Medical and Healthcare Deaf Awareness
I have typeset my HOWTO on a piece of A4 paper that I can just chuck to the printer before appointments and take copies with me. The content is typeset for the web below, please feel free to take, use, change any part of it for yourself if you think it is useful.
Benefits so far
- It helps me prepare before appointments for what I need to insist upon for access reasons and plan how I might make requests clearly, assertively and firmly.
- The HOWTO which was paperclipped to the front of my file enabled the receptionist to get my attention visually and not verbally and stopped her from being grumpy with me when her colleague had started talking to someone else so I assumed she was finished with me and my registration was incomplete. Normally people get really angry at my difficulty knowing when hearing-people conventions for conversations are over.
- It reduced the rudeness from a medical staffmember when I discovered the consultation was happening in a room with other patients+staff in it meaning I had to insist very firmly on being seen in a private consultation space.
- It reminded staff why my partner was present as communication support in the appointment and was providing me with prompts and checking my understanding.
- It reminded staff members to speak clearly, audibly and repeat things when I asked for it as well as encouraging them to look for signs that I was tiring e.g making less sense, or not following instructions properly so they could give me short (1 min or so) breaks and be extra patient.
- The doctor I saw said it was very helpful as it allowed him to add in extra checks that I had understood what he was saying as my medical query and discussion was getting complex.
- I was thanked for sending this in advance alongside my request for a private room because it enabled clinical staff to understand how they could make things more accessible and recognise when I was struggling and what to do. It reduced their anxiety of dealing with an unknown deaf patient.
- It reminded me that even with all of that, hospital appointments are tiring and stressful and that it's OK to take some time to recover afterwards.
NHS Number: ##########
I am severely deaf in both ears and wear a hearing aid. I hear nothing without my hearing aid. My speech is not indicative of how well I hear.
Hearing and making sense of conversation with people I do not know is very difficult and tiring. I will have a familiar person with me to assist me with communication.
My hearing aid does not give me 'normal' hearing - it amplifies everything. Background noise (especially conversation) makes understanding speech more difficult.
I rely heavily on lip-reading, facial expression and body language to make sense of the sounds I hear.
I need to be able to see the speaker at more than half a metre away to lip-read effectively. It takes time to switch focus from one speaker to another — it is helpful if new speakers can get my attention before speaking. I can only follow one speaker at a time.
If I mishear something I am likely to give an incorrect or nonsense answer. I often do not realise I have misheard or misunderstood. If you think I have done this, please tell me.
I need extra time to process speech and make sense of what I have heard or decide if I need to ask for something to be repeated. This is in addition to the time needed to perform an action or answer a question. I may need a longer appointment.
My auditory memory is poor, it is helpful to have information about the appointment findings and outcomes in writing afterwards.
page last modified Sunday, 22-Apr-2018 12:39:32 BST