Being an audiologist is a profession that requires a lot of care, patience and understanding. Talking to someone about hearing issues can be very sensitive subject and sometimes even embarrassing to the patient.
This feeling of embarrassment can be amplified even more if the audiologist feels uncomfortable in having these types of conversations, or even worse, they were never properly trained in the first place. Combine that with a limited time frame for each patient to properly diagnose their issue and the pressure to sell hearing aids to keep their business afloat might take precedence over the patients needs.
While all of these are valid concerns there are ways for you the patient and the audiologist to overcome these concerns to provide so that you can receive the best care possible.
To help make your time more efficient is have the answers for some of the questions before their appointment or have a family member or friend contact the audiologists office to give some background information on your hearing issues.
Also, receiving an outline or agenda of the appointment ahead of time can let you know what to focus on and same more time.
If talking about hearing issues are uncomfortable for you, speaking to a colleague of the audiologist might present a different voice to help. Bringing in a family member or a friend who sees and deals with your issues first hand can also be a way for the audiologist to have a better understanding as to what you are going through.
Filling out a survey might help to reveal some trends that the audiologist might need to improve on or develop to make your experience more successful in dealing with their patient's care.
If selling hearing aids is the bread and butter of your audiologist, then that audiologist might want to reassess their business plan. Making evaluations strictly based on the bottom line and not what is in your best interest, will lead to a unsuccessful and frustrating experience. Look an audiologist that is flexible with their cost structure like unbundling fees to keep services and time separate from the cost of hearing aids might be a way for them to attract new patients to their practice.
While change is hard and most people find it uncomfortable in most cases, taking a step back to revaluate your needs and concerns, will ultimately lead to a win-win on both sides of the equation.