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Deaf nursing student shows the world why social media is such a powerful tool

June 2, 2019

Britny Bensman, an American nursing student, uses her Instagram account DeafMed to post inspirational videos, messages and tips to other aspiring deaf nurses.

Social media is a great tool for communication, especially for people with disabilities. This powerful tool can be put into full use with right measures. Like American nursing student Britny Bensman has been demonstrating.

Twenty-seven-year old Britny, who is a hearing impaired person, has been pursuing her course in the medical industry for the past few months. She started an Instagram page called DeafMed in 2016, where she posts inspirational videos, messages from other deaf nurses, and even tips on how to become a good nurse.

For a nurse, communicating well with patients is key to getting the job done right. Bensman always wanted to become a nurse but was denied the opportunity by many medical colleges due to her disability. She kept trying and eventually the Hondros College of Nursing in Ohio, United States provided her with all the resources needed for a deaf student. This included sign language interpreters during classes. Today, Bensman is a clinical medical assistant. The journey to her dreams is getting closer.

Bensman tells that she would be glad to share her views with international communities, and that would definitely make everyone happy.

I started DeafMed because we need role models and inspiration to show what we are capable of. I'am seeing deaf individuals getting accepted to schools. DeafMed is for a worldwide audience via social media. I want to spread awareness and show that we can work in the medical field-Britny Bensman, Founder, DeafMed

Indeed, social media can be a great tool to convey messages and communicate with people around you. Ruma Roka, Founder, Noida Deaf Society says that deaf people are very active on social media. Hence, the medium can be used as a tool to reach your messages to a wider audience.

"An initiative like DeafMed is really wonderful. Western countries are more developed as they have video relay services and interpreters. Nursing as a job profile for hearing impaired people can be challenging because they need sign language interpreters. But I'am definitely not writing it off for aspiring nursing students! You can create optimum training and support system. In India, deaf people have high chances to work as nurses. But it requires a lot of communication with patients. Deaf people must make full use of social media", says Ruma.

Today, social media is indeed one of the strongest and most powerful mediums of communication. There is a rapid rise in social networking sites that makes things easier. Any profession, regardless of the communication that it takes, can be easily pursued by people with a hearing impairment. Bensman proves that.

Atharv Beloskar, a hearing impaired student from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai also believes in the power of social media.

"I have not tried something like what Britny Bensman has done but it is a great initiative. It is a good thing that is happening and the only thing I would worry about is any hospital mishaps due to miscommunication between the nurse and patient, says Beloskar.

For this to be a success, the availability of good training modules is key. But Britny's initiative highlights the immense potential that lies in using such tools to communicate with a wider audience.

ALSO READ: Small touches that make a workplace inclusive for people with hearing disabilities

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