What are Nurses/BSL User’s Understanding of Deaf People’s Specific Care Needs?
Aims: The aims of this study are to record understandings of participants and analyse the decisions and options they would conclude at, when deciding how to proceed with communicating for a member of the Deaf community to promote a high quality of care. This study will explore the experiences of Deaf, BSL users in healthcare as well as the experiences nurses have when caring for Deaf people. Background: Members of the Deaf community face barriers in communication when under the care of the NHS – a primarily hearing lead healthcare. Themes from existing literature have identified such barriers as: lack of awareness of British Sign Language (BSL) in health care staff, effects of the communication barriers on the nurse-patient relationship and a lack of BSL/English interpreters available. This study will explore the different experiences of Deaf people and nurses who work in the NHS to gain an insight into their understanding of the care needs required by Deaf people. Methodology: Through focus groups of 12-15 participants each, nurses will be asked to discuss their experiences caring for Deaf people and the challenges they faced, along with positive experiences. Additionally, Deaf, BSL users will be invited to discuss the care they were provided as an inpatient within the NHS in the same environment. Both groups will be asked to identify their understanding of specific care needs of Deaf people while in hospital and how they think communication can be improved using new or existing communication aids. Conclusion: It is hoped that the findings from this study encourage the implementation of new communication aids throughout NHS wards in Scotland. Additionally, it is hoped that the need for more research in this area will become evident and will inspire further investigation. Key Words: Deaf, BSL users, Nurses, Communication barriers, healthcare.