An article was published several years ago that quite honestly surprised me and since that time caused me to reflect on how I, as an audiologist, interact and communicate with my patients. The article named the profession of Audiology as being the least stressful of the many reported professions. I was stunned and disagreed but had never really thought about my stress level in relationship to other professionals. We have learned over the years how untreated hearing loss can “stress” our bodies and have a negative impact on us. So we, as Audiologists, are always thinking about how to tap into our knowledge base and experience to achieve the single, best solution for each person’s hearing difficulties. It is a passion to accomplish this—for every person, but it is a PROCESS!
1- As an Audiologist, my role (and my goal) is to help people communicate effectively in their everyday life.In many instances, the patients who come into our office have resisted for years! They make the initial step because “something” challenged their hearing and they reach the realization in this process that not hearing will have a negative impact on daily life and hearing better could have a positive impact on communication.
2- The next point involves that old nemesis—CHANGE. As we all know, making a change usually involves “work” and “adjustment” and change is difficult for most of us. As creatures of habit, changes in our routines are often disruptive and disagreeable. Our role is to make this change as smooth, positive and productive as possible. But people need to be motivated for change.
3- TESTING—a word that often brings apprehension to an individual in thinking if you will or will not pass the “test.” We hopefully will assure you that this is no reflection on you as a person but only the concrete objective data needed in assessing your hearing needs and being able to make the most appropriate recommendations for you. The outcome of the testing often results in informing you that you have “lost” something, your hearing; or that your hearing has progressed. It is difficult for many patients to process a “loss” of anything.
4- After the testing, recommendations are made which may seem as if we are telling you what to do. Many of us like to be “in control” of every situation and when evaluated, the results may seem overwhelming. We hope to make these recommendations appropriate and clear so that each person not only understands the benefits but also the limitations in order to have the most successful experience possible.
As mentioned above, we, as Audiologists, are very passionate about doing the best to apply our knowledge and experience to assist you. Our overriding goal is to help you communicate effectively and improve your interactions with the world around you. Communication is a two way street; so we all must be willing to meet half way in order to accomplish and enhance your communication skills. If our assistive devices can successfully provide you with the sound amplification benefits and achieve this goal, we all will have a sense of accomplishment in having met a challenge head-on. It means a lot to us, and we know that it means a lot to you.

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