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BSL in healthcare

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Hi there, 

My name is Shaun and I am a Paramedic. I recently read an article and watched a news segment about a difficult experience a deaf woman had following the death of her husband who had a cardiac arrest at home. These types of incidents are unfortunate for anyone but a communication barrier can worsen what is already a highly distressing and upsetting situation. My question is does anyone have any similar experiences of situations like this or any interactions with ambulance crews or healthcare staff who can communicate with BSL? 

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Hi. I don't know how common it is for healthcare professionals to be able to communicate with BSL, but I can tell you that I'm learning BSL myself specifically because I'm currently on the path to becoming a paramedic. I know it'll come in handy at times, and in times when people are in distress where using an alternative form of communication might be far more difficult or impossible, and so that's my main reason for learning. I don't know how common it is, or how encouraged it is in the healthcare system itself, all I know is I can't be the first.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm also ambulance crew, and know a couple of deaf colleagues. I certainly feel that it'll be useful to know BSL on the off-chance I come across a pt who communicates in BSL. There's plenty of alternative means of communicating with those who speak other languages (eg via a service such as LanguageLine), but I feel BSL is a lot more difficult. 

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