Choosing a new health care practitioner in any realm can be a bit daunting. But after you’ve finally done the hard work of researching, selecting and visiting a new health care provider, it’s a good idea to assess him or her to make sure your needs were met and you feel comfortable. If that isn’t the case, you should not hesitate in making your needs known at the next appointment or in choosing a new physician.
After you’ve visited a new audiologist or hearing health professional, here are some questions to ask yourself to decide whether he or she is a good fit for you. Does the audiologist:
- Allow me to ask questions and really listen when I’m speaking?
- Wait patiently when I am speaking or cut me off to begin talking?
- Ask me questions and shows signs – such as nodding, facial expressions or verbal cues – that he or she is listening to and considering my answers?
- Answer my questions using language I understand?
- Remain kind and rephrase things when I haven’t understood, need clarification or have had trouble hearing him or her?
- Spend enough time with me?
- Make me feel rushed?
- Show respect for me in various ways, like treating me like an adult, listening and being courteous and polite?
- Make me feel comfortable?
- Address the health issues I am concerned about?
- Ask me preferences about hearing loss treatments and solutions?
- Offer me a range of hearing loss solutions and possibilities?
- Have solid credentials?
These questions are important because they empower you to take control in your hearing health. If you have any reservations about the hearing health care practitioner you visited and his or her staff, or if you felt disrespected or have an intuitive feeling that something isn’t right, do some more research and find someone who better fits your needs.