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Communicating Effectively with Someone Who is Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing - Essay Example

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Communicating Effectively with Someone Who is Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

Barnett (2002) states that effective communication is essential and will undoubtedly lead to good outcomes in assisting patients. Effective communication will lead to better management in healthcare. There are important skills that could significantly facilitate communicating with patients who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and these skills will be discussed in this essay. B. Skills that contribute to effective hearing According to Power and Power (2004, p. 350), acquisition of communication skills enables students to work effectively as healthcare providers. Skills required to deal with particular patients depend on the individual and will vary with age. Steinberg et al. (2006, p. 262) add that the majority of those with hearing issues are elderly. They report poor health as compared to general population, an issue which is attributed to communication. Effective communication helps the deaf and those hard-of-hearing to give their medical history and have appropriate intervention. The health care provider is required to assess the deaf or hard-of-hearing person’s background, language knowledge and level of education to select the best skills to use in communication (Samady et al., 2008, p. 480). Barnett (2002) notes that the deaf or hard-of-hearing use sign language, especially if they grew up with the challenge from childhood. Some learn to use visual language such as reading of lips. Those who become deaf or hard-of-hearing in adulthood experience hardships in mastering communication skills. However, they have the advantage of having been able to speak; therefore, it becomes easier to communicate in the same language. Power and Power (2004, p. 350) reveal that a combination of verbal and non-verbal skills is required for effective communication with deaf or hard-of-hearing patients. These skills include speech reading or lip reading; writing; listening to speech; mastering a system of visual language; and visual aids or using an interpreter. For effective communication, a combination of one, two or more of the skills may be necessary. Speech reading is common with people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. They learn as they grow, depending on the common language used. The major challenge with speech reading is that not all speech sounds are represented on the lips during speech. For speech reading to be successful, there should be a distance and enough light to see the lips of the speaker. The conversation should not be done in a hurry. Avoid sounds that may cause discomfort (Meador & Zazove, 2005, p. 219). Lezzoni et al. (2010, p. 356) claim that visual aids have been successfully used and can be used in the healthcare context. Healthcare providers can use diagrams, pictures or charts to make clarifications and show medical terminology. Those who can only hear will listen and only give gestures as a reply. They may nod, smile, shake hands and use other gestures to communicate. The gestures will vary depending on the community where they live. O’Hearn (2006) adds that visual aids should be clear and correctly labeled. When they are used, they should be placed close to the speaker so that eye contact is maintained. Visual language is ...Show more
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Communicating effectively with someone who is deaf or hard-of- hearing Customer Inserts His/ Her Name Customer Inserts Grade Course Customer Inserts Tutor's Name (10, 08, 2012) Outline: Part A 1. Verbal and Non-verbal Communication Skills/Factors A. Introduction B…
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