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Salford student becomes first deaf male nurse


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.


Readers' comments (4)

  • i think it is fantastic that this nurse has gone thru the nursing system and qualified well done... i am so pleased that his learning needs have been recognised and embraced .. i am a dyslexic nurse and have been faced with predujice and barriers thruout my training , im now in my second year and hope this year will be beter than the last. i hope this gives hope to all future nurses with slightly different learning needs xxxx

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  • what on earth has his sex got to do with it, i have discriminatory practices thrown at me everyday at work, and these sort of 'headlines' do not help keeping us 'equal'

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  • The issue is not about gender the issue is about being a sign language user, one of approx 60,000 sign language users in Britian and having full access to health services. Deaf people live through oppression from a disabling society on a daily basis as such empowerment through professional education and practice assists the situation of this maginalised minority.

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  • I cam across this article today and it has given me a major boost in confidence! I am a 1st year Adult Nursing student and also profoundly deaf.

    I have had to overcome several obstacles to be able to get onto my nursing course. It is very empowering to know that there are deaf nurses in the profession and I hope I will be one of those nurses in 3 years' time!

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