Sunday, October 11, 2009

Salford student becomes first deaf male nurse

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A student from the University of Salford has become the first deaf male nurse to enter the nursing register using British Sign Language (BSL) as his first language.

Andrew Maxim graduated with a Diploma in Mental Health Nursing, making him only the tenth deaf nursing graduate nationally.

Mr Maxim has been offered a role as a staff nurse at the National Centre for Mental Health and Deafness, at Prestwich Hospital.

Mr Maxim said “To other people who are considering a university course – both deaf and hearing, I would say do it. It’s never too late for a career change and it’s been the best thing that has happened to me.”

Andrew’s personal tutor, Naomi Sharples, also Director of Mental Health and Learning Disability Nursing, said his achievement is remarkable.

“Andrew was a very calm and focused student – we were fortunate to have him on board.

“He had good rapport with his fellow hearing students, tutors, colleagues as well as clients. He is a sensitive and committed nurse who will be an asset to the team at the John Denmark Unit and to the deaf community.”

It was not until 2003 that the first deaf person qualified as a nurse; before 1999 deaf students were not able to study nursing because of the lack of learning and teaching support within universities.

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