. I am realizing I AM liable for anything that happpens. I make a great nurse, but I am gonna be honest..I have limitations to what I can do.

October 26, 2011 at 11:35 am
(26) Rox says:

I applaud people experiencing deafness to pursue professions that truly call to them… but we have to consider the important role that certain professions serve. Become a nurse not only because you love the profession, but more importantly, because you can serve patients in any capacity that they need. It isn’t about you or what you can or cannot do… it’s about patients and making sure you provide them with the best and safest of care.
While deaf nurses (not referring to hearing impairment which ranges from severe to minimal) may be able to work in certain venues (IV nurse for instance), bedside nursing in a hospital may not be one of them.
Med-surg nurses… How do you hear the codes on the overhead paging system or the 5-10 voices yelling over each other during an emergency situation? We had a code on our unit the other day and the frantic inflection of the voices in the hall was what alerted me and brought me out to assist.
Neonatal nurses…. How do you hear the soft breath sounds of a newborn to tell whether he has been correctly intubated (something that has to be assessed within seconds to prevent lifelong disabilities) or the urgent request of the neonatologist when he is facing away from you? How can you tell new parents that the sounds coming from the newborn are normal (gurgles) or not (grunting)?
Delivery nurses… How can you hear the soft deceleration of a fetal heart rate quickly enough to respond and prevent an emergency situation? How do you count instruments in an urgent surgery when there is no time to have things repeated and the person is facing away from you?
The reality is that many people that arenít nurses don’t realize the extent of what a nurse does. There may be certain venues in nursing available to people with deafness (and these need to be carefully and thoroughly researched), but don’t set out to “prove” something for your sake and risk the life of a patient in the process.

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