Communication Strategies for Nurses Interacting With Patients Who Are Deaf

Christine Chong-hee Lieu, BA; Georgia Robins Sadler, PhD, MBA, BSN; Judith T. Fullerton, PhD, CNM, FACNM; Paulette Deyo Stohlmann, MSN, RN, OCN


Dermatology Nursing. 2007;19(6):541-544; 549-55. 

In This Article

Accommodating Deaf Patients in Non-Hospital Settings

Patients have suggested that closed captioned televisions, TTY/ TDD phones, and other modes of communication for the deaf should be readily accessible in clinic waiting rooms and similar non-hospital settings in which they may be waiting to receive care (McAleer, 2006; Munoz-Baell & Ruiz, 2000; Phillips, 1996). Pagers or vibrating devices could be provided to clients who are waiting their turn as a means of alerting them that they are being sought by the clinical staff (Baker, 2002; Iezzoni et al., 2004; Ubido et al., 2002). A numerical display could be utilized to indicate the order of service (for example, in pharmacies and laboratories).

Hospitals and clinics also can require deaf awareness training for all health staff. Current contact lists of trained ASL interpreters and other interpreting services should be available readily through the hospital operator to provide 24-hour service to deaf patients (Baker, 2002; Tamaskar et al., 2000). This would be particularly important in emergency room settings, when the need for interpretive services could not have been anticipated.


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