#DeafSuccess: Lindsey Schouten, Registered Nurse

Jan 22, 2020

[Subtitles available in English & Spanish | Subtítulos disponibles en español y inglés]

Video description: https://tinyurl.com/rt8dvao




Text, hashtag deaf success.


LINDSEY: I wanted to get involved in medicine, because I noticed when I was little that a lot of people didn’t provide accommodations for deaf people.


Lindsey woman signs.


It was all hearing people, and something needed to change. There needed to be more deaf people involved in the conversation, because they understand what they need in medical situations.

One of my mentors prompted me saying, you should try it. She’s an ER nurse, and she said, I think you can do it. I looked at her surprised and asked, really? She then replied, yes. In fact, I’ve already signed you up. I couldn’t believe it.


Text, Registered Nurse Lindsey Schouten. Photo of Lindsey in scrubs, hairnet, putting on surgical mask.


When I first started the nursing program, it was tough, because some people were not accepting of having a deaf person in that program. This particular program was not designed for deaf people.

My mentor helped the department modify their policies. For example, their policy didn’t allow outsiders to be involved, and an interpreter was considered an outsider. So when I came on board, I made an argument in favor of hiring an interpreter. They decided to hire one through a college contract.

I had to advocate for myself to get what I needed to make it work. If there was an emergency, I would ask my coworker to make a phone call for me because I can’t use a traditional phone. That was just one of the small accommodations that I had to make it work.

My stethoscope connects to headphones, and it sounds much better. One can hear more with it than with a traditional stethoscope. Once, a heart patient went downhill fast, and we needed to identify the problem and act quickly. So I used my stethoscope and informed the doctor what I was noticing.

The doctor asked if they could use my stethoscope, and in doing so, they were able to hear clearly and identified precisely which valve had the blockage. They were able to hear that.


Photo of Lindsey and another nurse in scrubs, hairnet, and surgical mask, carefully take off gloves. Photo of Lindsey in nurse scrubs wrapping something around waist of a patient.


My first two times in the emergency room were hard, because I didn’t know the protocol and procedures. So that was a process. But after a few times, I was able to catch on and knew what to do when something happened.

It’s not like what you see on TV. On TV, it’s constant chaos and a lot of things happening, but that’s not what the ER is like in real life. I enjoy the ER because I never know what to expect.

There could be a car accident, a shooting, a stabbing, or a heart attack. It always varies, and I learn something new with each new patient. You just never know what you’ll see.


Text, hashtag deaf success. Black and white side-by-side photos of Lindsey in graduation cap and gown and Lindsey in nurse scrubs, hairnet, and surgical mask. National deaf center dot org

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© National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes
Video licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International

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Topic(s): #DeafSuccess
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