Wegmans School of Pharmacy Students Participate in Deaf Strong Hospital Program
On Thursday, October 22, the Wegmans School of Pharmacy administered the Deaf Strong Hospital program for its students. The program, which is the only one of its kind in the country, is a role-reversal exercise that involves students consulting "health providers" who are actually members of the local deaf community. The goal of the program is to teach students patience and empathy, characteristics which will serve them well in their future careers as pharmacists.
The event was broken down into multiple parts. First, the Deaf Strong Hospital role-reversal exercise was conducted. Students were given cards that described their "illnesses," and they navigated through doctor's offices, the ER, or the pharmacy, depending on their scenario. The key was that they were not allowed to use their voices.
Next, a panel of deaf community representatives discussed their experiences within the healthcare system. They provided suggestions for improvements, and told the pharmacy students about issues they might need to consider as providers.
The program ended with a debriefing session, during which participants were divided into small groups made up of a deaf community member, a faculty member, an interpreter, and 7-8 students. The students were encouraged to discuss what they learned from the experience, and share their thoughts and comments.
Deaf Strong Hospital was made possible through collaboration with the National Center for Deaf Health Research, and the Deaf Health Community Committee. These groups assisted the School of Pharmacy by preparing all of the written scenarios, recruiting volunteers, and completing much of the organization and set up for the event.