Is Your Audiologist’s Office Hearing Loss Friendly?

My series of posts describing why people with hearing loss should care about person-centered care (PCC) for Hearing Health & Technology Matters  (HHTM) continues. This time we ask: What can the look and procedures of your audiologist’s office tell you about the likelihood they practice PCC? The answer: A lot!

An excerpt from the article is below. Read the full post at FindHearing on HHTM.

What Should You Look For?

A hearing-loss-friendly office sets a positive tone for your appointment, letting you relax while you wait to see the audiologist, knowing you are in good hands. Look for hearing-loss friendly procedures like the below.

It starts with making the appointment.

Making an appointment over the phone can be challenging for people with hearing loss so it is important that the receptionist speaks slowly and clearly. Even better, seek out an office that permits patients to make or confirm appointments by email or via an online system.

Personal notice when it is your turn.

Even in a small office, people with hearing loss may have difficulty hearing when our name is called. Rather than asking patients to sit on high alert while they wait, the best offices will let patients know they will be alerted personally when it is their turn. This can be accomplished with a light tap on the arm or a text message and will let us feel more relaxed while we wait.

In today’s Covid-19 world, hearing friendly office procedures may take a different form – like making sure that captions are provided for all telehealth appointments and that clear masks are used for in-person visits. The best audiologists will offer curbside service where you can drop off a broken device for servicing without leaving your car.

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8 thoughts on “Is Your Audiologist’s Office Hearing Loss Friendly?

  1. Jerry Henderson – Pownal Maine – Thank you for coming to my space. This is where I post thoughts, opinions and commentary on a variety of subjects at irregular intervals. I try to do something weekly, but have not nailed down a rigid schedule, like every Wednesday, yet. If you would like email notifications of new posts, you can make that happen right on the site. Simply enter your email address to subscribe. Also, if you would like to comment I welcome that. Just do so in the space at the bottom of any selected post. Sharing thoughts, opinion and commentary is a peculiarly human characteristic. It must be exercised to be enjoyed. Jerry Henderson
    Jerry Henderson says:

    It’s truly amazing that in the 20+ years I have been wearing HAs I have encountered only a couple of providers who exhibited a clear understanding of how to relate to clients with significant hearing loss. Not a single office had an audio loop installed. I don’t know how we can avoid faulting the education system that trains audiologists and physicians. The last otolaryngologist I saw mumbled and never looked at me as he spoke. It was almost comical. The audiologist who worked in his office was fantastic while he didn’t seem to have a clue. These people are simply not being trained. Shari, your continued efforts to being this to everyone’s attention is critical. You have the platform. Hang in there.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Continued advocacy in this area is critical. Thank you for your comment.

  2. Agree with Mr Henderson 100%. My audiologist is in a well known medical center in a big city. They recently built a new building and put their audiology department in that building. You would think a brand new building would be looped – no! And there has to be a better way to call patients than saying their name – we are there because we can’t hear!! How clueless can they be……

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      It is a shame, especially in a new building. All we can do is continue to advocate for our needs as widely and loudly as we can. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      It is important to vote with your feet. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Juliette Sterkens, AuD @LoopWisconsin – I am a retired audiologist on an encore career to advocate for hearing loop technology in public places and houses of worship. Hearing Loops are for hearing aid users what ramps are for those in wheelchairs. See www.loopwisconsin.com for information for consumers, audiologists and hearing care providers.
    Juliette Sterkens, AuD @LoopWisconsin says:

    Last summer, a user of a cochlear implant visited The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago where a $300 (!) countertop loop was installed by the staff with help from a hearing loss advocate and she commented the following:

    …I went to test the newly looped counters at the Shedd today ! My experience was amazing!! They worked! I couldn’t believe the quality of speech !

    I heard the man and the lady every single word and they were wearing masks!! That is saying something! (…)

    Such an amazing experience !

    D.K.

    PS Photos are available Shari, if you ever would like to do a blog on this topic.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of LivingWithHearingLoss.com, a popular blog and online community for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus, and executive producer of We Hear You, an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Shari also serves on the board of directors of Hearing Loss Association of America. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience.

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