Communication in Health Care Settings for the hard of hearing

Communicating clearly with doctors, medical staff is important for safety and well-being. Here are some tips to better communicate with your health care providers.

Always tell the staff that you are hard of hearing or deaf. Repeat information to make sure you understand what was said. You don’t want to assume you understood. With different heath care providers come different listening needs.

In Emergency room, remind the staff you can’t hear your name being called. Let them know how they should get your attention, vibrating pager if available, come speak to you face to face or write a note and give it to you. Ask for a sticker with a symbol showing that you are hard of hearing or deaf be placed on your wristband. Make sure there is a sign posted with your hearing status so everyone knows you are hard of hearing or deaf. Make sure all your instructions are in writing.

If admitted bring/ask for a container with your name on it for your hearing aids. If you are unable to keep track and take care of your hearing aids, then let the hospital nurse know.

Make sure the staff knows you can’t hear the intercom. You will want to let the staff know the best way to get your attention, turning on and off light, tapping you on the shoulder or whatever works best for you.

Get all discharge instructions in writing. When scheduling appointments be sure to repeat the date, time and address of your appointment to confirm.

Let them know what kind of hearing device you use hearing aids, cochlear implants or whatever device you use so they have that for your file. Ask for all your information about your treatment and medications to be in writing so there are no misunderstandings.

The most important things are:

  1. Always make sure they know you are hard of hearing.
  2. Make sure to have things in writing or repeat them to make sure you understand correctly.
  3. Let them know how to communicate with you or get your attention.

For more information and a FREE hearing test call 907-644-6004

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