Chemo nurse learns sign language to help deaf patients

A chemotherapy nurse has taught herself sign language so she can better communicate with her deaf patients.

Dawn Bebbington, staff nurse on the Chemotherapy Unit at County Hospital in Stafford is about to complete Level One British Sign Language (BSL). Dawn’s motivation came from seeing deaf patients on the unit.

She said: “About 18 months ago, we had a patient who was deaf and came in for treatment.

“At first, I was very nervous about him coming in, I was worried that I might say something wrong, or do something wrong when I was talking to him.

“He’d come in with his interpreter and sit down and start signing, when Covid happened, so that had to stop for a while. But every single day I still learn something new, either from YouTube or BSL Zone or via video chats with friends.

“So every day I practice. And classes are just about to restart so that will be better, and I can complete the whole of Level One by the end of the year.”