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Navigating your next doctor’s appointment

For most people, making a doctor’s appointment is a simple procedure.  But if you have hearing loss or hearing impairment, it can be a real challenge.  If you follow these four steps, you’ll ensure your next doctor’s appointment goes smoothly:

1. Get to know your doctor’s hospital or office

When registering with a new primary care physician, take time to get to know where they work. Most hospital and doctor’s offices have an online presence and many offer online appointment booking, cancelation, and medication repeat prescription ordering. Look around the practice and see how patients are called for their appointments. Even if you are familiar with where you are going, do take the extra time to really make yourself aware of the way everything is done.

2. Be visible

One mistake many people with hearing loss make is to attempt to fit in and not draw attention to themselves. Unless the staff is aware of your hearing problems, standard procedure is to assume that you have perfect hearing.  Make certain that you inform the staff at reception that you are hard of hearing.

3. Be ready to explain

Unless your health care professional is an audiologist or an ear, nose and throat physician, they may not be knowledgeable about hearing loss. Most medical professionals assume that hearing aids completely compensate for what deaf and hard of hearing people can’t hear.  Make sure your doctor’s office, including the receptionist and nurses, know you have hearing loss.

4. Know your rights

As a person with hearing loss you have the same rights as any other person. This means that doctors, nurses, and their staff have an obligation to ensure that you are able to attend any and all appointments with the same level of care and personal needs awareness as any other patient, regardless of their individual condition or challenges. It is not asking for preferential treatment, it is having accessibility to what is needed.

To make an appointment with the Hearing Doctors, call us at 630.752.9505.