Sorry folks I can’t find where I got this from at this time!!
‘Hear’s’ what patients want
Those difficult early years of experiencing hearing loss stay with me, however, and I’m not the only one. People with hearing loss remember their first visit to an audiologist’s office. They experience high hopes alongside great worry. Here are five things I—and other patients—want from audiologists during that first visit and throughout our care.
- Acknowledge our hearing loss story. Some stories are traumatic—others less so—but every patient has one. Give all patients a little time to talk. Ask why we’re there and listen to our answer. Your response has a big impact on the likelihood we’ll continue treatment. Offering upbeat yet realistic expectations for what we can accomplish also helps us accept the diagnosis.
- Provide accommodations at your office. Your receptionist should be welcoming and easy to understand, even over the phone. Speaking clearly and while facing the patient is critical. Consider investing in a hearing loop for your office. Not only does it show respect, but it can also be used to test the t-coil in your patients’ hearing aids. Provide a written summary of each visit including audiogram results and recommended action steps. This makes us more likely to follow your advice.
- Focus on hearing solutions, not products. Be sure to explore your patient’s priorities for hearing better. Do they work and need a captioned phone? Attend the theater often? Dine out frequently? The more you know, the more appropriate solutions you can offer.
- Keep up to date on hearing assistive technology. New devices are constantly coming on the market to help people with hearing loss watch TV, enjoy dining out and more successfully, and attend a lecture or live performance. Stay current on innovations to better integrate these items into your patient’s hearing loss tool kit.
- Bridge a link to the broader hearing loss community. Your patient looks to you for answers. Explain the risks of untreated hearing loss, the latest scientific research and where she can go to learn more. Suggest the patient meet other people with hearing loss through a local HLAA chapter or similar group. A strong community for your patient helps support better hearing.