Many Deaf people find visiting the doctor a stressful experience, but it is vital that communication barriers don’t stop you from going and interfere with your health. Before visiting your doctor, be sure of what you want to ask and the help you want to get. Tell staff at the surgery that you are Deaf and need an interpreter. It is the surgery’s responsibility to book an interpreter for you.
When you are with the doctor, be assertive. If you don’t understand what the doctor is telling you, ask them to repeat themselves. Ask as many times as you need to, and don’t leave not knowing what they said. It can be very stressful, but it’s important that you understand your health.
If your doctor gives you a prescription for medicine and you don’t know why, ask them to explain. Write down all the important information so you don’t forget.Our video “Cause For Concern” shows some of the difficulties faced by Deaf people when they try to use health services.
This video was made in 2010 by SignHealth and the NHS Deaf Children, Young People and Family Service (National Deaf CAMHS). Produced by Mutt & Jeff Pictures