Audiologists provide direct care to individuals with hearing and balance concerns. It includes assessment, treatment/management, and counseling services.
Audiologists evaluate their professional competence through pre-service education, practice experience, mentorship and supervision, and continuing professional development. They practice only within their scope of knowledge and expertise. Audiologists may also perform telehealth services.
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Create a Support System for Your Employees
Many people with hearing loss need help from family and friends, but workplace colleagues can also make a big difference. A few simple adjustments can help employees feel included and supported.
For example, in a meeting, ask if an employee with hearing loss would like to be seated near the speaker and if closed captions on video presentations or webinars could be provided. These accommodations are relatively easy and cost-effective but can have a considerable impact.
It’s helpful to ask people to repeat themselves and write down important information like dates, times, addresses, phone numbers, and names. Putting a person’s name at the top of emails or memos can also help them be more aware of whom they’re communicating with. Also, encourage people to face the person they’re talking with, as gauging direction can be difficult for someone with hearing loss. Another helpful tip is to find support and resources for hearing loss from audiologists in Sudbury.
Ensure Your Employees Have Access to Information
While knowledge, attitudes, and education initiatives for HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, or cancer are well documented, less is known about hearing loss. Therefore, professionals must be fully aware of available resources and can reliably connect individuals.
For example, an educational audiologist may help teachers set up classrooms for optimal acoustics, assist with classroom audio distribution systems, arrange training for staff and parents about hearing loss, and provide deaf and hard-of-hearing students with specific teaching strategies. These accommodations, such as preferential seating, use of classroom technology, and testing arrangements, can significantly affect a student’s ability to access the curriculum. But, they require a lot of work to implement and must be revisited frequently (i.e., every few weeks).
As with sensitive data, it’s important to limit an employee’s access to the information they hold physically by locking cabinets and ensuring that privileges are revoked as they change roles and electronically by turning access permissions on and off as needed. It helps prevent fraud, identity theft, sabotage, and espionage.
Provide Your Employees with a Resource Guide
Audiologists have extensive training in hearing loss and rehabilitation. They work with people of all ages, making the process as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Some providers have specialties, such as pediatrics or balance disorders. Others have particular equipment, like hearing aids or cochlear implants, that they can recommend. Some offer financing plans and appointment styles, such as telehealth or in-person visits.
Another important consideration is location.
Many audiologists have state licenses and additional voluntary general and specialty certifications, such as the Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. However, these credentials only sometimes indicate that a provider is superior. Checking online reviews for audiologists in your area is an excellent way to evaluate their expertise and experience.
Encourage Your Employees to Ask Questions
While the knowledge, attitudes, education initiatives, and community support surrounding other health conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, cancer, or mental illness, are well studied, the same cannot be said for hearing loss. The lack of research on the topic leaves many individuals and their families with many questions that may go unanswered.
One of the best ways to help employees find an audiologist they can trust is to ask their primary care physicians for a recommendation. Savvy audiologists market themselves to local physician referral networks to connect with potential patients.
Another excellent resource for finding an audiologist is to use a provider map. A good example is the one found on Hearing Tracker, which allows users to filter nearby providers based on critical services such as real-ear measurements and speech-in-noise testing. It is also helpful to look for a provider with experience in specific areas of hearing loss, such as pediatrics, vertigo, or tinnitus.