I am proud to be writing a series of articles for Ida Institute on person-centered care. This first article is about what person-centered care means to me — the hearing loss patient. The next four articles will discuss each of the main tenets of patient-centered care in more detail. I look forward to sharing these articles with you over the next several months.
I share an excerpt from the first article below. To read the full article click here.
To hear a captioned recording of me talking about patient-centered care, click here.
My Audiologist Experiences
For most people with hearing loss, an audiologist is the first hearing care provider they see. The influence an audiologist has on their new patient’s hearing loss journey cannot be overstated. It certainly was very important for me.
I arrived at my first audiologist appointment scared, uninformed and bogged down with the baggage of stigma. But despite a real concern that I was missing things in class, I was sent home without any new skills or devices that could help. The audiologist did not even suggest that perhaps a different seat in the classroom could be helpful. Thinking back on it now, this standard of care is very disappointing.
I have seen several audiologists in the years since that first visit. Only one asked me which hearing situations were most important to me. Only one (a different one) tested how well I heard when wearing my hearing aids. None recommended hearing loss support groups or shared communication best practices with me.
My care focused on which hearing aid to purchase rather than solving my communication problems. Only through my advocacy work and by meeting other people with hearing loss have I discovered the tips and tricks that I use today to lead a productive and happy life despite hearing loss.
Person-Centered Care in Four Easy Steps
Person-centered care could have alleviated many of the problems I faced in the early years of my hearing loss. In this series of articles I look forward to describing what person-centered care means to me as a patient. The four main parts include:
1. Partner With Your Patient
2. Make Your Office Hearing Loss Friendly
3. Embrace Creativity
4. Think Beyond The Technology
Click here to read the full article on Ida Institute.
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