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Abstract

Anecdotal evidence suggests that most nursing school curricula do not provide formal training regarding the communication needs of hearing impaired patients. There is also a lack of continuing education opportunities related to hearing impaired patients and/or hearing devices to maintain nursing licensure. This project surveyed nurses’ self-acknowledged skills and awareness of special communication needs associated with hearing impaired patients at a medical center who may or may not wear hearing aids or have cochlear implants. The survey (Appendix I) consisted of two demographic statements and ten knowledge/skill statements developed by the authors. Given the rapidly growing population of aging hearing impaired individuals and the associated increase in hospitalization of the aging population, along with the findings of the survey conducted in this project, there is sufficient evidence to consider the inclusion of the communication needs of the hearing impaired patient in the nursing curriculum. Specific findings and recommendations are discussed.

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