Four Tips for Helping Patients with Trouble Hearing
As a State Tested Nursing Assistant, you’re going to come in contact with a wide range of patients with different needs. Some patients are going to have health-related needs that are easy for you to manage as part of your regular duties. Some, like hearing difficulties, might make some of the things you do for your patients a little more difficult. Having some tricks up your sleeve is a great idea.
Help out with Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are often very simple to operate, but they may not be simple for some patients to manage on their own without getting frustrated and upset. Batteries may need to be swapped out for new ones or filters may need cleaning to make them function properly. There’s no reason to expect that you would need to do anything highly involved but understanding the basics of how these assistive devices work can be really helpful.
Avoid Talking Too Loudly
There’s a habit of speaking loudly that most people have when speaking with someone who has difficulty hearing well. The problem with that reaction is that it can actually make communication more difficult. Volume isn’t always the problem. Often the problem is that a senior with hearing difficulties can’t make out what you’re saying. Enunciating clearly is a lot more helpful than talking louder.
Keep Your Lips Visible
Lots of people who don’t hear well use a form of lipreading, even if they can’t officially read lips. If the person you’re helping can’t see your lips easily, either because you’re turned away or because the lighting is low, that can make communication more difficult. Making sure that the patient can see your lips when you’re talking can be incredibly helpful.
Try Some Alternate Forms of Communication
Something else that can help a lot is to find alternate forms of communication to help alleviate frustration for your patients. Keeping a small notepad handy for just this purpose or using a small whiteboard can be really helpful for patients. These are small ways that you can add to the services that you’re already providing for the patients that you work with every single day.
As you meet more and more patients who have hearing issues, you’ll learn even more tips about how to help make their lives easier. This will be hugely beneficial to your patients and your patients’ family members will appreciate all that you do as an STNA.
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