4 Steps to a Successful Hearing Aid Evaluation
If you’re an audiologist looking to make sure that your patients have a successful hearing aid evaluation, there are several steps to ensuring you provide the appropriate quality of care to make sure your patients are comfortable and pick the correct hearing aid for their lifestyle. To determine if a patient qualifies for a hearing aid, the following steps are crucial to the process.
Initial discussion of expectations and current hearing loss
Appropriate preparation starts with recognizing that the intention of the consultation, which is to help the patient hear well again with the correct hearing device for them. When you meet with your patient, discuss what you’d like to happen as a result of the evaluation and seek to establish trust between you and the patient experiencing hearing loss.
As the expert, your goal is to make your patient feel comfortable in your office and establish rapport with both the patient and any family or friend they may bring along to the evaluation.
The first step to establishing why the patient is there is to simply inquire why the patient has decided to have their hearing evaluated; if a patient has arrived with a family member, it’s common for the family member to want to interject or answer the questions for them. While the family member means well, encourage the patient to answer any questions directly, even if they need some help with translation or visual cues.
Taking ownership of their hearing loss is important in having a successful hearing aid evaluation.
The second step of the initial discussion is to outline what the patient expects to accomplish, and for the audiologist to ask them would most like to see improvement. To ensure successful hearing aid evaluation, it is imperative to ask open-ended questions and listen attentively before beginning the actual hearing test.
Once the background portion of the hearing evaluation is complete, the audiologist moves forward to the diagnostic testing itself. Remind the patient that the process is painless, and to have them voice any concerns they have as you complete the testing. The hearing evaluations, which are plotted on an audiogram, will enable the audiologist to share the wealth of information gathered during this test. During this time, ensure that the patient is comfortable and that the expectations are very clear so that the patient can respond accordingly.
Discussion of audiogram results and selecting the right hearing aid
Directly after the diagnostic testing, the next step to having a successful hearing aid evaluation is to provide the audiogram to the patient and explain what the results mean. Discuss what sounds the patient may not be realizing they are not hearing, such as specific pitches and frequencies the hearing degree of hearing loss has impacted.
This is also the time to dive into which hearing aids are appropriate for their type or extent of hearing loss.
While hearing aids are devices with features, ultimately what is in store for someone experiencing hearing loss are the benefits associated with said devices. When discussing benefits, using visual displays can be beneficial. Making your patient comfortable with the hearing aid decision and selection is one of the biggest parts in ensuring a patient’s hearing loss can be improved.
Budget concerns may be something to address, and since there are so many hearing aid options available, it’s easy to find a hearing aid device within any budget.
To reduce any fear associated with hearing aids, showing a patient physical options at this step can quell any hesitations and increase the comfort around hearing aids.
When recommending specific types of aids, encourage discussion again, answering any lingering questions they have after the discussion of their hearing results, such as how to use hearing aids and how they may improve certain aspects of hearing loss.
Each patient will desire different benefits to improve their daily life, from hearing a television show more clearly, to being able to pick out different voices in a large crowd and to being able to have a clear phone call. Others may simply want to be able to hear sounds of nature while gardening or be able to drive without feeling like their loss of a sense has reduced their ability to react quickly.
Scheduling the hearing aid fitting
Finally, the fourth step in a successful hearing aid evaluation is ensuring that the next time the patient sees you, that they will be fitted for their ideal hearing aid device which they have picked out.
Clear communication is essential here, again, so make sure to schedule a day for them to pick up their hearing aid so that they can be well on their way to using the hearing aid to improve their hearing.
Sometimes, this essential step may be met with hesitations again, but remember that this is a big step for someone experiencing hearing loss. Discuss any lasting concerns and be patient as they decide.
Since an audiologist’s practice is based on improving hearing for those experiencing hearing loss, a patient should be given a trial period once their hearing aids have been fitted to make sure that this is an ideal fit for their lifestyle and in real-life environments. The next time the patient meets with you, they’ll begin experiencing better hearing, which can be life-changing for many people.
To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with our audiologist and find the best hearing devices and technology to fit your lifestyle and needs, call Rametta Audiology & Hearing Aid Center today at our Tarentum office at 724-224-6811, or at our Vandergrift office at 724-567-7381