Sarah is a deaf nurse working through barriers in the medical field! Special thanks to AMPHL for supporting future deaf and hard of hearing medical professionals! #DeafAtWork
[VIDEO DESC & TRANSCRIPT: Sarah is seated in a doctor’s office. The NAD logo is at the bottom right corner.
SARAH: My hospital has never had a deaf nurse before. So I told them I needed a special phone. I work with them to help them understand what I need. Also, I asked for a clear mask so I can understand the patients and doctors because I read lips. Another thing I did was to ask the doctors to communicate with me face to face, it was better than using the phone, so the doctors now approach me face to face to communicate with me.
Black and white close up clip of Sarah using her stethoscope on a patient. In the center, a white border surrounds white text “SARAH” underneath, appears in white text “REGISTERED NURSE”.
SARAH: My name is Sarah and I’m a deaf nurse!
Black and white close up of Sarah’s nurse robe and stethoscope on her neck.
SARAH: I was mainstreamed growing up. I went to University of Michigan, then I went to Loyola in Chicago for graduate school, majoring in Neuroscience but I wasn’t happy. So, I transferred to the University of Detroit Mercy to become a nurse. And now, I’m currently in school to become a Nurse Practitioner.
Black and white close up of Sarah putting blood pressure wrap on a patient.
SARAH: I wanted to be a doctor growing up, but when I went to college, my advisor told me I couldn’t become a doctor. I thought about it and figured I could go to graduate school and be a Neuroscientist but I wasn’t happy. I went back to medical school in the Bahamas but failed. After that, I went home and I didn’t know what to do next. My grandma was a nurse and she told me being a nurse gave her the best years of her life. So, I tried it, became a nurse and I’m very, very happy! Right now, I’m studying to become a Nurse Practitioner, it’s similar to being a doctor but with a different journey.
Black and white clip of Sarah examining the blood pressure wrap on a patient.
SARAH: I go to the hospital around 7 in the morning. First, I meet with the night-shift nurse and I ask her about the patients for the day. She gives me the report then I meet with the nurse assistant, and we talk about the plan for the day. After that, I start meeting patients for their medications, help them get dressed, help them go on a walk, or whatever else they need help with. Then around 11 AM, I consult with the doctors, physical therapists, and other people to discuss all patients on the floor. Afterwards, I continue my rotations with my patients — giving them medicine, talking with patients and their families, and whatever else that needs to be done.
Black and white close up of the blood pressure wrap while Sarah watches the stethoscope.
SARAH: It’s challenging because hearing people don’t understand, a lot of the doctors and nurses don’t understand that I’m deaf. I have to advocate for myself a lot. I have to educate others and help them understand who I am, why I have a special phone, why I have a special accent, and why I have a special stethoscope. It’s challenging, but… I have hearing nurses that have helped me a lot!
Black and white close up of Sarah checking the patient’s charts on a binder. White text appears at the bottom center, “At the hospital, I have to use a special phone because it allows me to use relay and protect the privacy of my patients.” Light blue text “- Sarah” and a light blue line outlines the left side of the text.
SARAH: You want to have a good resume, be prepared for the interview, and know if you need an interpreter or not. You want to know what you’ll be talking about, have your questions ready and be proud of yourself. Don’t be scared, you will be fine! Don’t accept ‘no’ for an answer! Talk to your teacher or someone else you know that could be a doctor, a nurse, or a firefighter — talk to them, shadow them and ask them questions.
Black and white close up of Sarah’s face. Video cuts to a dark blue background. Red alphabet letters of “N-A-D” in American Sign Language appear one by one in the center of the video. The copyright text appears in white underneath, “National Association of the Deaf, Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved”.]
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