Tips for treating deaf patients

September is Deaf Awareness Month, these tips will help patients who are deaf have better medical experiences.

Growing up with deaf parents, I was able to experience firsthand what medical care was like for the deaf community. I was my parents’ advocate to make sure they were receiving acceptable accommodations which, sadly, I found often they were not.

I have also had a few deaf patients in my practice over the years and they really appreciate that I am able to communicate with them through sign language and understand deaf culture. My staff has become more sensitive to their needs and have even learned some simple signs to enhance the patient’s experience.

Frequently, I have had to advocate for my deaf patients by reaching out to his or her other providers, whether they were outpatient or inpatient, to ensure my patients’ needs could be met.

September is Deaf Awareness Month, so hopefully with these tips, we can help patients who are deaf have better medical experiences.

About the Author

Christine Marshall MD, MBA is a 2015 graduate of the University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts. She received her MBA from Davenport University and completed a family medicine residency at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA. Dr. Marshall is board certified in family medicine and obesity medicine. She currently works at LVPG Family Medicine–Richland Township in Quakertown, PA. She is also a clinical faculty member of a partnering medical school at the University of South Florida where she teaches and coaches medical students.