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Lucas, student Nurse

Lancaster  |  Moderate  |  Two hearing aids

My studies

I share my time between university learning and being on placement, and working as a health care assistant on a stroke ward. This involves working with the nursing and medical team to care for are patients, for example personal care, emotional care, giving support at mealtimes, support to families, or escorting to procedures. At university I am learning the necessary skills to go from assistant to a registered children’s nurse.

My brightly coloured hearing aids with charms on them often open the conversation about hearing loss. It gives me a good opportunity to talk to colleagues about what it’s like to be deaf, which in turn better helps our patients. I like helping patients with their hearing aids, and even had much older patients ask where they can get a superman for their hearing aid! Talking about hearing loss is even more important in my studies. I want to show kids it’s okay to be proud of who you are and to show it off! Being able to help people is very important to me.

My technology

I have Disabled Student Allowance and have been given a Phonak Roger Pen (a radio aid transmitter) and I have integrated radio aid receivers in my hearing aids. A speaker will wear it or I can point it at the speaker, and this picks up their voice and sends it to the receivers in my hearing aids. It is very helpful for lectures, it can also work with specialist medical equipment like stethoscopes.

My university and workplace has been very accommodating and understanding with me being deaf. They are very good at knowing they may have to repeat something more than once and that I’m not ignoring them but that I’ve properly not heard them. It’s not always easy when working in a busy environment, especially on the stroke ward as some of our patients struggle with speech, so I rely on my lip reading frequently. It can get me down when I struggle, and that’s why it’s even more important to have a supportive workplace or learning environment.

The main thing I struggle with is hearing in busy environments and over longer distances like in lectures. The Roger Pen helps as it makes speech much clearer and helps drown out background noise.

How I got here

I completed my GCSE’s. I was meant to move onto A levels but completed an Access to Nursing course online instead, over the course of a year. That helped me get my job and helped me get into my current degree.

My advice

Don’t be ashamed of your deafness, but embrace it and be proud of who you are!