The stethoscope is a very important piece of equipment for a nurse, and technology is changing the quality of life for one nurse who is hard of hearing. It's made her rounds around the hospital more efficient.
When Clarissa Hardman has on her special stethoscope, it may look like she's listening to music, but it's far from it. She's the first person patients see to get their vitals checked. Clarissa admits that when she started her nursing career, it presented its challenges.
But she has since proven she can do the job at Baptist Health in Conway. "I almost wanted to hide my deficit because I didn't want people to think, well she can't do this or she can't hear that," she says. When Clarissa was a child, doctors diagnosed her with Alport Syndrome, which led to on-set hearing loss. After that happened, she still listened to her heart and found her calling to become a nurse.
"While I could hear just fine with a regular stethoscope, just having to take it out every single time, I mean we go through gloves and working in the emergency room in trauma, you have to move quick," she explains.
Using a regular stethoscope was timely and inconvenient. Clarissa puts on new gloves and removes her hearing aids to use the stethoscope. Once finished, she uses a new pair of gloves to put her hearing aids back in. "This one is so sensitive and it's so great and loud, I have it on the lowest setting," she says.
Clarissa applied for the "Smile and Nod Grant" to receive a highly advanced stethoscope for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. "In my 15 years in nursing, this is the most confident I've ever felt," she adds.