“Communication Strategies for Nurses Interacting with Deaf Patients” by Christine Chong-hee Lieu et.al, explains how communicating with deaf patients can be challenging for nurses. The language barrier often makes explaining a deaf patients medical situation difficult for the nurse, which leads to little or no understanding by the patient of what is happening. Providers need to understand, while paper and pen may be ok for some hearing impaired patients, it is not always an option for others. “Despite the ADA (American Disabilities Act), many hospitals staff members fail to provide interpreters for their deaf patients due largely to cost, inconvenience, or ignorance of their legal obligation” (Christine Chong-hee Lieu). There are indeed ways to break barriers between nurses and their deaf patients by understanding deaf culture, knowing deaf rights, and simply by finding the best way to communicate with the deaf patient.
Learning how deaf culture works is the best place to begin a good understanding, of deaf patients as a people. Deaf people are usually members of their local Deaf communities. They often have social gatherings just as any other community would do. “English language proficiency levels may very because English frequently is learned as a second language” (Christine Chong-hee lieu). American Sign Language is often the first language learned by deaf children. Nurses should be aware that when given the best opportunity to understand medical information, the deaf patient will usually grasp it completely.
Having a disability, is not commonly how deaf people view their hearing loss. However, being hearing impaired is legally considered a disability and therefore deaf people are protected under the ADA. Protection under the ADA means that caretakers are accountable for making sure that deaf patients are given options for communication. Members of the family, though they may sign, are not what the ADA’s intention for...
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