← Return to Hearing Loss Hospital Kits: Who has them? I want them all!

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@nurseheadakes This is more and less than you asked for! But I think the More will be useful and the less (i.e. specific other things that you take to the hospital) I will get from a hearing loss friend who has a terrific list.
For Consumers with Hearing Loss:
A Kit For Better Health Care Access
I am not sure of the source of this list but it likely is HLAA/ Good that you are preparing now!

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. As a consumer with a hearing and/or visual loss, this law gives you some very specific and important rights.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people who are deaf, deaf/blind, or hard of hearing in places of public accommodation. Included within the definition of a place of public accommodation is the professional office of a health care provider, (regardless of the size of the office or the number of employees), as well as facilities that treat in-patients. The ADA therefore applies to doctors, dentists, psychiatrists and psychologists, hospitals, nursing homes, health clinics, and all other providers of mental and physical health care, public and private.
All health care providers (including doctors and dentists) must make sure that they can communicate effectively with their patients who are deaf, deaf/blind, or hard of hearing by providing auxiliary aids and services. This expressly includes the use of qualified interpreters, transcripts of services or written material, as well as one-to-one communicators. It may also include the provision of telephone handset amplifiers, telephones compatible with hearing aids, and television decoders. This law, under certain limited and specific conditions, may also apply to family members.
EDUCATE yourself as to what your needs are to make communication easier and as to what you are entitled. Your job is to transmit this information to your physicians and health care providers. EDUCATE them about your needs and their responsibilities under the law.

Amplified Telephone – a telephone equipped with a dial, slide, or button either on the handset, the base, or attached to the telephone externally. This enables the user to increase the volume of the in coming sound.
Assistive Device – one of a large number of auxiliary aids such as amplifiers, captions, flashing lights, vibrating signalers, etc. that are helpful in communicating information to people who are hard of hearing.
Assistive Listening Systems – adjuncts to public address systems which bring sound directly to the ears of hard of hearing people. Infrared, FM and Audio Loop systems are the most widely used.
Hearing–Aid Compatible Telephone – a telephone containing an induction coil compatible with the T-coil or “telephone switch” installed in many hearing aids.
One-to-One Communicator – one of several similar devices that will allow most people with hearing loss, when their hearing aids are temporarily unavailable, to hear the voices of attending personnel.
Signaling Devices – flashing lights and pillow/bed/body-worn vibrators that signal when the telephone rings. These may also signal warning alerts such as a fire siren. The pulsing will differ or an indicator will show which signal is activated.
Telephone Relay Service – enables hearing, hard-of-hearing, hearing people to conveniently “talk”, by telephone (using a third party) any time of day or night. All calls are strictly confidential.
TV Closed Caption Decoder – (not needed for TV’s built after 1993 and only useful if the TV program has been captioned). Text will appear on the TV screen as it does when foreign movies are subtitled.

As a patient who is hard of hearing or deaf in a hospital, in addition to the rights that apply to all patients, you are also entitled to the following equipment (assistive devices) and services:
• a volume-controlled/hearing aid-compatible telephone.
• a visual/tactile telephone signaler.
• a TV caption decoder with all educational videos captioned.
• a one-to-one communicator.
• a qualified/certified oral/cued speech/sign/tactile language interpreter available at your bedside within 10 minutes for emergency conditions or 20 minutes for non-emergency conditions when medical information needs to be relayed.
• personnel sensitive to and trained in communicating with people with a hearing loss.
• personnel familiar with hearing aids, assistive listening devices and telephone relay services.

You are the patient. Ultimately, you need to take responsibility for your health care. Being a patient can be a frightening experience. Being informed of your medial condition, various options and expected outcomes can lessen the anxiety. Remember, you are entitled to these rights. Take advantage of them. Do not join the silence. You already live there!!
(if it is not an emergency)
Notify the Admissions Office/Patient Representative at least one week in advance of your entering the hospital as to which equipment and services you will need. Do not let the hospital discourage or refuse your request. You may also ask your physician’s office to assist with the request if you experience any difficulties.
Ask that a copy of TIPS FOR COMMUNICATING be placed on the inside cover of your medical record.
Ask that the INTERNATIONAL SYMBOL OF DEAFNESS sticker be attached to your chart, wristband, and on the intercom switch for your room at the nursing station. These stickers can be ordered from HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America).

Since different health care personnel will be seeing you it will be necessary to keep reminding them of your hearing and/or visual loss and telling them how best to communicate with you. Do not become frustrated with this constant repetition.
Be sure you clearly understand any medications given to you including dosage, purpose, and precautions. Repeat instructions to make sure you understand them fully. Ask for written instructions/directions if that will be more reassuring to you, or if you have any questions concerning your health.
Along with your hearing aids, take a storage container and extra batteries, a pen and paper, and your personal communication equipment (e.g. one-to-one communicator) with you. Although the hospital is required to provide most assistive devices, it is much easier if you bring your own. This way, you know for certain that you have it. Remember, the hospital may not be responsible for any loss of equipment.
It is also in your best interests to check with a patient representative at your local hospital and at any other hospitals with which your doctors are affiliated to be certain they are aware of the needs of people who are hard of hearing, and to make sure that these entitlements are available.
Tell the receptionist that you have a hearing and/or visual impairment and that you may not hear your name when called. If you have vision, seat yourself so that you may see the face of the receptionist of possible. Explain how they can best communicate with you, that they need to get your attention and that they may have to come into the waiting room to get you when it is your turn to be seen.

Technicians often give instructions from another room or to your back. Explain that you are deaf/hard of hearing and that you cannot understand unless you can see his/her face. Suggest that a light be used to signal when to take a deep breath/hold, and again when you may resume normal breathing. Be sure you understand all instructions/directions before a procedure begins. If you are blind, suggest that they tap your should when you should hold your breath, and tap you again when you may continue breathing.

Find out about the policy of wearing your hearing aids during surgery. You may be able to keep them. Be sure your doctor, surgeon, and anesthesiologist are aware of your hearing loss. Inquire about any procedure or medication that might affect your hearing. Be sure to read the Center for Hearing and Communication’s pamphlet OTOTOXIC MEDICATIONS, and bring a copy with you to show your physician. Indicate that you may not be able to understand anyone wearing a surgical mask. Ask to receive any directions or instructions prior to the doctors putting on their masks. Once their masks are on and they are sterile, they may not remove their masks. If you have a question after the doctors are masked and dressed, ask one of the operating room staff to write down the answer for you so that you may read it.

Most health care providers are eager to help you understand, but may need to be told how to best help you. Be cooperative and pleasant, but be assertive and persistent in relating your communication needs.



Are the following devices available?
patient Amplified & Hearing-Aid-Compatible telephone □ □
signal devices on patient telephones □ □
one on one communicator (Pockettalker, etc.) □ □
where? _____________________________________________
Does the hospital have an Audiology Department/Program □ □
Is a Patient Information Booklet available? □ □
Does it contain a description of special services for patients who are
deaf and hard of hearing?

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Replies to "@nurseheadakes This is more and less than you asked for! But I think the More will..."

This is a wonderful compliment to @nurseheadakes hospital kit link! Thank you!