Finding Hearing Loss Friendly Health Care Providers


I have this to be so very important

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On the “mumbling receptionists” on check-in, those folks do have the problem that they are asking you to confirm some identity-sensitive information (and possibly discussing HIPAA-sensitive information). I don’t think that you want them to shout that out to everyone within earshot. In the clinic that I go to, although there is a “Wait Here” holding point in the line, etc., the distance from there to the counter is not overwhelming and there are several stations along the counter for check-in’s where one is very close to being able to hear what a neighbor is saying if folks speak loudly.

I recently had a dermatology appointment where the doctor always faced me and spoke loudly and clearly in the exam room. He left me with a student assistant to finish making the next appointment. She had her back to me, was speaking softly, facing her monitor as she typed. I thought, “This is going to be tough!” So I said, “I’m sorry. I’m hard-of-hearing and am having trouble making out what you’re saying.” She smiled, replied, “No problem!” She turned, faced me and spoke in her normal voice and with the small room, tile floor and other hard surfaces, almost blasted me off the exam table where I was sitting! (I’m exaggerating just a little bit).

So I think if one lets folks know one needs some help, most will oblige. Kidding a bit here but just as once a upon a time there was the V symbol that some males wore when they had a vasectomy to advertise to willing females, perhaps there should be a “hearing impaired” sign that one could don at times when one felt one needed to alert folks that a little TLC would be appreciated - how about “HA - HA” (one “HA” for each ear?!).

Don’t mean to sound like a put down. I’ve always found my providers accomodating. But I’m sure there are clinics from hell. One of my sisters feels she works in a place that puts profit ahead of patient concerns so I have that within-family testimony.

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