Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Delbert M. Raymond

Second Advisor

Delbert M. Raymond

Third Advisor

Michael Williams


This paper presents an analysis of various aspects of hearing loss and its connection to healthcare settings, particularly nursing. Normal hearing is defined, followed by the definition of hearing loss and deafness. Cultural Deafness is then explained, followed by ways to prevent hearing loss. Additionally, healthcare experiences of individuals with hearing loss will be presented. The project will conclude with recommendations for healthcare professionals in regard to caring for their patients with hearing loss. The main population focus of the paper are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) individuals. Specifically, their unique experiences in healthcare encounters will be evaluated. Interactions with healthcare workers in settings such as hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent cares, and physician offices are presented. The goal of this project is to review published literature as well as generate new data in order to evaluate whether or not hearing loss contributes to health disparities for Deaf/HOH patients. A health disparity is identified when a certain population of individuals experience poorer healthcare outcomes based on specific differences and disadvantages. The project population of interest includes all members of the Deaf/HOH community, which can include ASL interpreters as well individuals that identify as Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Recommendations made herein arise from the reviewed literature and from the voices of the target population based on their healthcare interactions.

Included in

Nursing Commons