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Real People: Sarah Hein

My Name is Sarah Hein. I work as a Registered Nurse, an RN. I am from the Detroit area and the hospital I work at is Beaumont in Royal Oak, Michigan.


I started as a researcher. I did neuroscience research after I finished my undergrad, and I did that for a couple of years but I thought it was boring. So I started searching for a new job that I would love. My grandma told me to try nursing and I was like, “Okay okay fine!” So, I went to nursing school and I just fell in love with the field. When I started nursing school, it was hard because there is a lot of studying you have to do. After I graduated, I passed National Board Exam which was really difficult. A lot of people don’t pass on their first try. So when I did I felt really lucky. After that, I started looking for a job.


I work in a hearing world, so a lot of people around me are hearing. I am the only hard of hearing person here, so I use my speech and I lip-read. With my co workers though, they understand that I’m hard of hearing so they’re willing to help me out. If I need to talk to the doctor on the phone, I’ll text them instead. If I call the Lab I use a video relay service.


So my name is Vickie Rayburn I’m currently the administrative manager for half of the nine south orthopedic team. I communicate with Sarah verbally but we also use email, um, when I first contacted her, when she was hired, I had no idea, I didn’t realize that um, she was Hard of Hearing.


We did start texting and emailing a lot more frequently and it seemed to work for both her as well as myself.


It was, you know, we here at the hospital especially on this busy orthopedic unit, had never encountered this before? Um the hospital had never encountered this situation before, um, it was Sarah um, who brought this to our attention that the tools that we use every day to communicate, not only with the other nurses and the other departments within the hospital were not adequate for her and so we were really challenged um and we took on that challenge with Sarah, it was kind of a journey, but I think that we identified um, some tools that were, are very useful for her, um, so that she can do her job and do it well.


If I talk to patients we usually can interact just fine.


The hospital I work at is very nice. They’ve assisted me by giving me new hearing aids and a special new phone to communicate with doctors and everyone else. I also have a special stethoscope that amplifies the sound so I can hear what I need to.


I like to work in the community and help organizations learn more about health. Currently, a lot of deaf people do not understand how to be healthy. I am a board member of AMPHL, Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses. I am trying to set up a workshop to help more Deaf people understand the medical field and the importance of setting up appointments with doctors.


Last summer, I worked at a camp. I was the camp nurse for deaf and hard of hearing kids at the camp. I really enjoy mentoring deaf and hard of hearing children who may want to become a medical professional in the future.


Right now, I am applying to schools to become an NP, a Nurse Practitioner. I’m also searching for a possible new position either with children or an an emergency room.


Never give up. You can do it! Keep trying always. There will be a lot of barriers, but that’s okay. You can do it.



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