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If You're Deaf, Can You Have A Career In Nursing?

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Thu, Oct 17, 2019 @ 03:16 PM

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To answer this question, we did some research and discovered the answer is Yes, a deaf person can have a career in Nursing. In this article, we focus on 3 Nurses who are making it happen.

For Dionne Jaques, becoming a Nurse was a goal of hers for many years. She knew it would be difficult to achieve this goal because she is deaf. Dionne never gave up. She fulfilled her goal and is a Registered Nurse in a health care facility in Southern Utah. During her valedictorian speech at Nightingale College graduation, she said "Don't let your limitations slow you down".

There are many people like Dionne whose passion is Nursing, like Annie Resetar. Annie has moderate to severe hearing loss. She graduated from Walsh University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She then interned at Akron Children’s Hospital and is currently working as an aide in a Nursing home.

Annie said, "I think my hearing disability sets me apart and makes me a better Nurse. It helps build trust with my patients. It is a testament that there are things wrong with all of us, but that should not get in the way of our lives and dreams. Rather, we simply must adapt and embrace these differences because they make us stronger."

Lauren Searls was born deaf and both of her parents are deaf. Her goal is to be a Family Nurse Practitioner. She received her RN degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and has applied for an MS in Nursing there.

According to the Rochester Institute of Technology, Lauren has relied on interpreters in the classroom and while visiting patients.

She said, "I go into the patients’ rooms with confidence, introduce myself, tell the patients that I am deaf and will rely on interpreters as needed. I have been able to make it work effectively. Although I do well in one-on-one situations and small group settings, I am not hearing and only 30 percent of the English language is lip readable and there is no guarantee that everyone speaks clearly or is easy to understand. Working with an interpreter is the only way I’ll be able to ensure I have access to what is going on around me.”

Nurses who are hard of hearing are legally entitled to use accommodations like ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters and tools such as amplified stethoscopes to assist them. To learn more about resources and accommodations, the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL) and the Society of Health Care Professionals With Disabilities advocates for deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals in the medical field.

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Topics: hard of hearing nurse, deaf nursing student, diverse nurse, nurses with disabilities, deaf nurse

Racial Disparities in Maternal Health

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Tue, Sep 24, 2019 @ 10:28 AM

pregnancyWomen of color in the United States suffer unacceptably poor maternal health outcomes, including high rates of death related to pregnancy or childbirth.

The Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System started in 1987 and since then, the number of reported pregnancy-related deaths in the United States increased from 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births to 17.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015.

Considerable racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality exist. During 2011–2015, the pregnancy-related mortality ratios were—

  • 42.8 deaths per 100,000 live births for black non-Hispanic women.
  • 32.5 deaths per 100,000 live births for American Indian/Alaskan Native non-Hispanic women.
  • 14.2 deaths per 100,000 live births for Asian/Pacific Islander non-Hispanic women.
  • 13.0 deaths per 100,000 live births for white non-Hispanic women.
  • 11.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for Hispanic women.

Variability in the risk of death by race/ethnicity indicates that more can be done to understand and reduce pregnancy-related deaths.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African American mothers die at a rate that's 3.3 times greater than whites, and Native American or Alaskan Native women die at a rate 2.5 times greater than whites.

Pregnancy-related mortality rates are also high among certain subgroups of Hispanic women. A Science Direct article says, pregnancy-induced hypertension was the leading cause of pregnancy-related death for Hispanic women.

The CDC report also shows roughly 3 in 5 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. But, the health care system fails to listen to diverse population's health concerns and so the maternal mortality rate keeps rising.

According to the Healthy People Final Review, Approximately 25% of all U.S. women do not receive the recommended number of prenatal visits.  This number rises to 32% among African Americans and to 41% among American Indian or Alaska Native women.

An article from the Center for American Progress believes there is little research on what social factors contribute to poor delivery and birth outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native women because of the small population size and racial misclassifications. But they do know these women face many barriers when it comes to getting healthcare.

The National Partnership for Women & Families explains African American women experience more maternal health complications. 

  • African American women are three times more likely to have fibroids than white women. Fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the uterus and can cause postpartum hemorrhaging. Also the fibroids occur at younger ages and grow more quickly for African American women.
  • African American women display signs of preeclampsia earlier in pregnancy than white women. Preeclampsia involves high blood pressure during pregnancy and can lead to severe complications including death if not properly treated.
  • African American women experience physical “weathering,” meaning their bodies age faster than white women’s due to exposure to chronic stress linked to socioeconomic disadvantage and discrimination over the life course, this makes pregnancy riskier at an earlier age.

The CDC report also shows that more than a third of pregnancy-related deaths were due to cardiovascular conditions. Cardiovascular disease is more common among black women and can occur at earlier ages than in white women.

It is very clear that health disparities have a lot to do with racism. Until it is addressed and programs are put in place to combat racism in healthcare, mortality rates will continue to rise.

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Topics: health disparities, Maternal Mortality Rate, maternal health, racism in healthcare, racial health disparities, pregnancy related deaths

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