Something which people take for granted in audiology is the importance of social interactions with patients. Being introduced to the idea of having a hearing loss is daunting to say the least. How would you like it if someone told you there was some part of you which had been damaged; let alone one of the five main senses.
Before placement began I had already done some work in the field which I guess gave me a heads up for what was to come.
Being in a clinical environment just highlighted the importance of being able to interact well with patients and colleagues. Awkward moments were pretty common to start off with when you’re learning what to say. “I’m a trainee” will become one of the more common referenced phrases for the first few weeks until you ease into it. After you get stuck into a routine it becomes something said more on a whim rather than emphasised (because sometimes people forget who the audiologist is and who the student is haha!).
Something which should also be stressed is the ability to get the patient to communicate with you. Conversations work both ways and being open and friendly and adopting comforting mannerisms allows for clients to be open with you and feel more comfortable in an already scary hospital environment. What’s the point in offering a service if people are scared to use it?? Asking the right questions is so important in finding out a patient’s struggles and their reasons for being there. It can also help in the diagnosing of hearing aids as well as prescribing hearing aids.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that communication is KEY to unlocking the potentials of patient satisfaction. It also makes life a HELL of a lot easier in a clinical environment as EVERYONE loves a friendly person.