You’ve finally decided to move ahead and try to improve your communication skills. You’re excited about wearing hearing aids but don’t know how to get started. Choosing an appropriate hearing health care provider is as important as your choice of physician. Your audiologist is the hearing professional trained to evaluate and manage your hearing disorders and your concerns….so where to begin????
While a recommendation is very useful, it’s important to understand that one person’s success may not translate into success for you. Each person’s hearing loss is different and requires individual attention, not only to your hearing disorder, but to your lifestyle and your hearing requirements. Your doctor may have the names of qualified audiologists and this may be a good place to start. Asking a friend or relative is also helpful in terms of knowing the style and personality of the practice.
1. Choose a practice that adheres to the industry’s standards of “best practice”
2. Choose a practice where you will be seen by the same individual practitioner so there is continuity of service
3. Choose a practice that is not corporate in design so that decisions can be made by the audiologist managing your needs, and not by corporate protocols
4. Choose an audiologist who will listen to your needs and your concerns
5. Choose an audiologist who has state of the art equipment
6. Choose an audiologist who adheres to infection control recommendations, using disposable items when indicated
7. Choose an audiologist who is willing to make changes and corrections to the recommended hearing aid if it is not satisfactory
8. Choose an audiologist who takes the time to survey your hearing problems before you make hearing aid decisions
9. Choose an audiologist who offers many manufacturers’ brands of hearing aids
10. Choose an audiologist who incorporates multiple follow up appointments in order to assure your success
11. Choose an audiologist with appropriate university degrees
12. Choose an audiologist who has outcome measures to validate the hearing aid fitting
13. Choose an audiologist who is state licensed and abides by the state rules and regulations, and explains the state’s law for the trial period.
14. Choose an audiologist with a helpful staff for making insurance claims and answering questions
15. Choose an audiologist who will forward reports to your primary care physician
16. Choose an audiologist who will refer you to an otologist if your tests indicate the need for medical intervention
17. Choose an audiologist who you LIKE…you will be spending hours with this person which makes it even more important to put your trust and your confidence in a professional who is pleasant and accommodating and makes you feel relaxed and comfortable.
When it comes to your hearing, which is an integral component of your overall health, choose a hearing care professional who is patient and caring and provides counseling and aural rehabilitation to facilitate the adjustment to hearing instruments. Hearing aids are a process, not a product, and the relationship you build with your audiologist should be meaningful and built on a foundation of trust.
Hears to happy hearing and healthy living!