What Qualities Should an Audiologist Possess?
Although the official definition of an audiologist in the US is a medical professional with a doctorate in audiology, audiologists need to be much more than that. They must possess a set of qualities that enable them to better engage with patients, helping them manage the difficulties of hearing loss, both physical and emotional.
Audiologists should be friendly
Dealing with hearing loss is difficult. A loss of hearing can lead to social isolation and depression. Although the subject matter of hearing loss is serious, audiologists should be friendly, treating their patients as partners, and supporting them through what can often be a difficult journey.
Audiologists should be patient
Hearing loss can have complex etiology. Often it’s not clear what the underlying issue is, even after identifying a problem. Patient audiologists do not uncritically accept the first idea that enters their head. Instead, they take their time to fully evaluate the evidence, considering things like context, symptoms and the results of tests in unison. Patient audiologists are far more likely to get to the root of the problem.They don't bulldoze patient concerns about what might be the underlying factors.
Audiologists should be audible and easy-to-understand
Patients experiencing hearing loss may not always be able to hear pertinent information about their condition during an appointment. Quality audiologists know this and do their utmost to make sure that they are understood. They speak loudly and slowly, using simple language that communicates the problem and treatment.
Audiologists should respond to questions via email
You may not get a chance to ask all the questions that you would like during a 30 minute or hour-long appointment. New issues may emerge afterward. Audiologists should, therefore, provide facilities for you to communicate with them outside of appointments and offer support. Quality audiologists are often willing to talk to you via email or text apps.
Audiologists are dependable
Patients want to know that their audiologists are dependable. Quality audiologists ensure that their quality of service does not vary from one visit to the next.
Audiologists have great time-keeping skills
Nothing is more irritating for patients than turning up to an appointment, only to discover that an audiologist is running 30 minutes late. Audiologists should have excellent time keeping skills so that they can see patients as arranged, rather than forcing them to wait in line.
Audiologists should have excellent knowledge
There are dozens of ways that ears can go wrong. Audiologists should be familiar with all of them so that they can provide the right course of treatment. Problems can emerge in the ear itself, in the brain (especially after trauma), and as a result of previous therapies.
Furthermore, patients want audiologists to tell them how to avoid hearing loss in the future, how to protect their ears, and how to deal with recurrent, annoying ear problems, such as earwax buildup or infection. Quality audiologists should provide a plan and arrange checkups in the future to ensure that their recommendations are being implemented and work as planned.