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Penny, Community Matron

Deal  |  Severely to profoundly deaf  |  One bone anchored hearing aid

My job

I am a community learning disability matron working for the NHS. I work with adults with a learning disability and associated difficulties such as challenging behaviour. I manage a staff team of 10 which includes nurses and health care assistants. My job with patients involves assessments, and nursing intervention such as producing easy read material and facilitating reasonable adjustments. As a manager I support staff, complete supervisions and appraisals and facilitate meetings. In my job I have to talk to others on the phone, face to face and in large group sessions/meetings. I love my job and I am passionate about making a difference to the lives of people with a learning disability. I am proud to be a learning disability nurse. It is the most rewarding job ever. I have been a nurse for 22 years and still love what I do.

My technology

To be able to do my job I made an application to Access to Work and received funding for the equipment that I was assessed to need. My employer also contributed to the cost of my equipment. My employer also supported me to have an office on my own as I was unable to manage in a noisy office environment.

My employer provided me with an iPhone rather than the standard work mobile. The iPhone has a setting that allows me to pair my Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) to it so that I can make and receive calls directly through my BAHA. I have a Mini Mic 2 that I use for smaller meetings. I also have a Roger Pen, Roger Table Mic, and Roger X receiver that I use for larger meetings. These products amplify speech, and send it into my BAHA.

The main barrier I faced was not being able to understand people on the phone and in meetings. My technology has removed this barrier for me.

How I got here

I completed a Diploma in learning disability nursing and then later on converted this to degree level – I am a qualified Band 7 learning disability nurse. I did three years training at university and then three years part time at university to convert to a degree.

My advice

My advice to deaf young people: Don’t let anyone tell you that you can't do something. If you stumble or fail keep going- you will get there. Focus on what you want to do and go for it.

(Since writing this case study Penny now also has a cochlear implant)