Face masks: The challenges of communication with hearing loss

Posted by Pindrop Foundation :: Blog Category Contributors

Face masks: The challenges of communication with hearing loss name

So if it weren’t for having cochlear implants I would not be at work this week or next week. Since going into level two, this time around we have to wear masks. So everyone in the hospital is wearing masks. With two hearing aids that would be like working in a pitch dark room. Excruciatingly stressful.

The facial expressions are gone, the clarity drops and the beautiful lips I have used as a guide since I lost my hearing at 3years old is hidden. I am now forced to really listen. Really listen. Concentrate. I managed a shift in the Emergency Department on Monday, it started off with me feeling “I can do this”.

Then as I looked around the room hearing a room full of muffled speeches I start to feel panic and overwhelmed. I took deep breaths, beginning to plan a way out, to say I’m sorry I’m out of my depth here... remember I’m not an experienced ED nurse, I only work there from time to time. I told my lovely colleague. She was reassuring. That’s all I needed, support and reassurance.

After the first hour went by I eased into it. I worked up patients, some of them children some of them elderly. As the day went on I got more and more confident.

Wow, I can hear with masks!! It’s an effort but I think it’s an effort for normal hearing people too. I’m so grateful