Tips for Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Medical Office Staff
Creating the Best Environment for Communication:
- Reduce the background noise (music, television, etc.)
- Face your patient directly when speaking to them.
- Stay at eye/ear level with the patient when talking with them
- Stand no more than four feet away from your patient.
Things You Can Do:
- Before you speak, get the patients attention.
- Do not adjust your volume. A raised voice can sound distorted, making it even more difficult to understand.
- Do not cover your face while you are talking.
If your patient is having difficulty understanding something you are saying, rephrase the sentence. It is also a good idea to provide written information when possible.
Things to Understand about Hearing Technology:
Hearing technology takes time and practice to become accustomed to. Your patients will need time to learn about their device and finding the settings that work best for them. Hearing sounds that they’ve missed for months (or years) again will take an adjustment period.
While hearing devices can help amplify sounds, nothing can restore the damage that has caused permanent, sensorineural hearing loss. Today’s digital hearing devices greatly help in compensating for the hearing loss, but they do not totally correct the ability to hear and understand speech.