What is it about finding a good Audiologist? or should I say, Why is it difficult to find a good Audiologist? or maybe I should ask, what makes one say, ” I found a great Audiologist.”
I’ve been wearing a hearing aid now for about 16 years and have gone through Audiologists the way I go through antacids, quite a few. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a few good ones out there. However, I’ve encountered only 4 terrific Audiologists, two of whom cannot dispense hearing aids because they do not have the Doctorate, one who I really liked but had inconvenient hours was inconveniently located for me and the last one, is my current Audiologist.
What makes for a good Audiologist? Well, what I might consider a good Audiologist, you may not even think to consider. Here’s MY list:
-Looks at me when they speak and if necessary, will type on their computer in large print what they are saying to me, especially, when my hearing aid (s) are not in my ears. Only my most recent Audiologist provided this for me. Was I surprised? I wanted to jump out of my chair and do a song and dance.
-Explains the audiogram and your hearing loss or your child’s hearing loss. I cannot tell you how many parents I encounter who have no idea what their child’s hearing loss is or what the audiogram is telling them. Granted, the Audiologist may have explained it to the parent but they just did not understand. My current audiologist explained everything and reviewed everything before I left the office.
My Audiologist knows I’m in the field and initially, I felt somewhat silly listening to information I understood all too well. However, I absolutely respect this man for doing this.
-If you’re in the market for a hearing aid, a good Audiologist should ask you what you expect to get out of a hearing aid? What situations you need hearing help in? Explain the different choices in aids that you have. What each aid can give you or not give you?
-A good Audiologist will explain that the hearing aid will not provide you with 20/20 hearing. That you will probably need to return several times for programming the aid. That you will need to keep a list of situations that the aid may not be working for you or cause noises to be overstimulating.
-A good Audiologist will make sure you don’t leave without the next appointment when you buy an aid. I have had several Audiologists sell me a hearing aid and tell me, to call and make an appointment if I have any problems…..NO>>>NO>>>NO…wrong! The good Audiologist will insist that you have to return within two weeks for possible tweeking or reprogramming and to review your overall experience. Afterall, you do have a 45 to 60 day TRIAL PERIOD. And that good Audiologist will want to help you acclimate and go through a successful trial period by coming to their office to guide you or counsel you if necessary.
-My Audiologist had notes sent to my home thanking me for my business and reminding me that if I have any questions to call. . After I purchased my most recent aid, I visited my Audiologist approximately 5 times over a 6 month period. When I recently called my Audiologist to cancel this last appointment because I felt all was going well, he informed me that his office will contact me in approximately 3 months to follow up on my progress. Again, also reminded me that if I have any problems, to call.
It’s so important to find the right Audiologist to help you with your hearing needs. Someone who understands that when they ask you to take off your hearing aid, they know they cannot speak to you thinking you are hearing them as though you had the hearing aid in your ear. JEESH! I think back to all the times I wanted to say to the Audiologist, or the intern, were you ever required to walk around with earplugs for a day? Don’t speak to me when I am not wearing my hearing aids jerk, unless you plan to write it all down for me. It’s important to me that the Audiologist understand hearing loss. Just because they are an Audiologist, doesn’t mean they understand what it’s like to walk around seeing peoples mouths move with no sound coming out.
What do you see as important in finding the right Audiologist? Do you have one now that you could honestly and proudly and comfortably recommend to a friend, if and when it would be needed.
Think about it. You wouldn’t buy shoes from a person who keeps giving you the wrong size shoe to try on, or allow a car salesperson to talk you into buying a car you can’t afford, or seeing a Doctor that will not communicate properly in order for you to understand, so why would you see an Audiologist who doesn’t understand hearing loss?