Communication Strategies Used by People with Hearing Loss Visiting the Hospital

Hospital Communication Strategies

No one enjoys having to go to the hospital and if you are hearing impaired it can be a little frightening. Luckily, going to the hospital with a hearing aid can be made a much simpler prospect. All it takes is a little advance planning and care.

 

Use Your Hearing Aid

This may sound like a no-brainer but. . . You would be surprised at the number of people who forget their hearing aids when going to the hospital. Beyond remembering it, be sure your batteries are fresh.

Don’t be ashamed of your hearing loss

Remember hearing loss is invisible. Inform people, especially hospital personnel, that you have trouble hearing. Most doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers are very caring people. If they are aware of your hearing loss they will go out of their way to speak clearly to you.

Practice Concentrating

Many times, people with hearing problems tend to tune out when tracking a conversation becomes difficult. Practice your listening skills. Focus on the speaker’s mouth instead of looking around. Try to concentrate on the main points even if you miss part of what is being said.

Take Notes

It is always a good idea to take notes of important facts. If you are hearing impaired it is also a great aid in clarifying information. Simply ask the speaker to look over your notes and correct anything that was recorded incorrectly.

Use Effective Clarification Strategies

Repeating complex statements can be frustrating for people. If you catch at least parts of what was said don’t just say “what” or “huh”. Say, “I know you said …. but missed the rest, can repeat that part for me”.

Pinpoint Problems

If you find you are having trouble understanding certain people, analyze why. If it is because they speak too fast, ask them to slow down. If they speak too softly, ask them to speak in a louder voice.

Verify, Verify, Verify

Much of the communications that take place during a hospital visit covers critical information. Don’t be afraid to repeat what was said to you and verify that you heard it correctly.

It’s OK to Interrupt

We are all taught, at a very young age, that it is rude to interrupt someone. When it is your medical care that is being discussed, interrupting is better than a misunderstanding. Don’t be afraid to stop a speaker and politely ask them to repeat key points for you.

Further questions or more information on anything related to hearing, contact Falls of Sound. Our Team is always happy to assist.