I'd like to hear about the experience of social workers who suffers from some degree of hearing loss. Is there any out there?
I do not have hearing loss but the PD Nurse at our clinic does. She has hearing aids and hears well on the phone but has some difficulty even w/ the hearing aids in center. Did you want me to ask her a question?
I have Meniere's Disease which causes hearing loss in the range of the human voice mostly. I was having a difficult time understanding what patients were saying during my assessments. I now wear hearing aids and it makes a huge difference. The great thing my audiologist did was suggest that I see if Arkansas Vocational Rehab could help with the expense as mine were about $5,000.00 and they did pay for 1/2 of the cost. So happy to be able to hear on the floor and in IDT meetings.
Fort Smith Regional Dialysis Center
Fort Smith, AR 72908
Dodie Stein who worked as an audiologist gave me this information to post.
One important aspect of having a hearing loss is to understand your audiogram and where you may be missing -- sounds/words. Another is to wear your hearing aids and make sure they are always in good repair. For better communication, let the patient know what you heard and repeat it so the patient (assuming normal hearing) can just repeat what you missed and not everything. The reverse is true for any social worker with good hearing who is working with a hard of hearing patient. I use my hearing aids on the phone-- some have telephone switches. Certainly, facing the patient to take advantage of speechreading skills is most important. But hard of hearing folks do these things naturally (watch faces).
Whether it's feasible to talk with patient chairside depends on severity of one's loss and how much the dialysis machines, alarms, etc. interfere with hearing. If so, working with a patient in a separate space is best, for both hearing and confidentiality. I find working by phone less efficient, effective, and more difficult and I avoid it, preferring to work with patients in person. It's harder for me as we see patients for clinic monthly, unless they come in for other nursing needs in between clinic visits. Then I have to juggle seeing the patient when the MD, RN, and RD see him/her as well. If I can set up a separate appointment on another date for a discussion that needs more time, I do that.
Dodie works at IU Health Home Dialysis, Indianapolis and is willing to talk with social workers who are hard of hearing and need ideas. Her work number is 317-963-6855.
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