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ozlin423 (@ozlin423)

Hearing loss and career

Hearing Loss | Last Active: Aug 4, 2020 | Replies (17)

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Masks posing a problem with health care workers
Hello, I am an L&D RN who has been struggling with hearing as a result of COVID 19 and mandatory masks in the work place. I am looking for suggestions to help with my hearing loss. I wear hearing aids but with the use of masks I am struggling to hear providers, coworkers and patient. Currently I have asked my hospital to provide me with an accommodation to keep me working in OB. They have not been able to provide me with an accommodation so I have been taken off the schedule and am now doing side projects. Also, I need an updated pair of hearing aids and cannot afford them as they are priced at $2500/3500 a piece. Any information on funding for these devices would be appreciated.<br />Elaine Clark</p>

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Replies to "Masks posing a problem with health care workers Hello, I am an L&D RN who has..."

Hi @daisyg74. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect/Hearing Loss Group. What kind of accommodation did you request? The mask issue has become a serious problem for people with hearing loss. Even without formal training, we all lipread and depend on facial expressions to comprehend speech. There are masks available that have clear 'windows'. They might help if the people you work with could use them. Have you tried using a phone app like Live Transcribe or Otter ai? I realize things are different in a hospital setting, but those are possibilities. Have you contacted your state's Vocational Rehabilitation Office? They might be able to assist you with the hearing aid cost.

Hi Daisy, What is L & D? If your hearing is not more than moderate, have you considered Costco with its lower prices? Regarding funding this website gives you contact information and more for your vocational Rehab office: https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-help/financial-assistance/state-agenices/ Let us know what happens in your search. A an essential worker I wonder if you have easier access to help.

@daisyg74, do you have a smartphone? If so, a speech to text app may work. You'll have to make sure you're close to the person speaking though. The accuracy goes down the further away from the person speaking. You may have to pass the phone back and forth in order to get the accuracy you need. If a WiFi signal is available, I like the Live Transcribe app but it is only available for Androids. If you have an iPhone, then Otter Voice works just as well and does not require WiFi. Clear masks are not N-95 so you may not be able to benefit from that product.
Tony in Michigan