Going to the doctor can be stressful under any circumstances, but add a hearing loss to the mix, and it can be downright scary. Doctors are notorious for their poor handwriting, but their oral communication skills can sometimes leave something to be desired as well. This may not be entirely fair, as doctors face increasing pressure to see more patients and perform more procedures each day simply to make ends meet.
Whatever the reason, many do not take the time needed to speak clearly and face the patient when providing important medical information or treatment instructions. Given these challenges, people with hearing loss must actively self-advocate in all health care situations.
I recently attended an informative session at the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) 2017 Convention that discussed this very topic. Led by Toni Iacolucci (a hearing loss advocate and HLAA board member) and Jody Prysock (a certified sign language interpreter and patient advocate), the session provided useful tips for creating safer and more effective interactions with your doctors, in a variety of medical settings.