Why Audiologists Should Partner With Their Patients

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This is the second article in a series I am writing for Ida Institute on person-centered care. The first article was about what person-centered care means to me — the hearing loss patient. This second article discusses the first tenet of person-centered care: Partner With Your Patient. I look forward to sharing the remaining articles with you. 

Below find an excerpt from the second article. To read the full article, click here. 

My name was called and my heart jumped. I was here to get my hearing tested. It wasn’t the first time, but I knew my hearing problems had gotten worse. This time it was likely the audiologist would recommend hearing aids. I didn’t want them, but I knew it was time.

I didn’t know much about hearing loss or the types of hearing aids that were available. I had never heard of assistive listening devices or communication best practices for people with hearing loss. I expected lots of questions about where and when I had trouble hearing, but the conversation centered on the hearing aids. Did I want them to be visible? To have different programs? What was my budget?

I walked in scared, impressionable and looking for help. I walked out much the same way, but with a pair of hearing aids on order. A successful visit for my audiologist, but not for me. Once my hearing aids arrived, I had little motivation to wear them and a limited understanding of other things I could be doing to improve my chances for better communication. This could have been avoided if my audiologist had practiced person-centered care, especially the first tenet — Partner With Your Patient.

Click here to read the full article on Ida Institute.

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4 thoughts on “Why Audiologists Should Partner With Their Patients”

  1. Excellent article. Points are well made. I so relate to the points made. My audiologist is caring but not invested in my care. Your hearing aids are only as good as your audiologist.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      A great partnership with your audiologist can make all the difference. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      1. Agreed! I’ve been lucky in having several especially good audiologists/dispensers (who have become friends) over almost-20 years. If the provider doesn’t suit, search for another one! I know it’s not always possible; in many communities there are not many choices. Then we have the licensing confusions in what people can call themselves and provide, not to mention being ‘locked into’ a brand due to warranty rules, etc. But look around; consider trying a different brand, etc. This assumes you can afford to do so, and that the time is right. Some of the less expensive solutions (in America) are definitely worth considering these days! Much is changing.

      2. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
        Shari Eberts says:

        Good advice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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