Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) affects 10 million Americans. The number of affected people is expected to increase as hearing loss is experienced by younger people and life expectancy expands. The problem of noise-induced hearing loss is very common among younger as well as older members of the orthopaedic population. These patients are at risk for experiencing difficulties in communication with care providers as well as family members. However, the nurse is in a strategic position to provide care that enhances communication and minimize problems associated with hearing loss. This article outlines several nursing interventions for caring for a patient with NIHL.
Marjorie McCullagh, PhD, RN, CS, COHN-S, is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at North Dakota State University, in Fargo, North Dakota.