In June 2012, we brought it to the hospital’s attention that their surgical unit was ill-equipped to interact with the hearing-impaired. My mother in law is deaf in one ear and only has 50% with a hearing aide in the other ear. It’s very hard for her to hear in noisy situations. I explained the incident to them asking about the ADA (Americans With Disability Act), and was assured they would look into it. Why don’t they have iPads so they can jot down what their asking her or telling her? She reads and speaks fine – she just has trouble hearing people. If she misunderstands your question, her wrong answer could impact her care. After communicating with their Patient Promise office, I was told they would look into it.
Last night, we had to take a trip to the ER when my mother in law was having back pains after her dialysis treatment that day and was having trouble breathing. As I sat there at midnight, each person that came in to take her for testing was not aware that she was hearing-impaired. I had to tell every single orderly. Why can’t they put some kind of symbol on the door that tells anyone on the hospital staff “hearing impaired” and interact with them accordingly? The symbol to the left comes up on a Google search, but even an internal hospital symbol (blue square?) would be useful.
The nursing staff in the ER last night was excellent, especially Jennifer. I hope they fix these issues soon and are in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act when dealing with the hearing impaired.