Title

Nurse Practitioner Perceptions of Barriers and Facilitators In Providing Health Care For Deaf American Sign Language Users: A Qualitative Socio-Ecological Approach

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2017

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Background and purpose

Nurse practitioners (NPs), as well as all healthcare clinicians, have a legal and ethical responsibility to provide health care for deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users equal to that of other patients, including effective communication, autonomy, and confidentiality. However, very little is known about the feasibility to provide equitable health care. The purpose of this study was to examine NP perceptions of barriers and facilitators in providing health care for deaf ASL users.

Data Sources

Semistructured interviews in a qualitative design using a socio-ecological model (SEM).

Conclusions

Barriers were identified at all levels of the SEM. NPs preferred interpreters to facilitate the visit, but were unaware of their role in assuring effective communication is achieved. A professional sign language interpreter was considered a last resort when all other means of communication failed. Gesturing, note-writing, lip-reading, and use of a familial interpreter were all considered facilitators.

Implications for practice

Interventions are needed at all levels of the SEM. Resources are needed to provide awareness of deaf communication issues and legal requirements for caring for deaf signers for practicing and student NPs. Protocols need to be developed and present in all healthcare facilities for hiring interpreters as well as quick access to contact information for these interpreters.

Publication Title

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Volume

29

Issue

6

First Page

316

Last Page

323

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