COVID-19 has disrupted operations for both audiologists and people with hearing loss. Many clinics are closed, or open only for curbside service. But hearing health care doesn’t stop, even during a pandemic. In my latest article for Phonak Audiology Blog, I discuss what patients want from audiologists during COVID-19. An excerpt is below. To read the full article click here.
A Hearing Loss Patient Wishlist During COVID-19
The world has changed, driven by the required social distancing caused by COVID-19. All of our lives have been disrupted but hearing health must remain a priority. While many audiologist offices and clinics are closed, there are still ways you can continue to support your patients from a distance. Whether it is supplying spare batteries, offering remote advice, or providing communication tips, your patients continue to rely on your expertise, advice and care.
How can audiologists best support people with hearing loss during this time of physical distancing? Here are my suggestions.
Embrace remote programming.
Many manufacturers offer remote programming for hearing devices. Become familiar with these possibilities and educate your patients about how adjustments can be made to their hearing aids from the comfort of their own home. Older patients with mobility issues or those who live in remote areas may prefer this process to the typical way of doing things.
Share workaround ideas.
This is a terrible time for a hearing aid to break, but chances are some of your patients will have difficulty, particularly if social distancing extends much longer. Teach your patients about workarounds including high quality OTC options like Bose Hearphones and sound amplifier apps like Ear Machine.
These options will work best for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss but may be better than nothing in a pinch for people with all degrees of loss. Speech-to-text apps like Otter.ai or Live Transcribe (only on Android) are helpful for people with all degrees of hearing loss.
For more tips, please continue reading on Phonak Audiology Blog.