The 5 C’s of Finding the Right Audiologist for You
Everyone is an individual. Your tastes and preferences might not be the same as your neighbors. What suits you, might not suit them, and vice versa.
When looking for an audiologist (as with any healthcare professional), it’s important to listen to your instincts. You are about to enter into a working relationship that should last years. When you find an audiologist you feel comfortable with, then trust will follow, and with that, comes an outstanding level of care.
Here are some pointers for finding the right audiologist:
#1: Do you feel COMFORTABLE visiting the office?
When you walk in the door, does the receptionist greet you with a friendly smile? Can you pop in to ask a question without being subject to high-pressure sales tactics?
Don’t be afraid to be choosy when it comes to how you are treated.
It is the most basic of requirements that the staff is friendly, welcoming and helpful. If the opposite is true and they are dismissive, off-hand or impatient – then decide with your feet and walk away.
In fairness, lack of sales pressure is a big difference between an audiologist (as a hearing healthcare professional) and a hearing aid dispenser (who often has sales targets to meet).
#2: CONVENIENT to visit
How convenient is it to get to your appointment? Think of convenience both in terms of location (parking lot or street parking?) and flexibility of schedule (same day appointments or pushed to next week?).
Remember, you may need several appointments for a hearing test, fittings and adjustments. And, if your hearing devices need maintenance, you want to be able to pop in with minimal inconvenience to you.
#3: CONSISTENCY of care
Does the clinic try to give consistency of care, with you seeing the same audiologist each visit?
While there may be times when your particular clinician is on leave, your best care outcome will come with consistency. This matters to you because that individual will get to know your needs, and gain a better understanding of your personal difficulties or requirements.
#4: CONTINUED care
Does the clinic provide helpful support that is easy to access?
Look for a clinic that answers its phone promptly and always responds to emails. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a problem with a hearing device and not being able to speak to someone about getting it fixed.
Look for a clinic that has a policy in place, such as loaner devices, to help should your device need repair. Likewise, ask if they undertake minor repairs on site, for maximum convenience.
Last but not least, the clinic should make your feel comfortable and confident enough to discuss costs. From payment plans to help with insurance claims, look for a clinic that is open and helpful about the charges involved.