Deaf Culture

This week we focused on the Deaf culture. I didn’t know that deaf was really considered a culture until I started reading some of the information this week. I learned a lot about healthcare and the deaf population. The number of deaf people in the US is increasing because people are living longer, people are more exposed to loud sounds, and increased screening with newborns. People who use ASL as their primary language are at risk for inadequate assessment, limited access to treatment, insufficient follow-up, and poorer outcomes. Statistics also show that the deaf culture doesn’t use preventative services very often. Because of this, they are more at risk for cardiovascular complications, obesity, anxiety, and depression. This culture is also more at risk for unplanned pregnancies, intimate partner violence, and STIs. This is probably related to lack of education on medical topics and not being able to communicate clearly with healthcare professionals. One of the people in my group shared information on cochlear implants in children. Many deaf parents want their children to get the implants so that they can adjust to and live in the US better. However, the parents are worried that the child won’t be able to learn ASL if they get the implants. From this weeks information, I have learned that it is very important to use a translator if possible. It seems like there are many problems with communication with this culture. It’s also important to make sure that you and your patient understand each other so that no complications occur.