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I’m a nurse because…

I love being involved with the care of patients to make it a good experience for them. I’ve worked in many different wards, I’ve been a Sister and one of my proudest moments was being awarded the Florence Nightingale Award.

Born with severe to profound hearing loss, when I started my career it was difficult to get accepted onto training, but I kept applying until I was. My friends and colleagues have supported me throughout.

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), I was redeployed from the Same Day Admissions Unit to the Vaccination Hub. At first I struggled with the noise and people wearing masks, so I made changes to allow me to carry out my job safely. I ask the patient closed-ended questions so they can shake or nod their head and the administrator who works with me, who wears a visor, will repeat anything so I can lip-read them.

At my hospital I’ve taught deaf awareness to hospital staff, I’ve introduced Sign Translate to allow deaf people access to an interpreter via a webcam and, most recently, I introduced ear stickers for the vaccination programme to alert others to the patient’s hearing loss.

I love being an advocate for deaf people; it’s important to be positive and keep trying!

Samantha Penney