Health students learn sign language for deaf patients

Health students learn sign language for deaf patients

ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Health students learn sign language for deaf patients

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A total of 61 health students have begun working in state hospitals across Istanbul after completing a 10-week course on sign language as part of a project entitled “Health without boundaries.” 

The initiative was jointly carried out by Marmara University and Turkey’s Beyazay association.

Marmara University’s Vocational School of Health Services conducted the 120-hour project, which aims to ease communication between graduates and hearing-impaired patients with the support of Beyazay.

“The essence of the project is to help and communicate with hearing-impaired patients at the radiology units during examination processes and afterwards by learning sign language,” said Nuran Akyurt, an assistant professor doctor at the university, adding that the Beyazay Association supported the project voluntarily with its 11 translators. 

With the completion of the basic education, the students engaged in practicing their newly gained skills at hospitals’ radiology, tomography and MR units. 

Akyurt said such a project was initiated for the first time at a university and that despite the demands from other departments, they conducted it with only 61 students due to a lack of trainers but aim to extend the project to other departments next year.

“This is a very basic issue. A hearing-impaired patient goes to a doctor; an injection will be made, or their blood pressure will be measured or sugar/blood test will be done. How will the personnel communicate with these patients? They will need to say ‘open up your sleeves, give your finger.’ They can’t say this or the patient doesn’t understand what they say,” said Beyazay Association President Lokman Ayva, adding that the project was a crucial area of service and that positive steps would be taken with the Health Ministry in this regard.