Why do medical pros insist on leaving voicemails for HOH patients?

Posted by ltecato @ltecato, Aug 16 10:56pm

Leaving a voice message for a patient who is deaf or hard of hearing makes as much sense as using freeway billboards to convey information for people who are blind.

Why is it so hard for trained medical workers to grasp the concept that text messages or emails would work a great deal better for patients who are hard of hearing?

Liked by sparklegram

@ltecato I agree that voice phone messages may not be the best means of communication. Fortunately, there is technology to help but ideally, the medical profession needs to be more aware of our needs. I suggest you talk this over with your "professional" and suggest text or email is your preferred method of communication. If they are insensitive to your needs, or don't want to bother with accommodations, then you need to find new "professionals". Nothing will change unless enough of us continue to advocate for ourselves. I've had similar problems while in the waiting room of an ENT office. I try to sit real close to the door where the "professional" comes out to tell you when you're next. They need to say "Appointment For…" before just blurting out a name. They also need to go out into the waiting area instead of just standing by that door. We need to let them know what we need. It's a constant battle.
Tony in Michigan

REPLY

One of my pet peeves is lack of training, sensitivity, awareness by many medical professionals and those around them. After explaining to one hospital technician I had severe hearing loss and to please face me and speak very slowly and clearly. He did not. When I repeated the request he snapped at me that he WAS speaking clearly. I think in this case he was being racially defensive and instead of listening to my needs, took personal offense. A podiatrist, snapped at me “if you can’t hear, why don’t you wear hearing aids?” I was of course, and showed her. What offended me was instead of asking if I was wearing them she made an accusatory assumption . It is to be expected in the outside world, but totally unacceptable , even dangerous in a medical setting. I always inform them that hearing loss is a disability protected by the the ADA and explain what that means. As an older woman I refuse to be bullied, shamed or silenced and if we don’t speak up that is what happens. As Tony says, it is up to us to educate people. especially medical staff. It’s about sensitizing people and I suspect those I’ve talked to will think twice about repeating the behavior.

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The majority of medical providers take HIPA seriously. One of the things HIPA doesn't allow is communicating via e-mail. My primary is a friend and we use e-mail at times, but has told me to never, ever talk about anything medical via e-mail, not even to check on an appt. time that I only "think" I heard as a certain time and day. HIPA is also responsible for it being impossible to find out what's happening with someone close to you if they haven't filled out a form listing you as a person that can know. It's really frustrating when your spouse is being treated by a doc you don't know, a specialist that his regular specialist referred him to…and no one asked him to complete the form that would allow you to be told what's happening. Grrrr! It's all about confidentiality, although, for the life of me, I can't understand what's confidential about the date and time of your next appt.

When I visited a big metro-area hearing clinic that specializes in doing CIs, I quickly learned that no one there takes the trouble to face you while speaking and the nurse that comes out to, as Tony says, blurt out a name, stands in the doorway facing a room full of people who can't hear and mumbles a name. Sheesh! Wouldn't you think that a hearing clinic would be smarter than that?

REPLY
@terryflys4

One of my pet peeves is lack of training, sensitivity, awareness by many medical professionals and those around them. After explaining to one hospital technician I had severe hearing loss and to please face me and speak very slowly and clearly. He did not. When I repeated the request he snapped at me that he WAS speaking clearly. I think in this case he was being racially defensive and instead of listening to my needs, took personal offense. A podiatrist, snapped at me “if you can’t hear, why don’t you wear hearing aids?” I was of course, and showed her. What offended me was instead of asking if I was wearing them she made an accusatory assumption . It is to be expected in the outside world, but totally unacceptable , even dangerous in a medical setting. I always inform them that hearing loss is a disability protected by the the ADA and explain what that means. As an older woman I refuse to be bullied, shamed or silenced and if we don’t speak up that is what happens. As Tony says, it is up to us to educate people. especially medical staff. It’s about sensitizing people and I suspect those I’ve talked to will think twice about repeating the behavior.

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@terryflys4 Aggravating experiences! But…would you consider doing a little advocacy and seeing about conferring with management of the places you were from the point of view of educating them about what is appropriate and exploring whether there is a possibility of better training for whoever?

Liked by mtnyankee, ltecato

REPLY

I do tell them ahead of time I have hearing loss and how to best assist me. I also make a point (after being passed over for 2 hours on one appointment ) that they must physically get my attention when I am called. I believe the American Hearing Loss Association also has outreach programs. I have not yet gone as far as management which would take a follow up. You are right. When you look at the struggle handicapped people have had in getting recognition, with building codes, ramps, etc it only happens when we raise awareness and fight for it.

Liked by mtnyankee, ltecato

REPLY
@terryflys4

One of my pet peeves is lack of training, sensitivity, awareness by many medical professionals and those around them. After explaining to one hospital technician I had severe hearing loss and to please face me and speak very slowly and clearly. He did not. When I repeated the request he snapped at me that he WAS speaking clearly. I think in this case he was being racially defensive and instead of listening to my needs, took personal offense. A podiatrist, snapped at me “if you can’t hear, why don’t you wear hearing aids?” I was of course, and showed her. What offended me was instead of asking if I was wearing them she made an accusatory assumption . It is to be expected in the outside world, but totally unacceptable , even dangerous in a medical setting. I always inform them that hearing loss is a disability protected by the the ADA and explain what that means. As an older woman I refuse to be bullied, shamed or silenced and if we don’t speak up that is what happens. As Tony says, it is up to us to educate people. especially medical staff. It’s about sensitizing people and I suspect those I’ve talked to will think twice about repeating the behavior.

Jump to this post

Very few medical professionals, across the board; MDs, RNs, PAs, DDS, etc. get any training on hearing loss unless they are specialists in the ENT/Audiology field. Even then, the focus is often on the medical model rather than the psycho social model. I've been told that two weeks to a month might cover hearing loss in most educational programs even when those programs are extensively long.

WE are the people who have "PHDs" in living with it! Sadly, the large majority of our population deny it, hide it, won't self identify, etc. Those of us who do are the minority; a tiny minority! The National Institutes of Health statistics say there are over 45,000,000 of us in the USA. HLAA is the only organization that advocates for us, listens to us, and provides opportunities for us to learn. Yet, HLAA cannot do it all. HLAA Is a membership organization. It has fewer than 15,000 members. Does anyone see the problem here? Hard of hearing people complain a lot. They withdraw socially. They feel cheated. Still, they hide it and often refuse to do anything about it. If you won't talk about it openly, and help others know what you need, it won't change. You have to use soft advocacy to educate. First you have to know what works. And, we also have to accept that sometimes nothing will work the way we want it to! (Think this was my rant for the day!) 🙂

PS> Joyces is right that HIPPA stands in the way of communication in some instances. I always tell my medical providers that they will need to leave a message for me. I will call them back to get the information. That seems to work because it allows me time to hook up the technology I use to hear well on the phone.

REPLY
@julieo4

Very few medical professionals, across the board; MDs, RNs, PAs, DDS, etc. get any training on hearing loss unless they are specialists in the ENT/Audiology field. Even then, the focus is often on the medical model rather than the psycho social model. I've been told that two weeks to a month might cover hearing loss in most educational programs even when those programs are extensively long.

WE are the people who have "PHDs" in living with it! Sadly, the large majority of our population deny it, hide it, won't self identify, etc. Those of us who do are the minority; a tiny minority! The National Institutes of Health statistics say there are over 45,000,000 of us in the USA. HLAA is the only organization that advocates for us, listens to us, and provides opportunities for us to learn. Yet, HLAA cannot do it all. HLAA Is a membership organization. It has fewer than 15,000 members. Does anyone see the problem here? Hard of hearing people complain a lot. They withdraw socially. They feel cheated. Still, they hide it and often refuse to do anything about it. If you won't talk about it openly, and help others know what you need, it won't change. You have to use soft advocacy to educate. First you have to know what works. And, we also have to accept that sometimes nothing will work the way we want it to! (Think this was my rant for the day!) 🙂

PS> Joyces is right that HIPPA stands in the way of communication in some instances. I always tell my medical providers that they will need to leave a message for me. I will call them back to get the information. That seems to work because it allows me time to hook up the technology I use to hear well on the phone.

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@julieo4 @terryflys4 : "PhDs in living with hearing lois! 🙂 Don't ever give up your ranting!

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@terryflys4

I do tell them ahead of time I have hearing loss and how to best assist me. I also make a point (after being passed over for 2 hours on one appointment ) that they must physically get my attention when I am called. I believe the American Hearing Loss Association also has outreach programs. I have not yet gone as far as management which would take a follow up. You are right. When you look at the struggle handicapped people have had in getting recognition, with building codes, ramps, etc it only happens when we raise awareness and fight for it.

Jump to this post

@terryflys4 Here's a concrete example of what I'm talking about in my prior reply. On April Fools day this year, when NYC was in the height of the pandemic here, I fell, went to the ER, diagnosis – fractured wrist. Surgeon did a procedure on my wrist and arm. I pulled out my cell phone to use the Otter app to understand what he was saying. He told me I couldn't do that. I said "why not?" He; "it is against hospital policy".. I said, then please step away and pull off your mask because I can't hear otherwise, which he did, and I was able to manage that. Days later, after recovering from the trauma of the fall, I consulted with Toni Iaccolucci of HLAA, she spoke with the hospital's "patient services" (I don't have the proper name of the Dept immediately handy) who said they would talk with the surgeon. This was important to me not only because of the advocacy needed in hospitals generally, but personally as I had to meet with him for follow up. Together Toni and I worked with that hospital department on getting the cooperation of the surgeon. Follow up app't with the surgeon was no problem. I was able to use my Cell with the app.

REPLY
@julieo4

Very few medical professionals, across the board; MDs, RNs, PAs, DDS, etc. get any training on hearing loss unless they are specialists in the ENT/Audiology field. Even then, the focus is often on the medical model rather than the psycho social model. I've been told that two weeks to a month might cover hearing loss in most educational programs even when those programs are extensively long.

WE are the people who have "PHDs" in living with it! Sadly, the large majority of our population deny it, hide it, won't self identify, etc. Those of us who do are the minority; a tiny minority! The National Institutes of Health statistics say there are over 45,000,000 of us in the USA. HLAA is the only organization that advocates for us, listens to us, and provides opportunities for us to learn. Yet, HLAA cannot do it all. HLAA Is a membership organization. It has fewer than 15,000 members. Does anyone see the problem here? Hard of hearing people complain a lot. They withdraw socially. They feel cheated. Still, they hide it and often refuse to do anything about it. If you won't talk about it openly, and help others know what you need, it won't change. You have to use soft advocacy to educate. First you have to know what works. And, we also have to accept that sometimes nothing will work the way we want it to! (Think this was my rant for the day!) 🙂

PS> Joyces is right that HIPPA stands in the way of communication in some instances. I always tell my medical providers that they will need to leave a message for me. I will call them back to get the information. That seems to work because it allows me time to hook up the technology I use to hear well on the phone.

Jump to this post

julieo4, you are so right about the denial. I ascribe a lot of that to the manufacturers, and advertising, always pushing invisibility. I’d put decorations on mine if it would make them more visible. In fact I think some young people are doing that

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@julieo4

Very few medical professionals, across the board; MDs, RNs, PAs, DDS, etc. get any training on hearing loss unless they are specialists in the ENT/Audiology field. Even then, the focus is often on the medical model rather than the psycho social model. I've been told that two weeks to a month might cover hearing loss in most educational programs even when those programs are extensively long.

WE are the people who have "PHDs" in living with it! Sadly, the large majority of our population deny it, hide it, won't self identify, etc. Those of us who do are the minority; a tiny minority! The National Institutes of Health statistics say there are over 45,000,000 of us in the USA. HLAA is the only organization that advocates for us, listens to us, and provides opportunities for us to learn. Yet, HLAA cannot do it all. HLAA Is a membership organization. It has fewer than 15,000 members. Does anyone see the problem here? Hard of hearing people complain a lot. They withdraw socially. They feel cheated. Still, they hide it and often refuse to do anything about it. If you won't talk about it openly, and help others know what you need, it won't change. You have to use soft advocacy to educate. First you have to know what works. And, we also have to accept that sometimes nothing will work the way we want it to! (Think this was my rant for the day!) 🙂

PS> Joyces is right that HIPPA stands in the way of communication in some instances. I always tell my medical providers that they will need to leave a message for me. I will call them back to get the information. That seems to work because it allows me time to hook up the technology I use to hear well on the phone.

Jump to this post

I am a retired RN of 40 years. I remember all of the years of attending school back then and distinctly remember there was little taught about how to take care of any type of person with a disability. Our instructions were as Julie stated on the medical model of care for the usual disease processes which did not include deafness/hearing loss, any of the neurological diseases or brain diseases. When we had anything new such as the Flu/HIV-AIDS epidemics we had no textbooks for instructions but had to learn as we went from day one like with the COVID -19 is today. While hearing loss, deafness and neurological type of diseases that we are now familiar with weren't covered or discussed in depth we had little time or instructions on them.

I had hearing loss throughout my entire nursing education, never had hearing aids to help me, or anyone to help me with my studies. That was because I did not know I had a hearing loss all during those years. When I did finally have aids to help me – it was a shock to learn about and to see the world in a different perspective. The nursing profession at the time did not allow nurses to practice with any type of disability such as hearing loss or deafness since one can not assess their patients without the sensory capabilities. Faced with discrimination, isolation, rebuke and abandonment, I suddenly didn't belong to the nursing profession as they found me repulsive and inept. Patient care was difficult I agree because there were NO guidelines to follow in dealing with hearing loss, accept put a hearing aid in and work with it. That was it. NOW I was suddenly old and yet I was still young. Was that fair then?

With time I learned about SHHH and HLAA – met up with Julie and learned how to fend for myself. I spoke up because I did not like what I saw, felt and did within the profession. Still, today the nursing profession has a long way to go to learn about the many disabilities but in time will understand how to deal with all of us once they take care of us in the hospital settings. We have to be the teachers and owners of who we are and what we can do for ourselves. I have been doing that for some time and all of the doctors who care for me respect that and look forward to partnering with me to make sure I am well cared for. They take many of my tidbits and habits and incorporate them into their practices because they streamline their work and help to ease the communications between them and their patients. I am a partner with my doctors and nurses. I am NOT the enemy. That is why I continue to advocate for the things we need. Coming to the table equally.

I have our Clear Mask Campaign in this small hamlet in Sun City Center FL. We are a Senior Citizen community and plenty of deaf/hard of hearing people who use their facilities have been scared out of the wits by the pandemic. By sewing the clear windowed masks and offering them for FREE – the deaf/hard of hearing are coming out of their houses. This is one step to wellness. Keeping their aid/implants on their heads and being able to smile/read lips is the other. It makes the difference. I received two Grants for this campaign so that they can benefit. They can have one plus their caregiver can also have one. I have the hospital and hospices lining up. The retirement centers are also waiting in line. Grant moneys will be expanded if needed. With this mask campaign, I also educate them on the Hospital Kit that is available from HLAA and the proper way to wear and maintain mask care. My communication is by Next Door, Facebook and Zoom. I even visit their homes, I call them and they even come to my house. I make this easy so they are not afraid. We have snowbirds and home bound. They are all included because we are Florida and this is the SunShine state. And I just moved down here from WI one year ago.
So much for retirement!!!

Take heart. Be patient. Ask questions. Participate in anything where you can learn. Listen to your sixth sense because its right

IMG-0338

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@nurseheadakes What a great tribute you are doing for the hard of hearing .As retired LPN I am grateful for your contribution to this worthwhile endeavor I now have a aide but need to have new ones since I lost my good pair just have a cheap amplifier now Glad to know you a little better

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@nurseheadakes

I am a retired RN of 40 years. I remember all of the years of attending school back then and distinctly remember there was little taught about how to take care of any type of person with a disability. Our instructions were as Julie stated on the medical model of care for the usual disease processes which did not include deafness/hearing loss, any of the neurological diseases or brain diseases. When we had anything new such as the Flu/HIV-AIDS epidemics we had no textbooks for instructions but had to learn as we went from day one like with the COVID -19 is today. While hearing loss, deafness and neurological type of diseases that we are now familiar with weren't covered or discussed in depth we had little time or instructions on them.

I had hearing loss throughout my entire nursing education, never had hearing aids to help me, or anyone to help me with my studies. That was because I did not know I had a hearing loss all during those years. When I did finally have aids to help me – it was a shock to learn about and to see the world in a different perspective. The nursing profession at the time did not allow nurses to practice with any type of disability such as hearing loss or deafness since one can not assess their patients without the sensory capabilities. Faced with discrimination, isolation, rebuke and abandonment, I suddenly didn't belong to the nursing profession as they found me repulsive and inept. Patient care was difficult I agree because there were NO guidelines to follow in dealing with hearing loss, accept put a hearing aid in and work with it. That was it. NOW I was suddenly old and yet I was still young. Was that fair then?

With time I learned about SHHH and HLAA – met up with Julie and learned how to fend for myself. I spoke up because I did not like what I saw, felt and did within the profession. Still, today the nursing profession has a long way to go to learn about the many disabilities but in time will understand how to deal with all of us once they take care of us in the hospital settings. We have to be the teachers and owners of who we are and what we can do for ourselves. I have been doing that for some time and all of the doctors who care for me respect that and look forward to partnering with me to make sure I am well cared for. They take many of my tidbits and habits and incorporate them into their practices because they streamline their work and help to ease the communications between them and their patients. I am a partner with my doctors and nurses. I am NOT the enemy. That is why I continue to advocate for the things we need. Coming to the table equally.

I have our Clear Mask Campaign in this small hamlet in Sun City Center FL. We are a Senior Citizen community and plenty of deaf/hard of hearing people who use their facilities have been scared out of the wits by the pandemic. By sewing the clear windowed masks and offering them for FREE – the deaf/hard of hearing are coming out of their houses. This is one step to wellness. Keeping their aid/implants on their heads and being able to smile/read lips is the other. It makes the difference. I received two Grants for this campaign so that they can benefit. They can have one plus their caregiver can also have one. I have the hospital and hospices lining up. The retirement centers are also waiting in line. Grant moneys will be expanded if needed. With this mask campaign, I also educate them on the Hospital Kit that is available from HLAA and the proper way to wear and maintain mask care. My communication is by Next Door, Facebook and Zoom. I even visit their homes, I call them and they even come to my house. I make this easy so they are not afraid. We have snowbirds and home bound. They are all included because we are Florida and this is the SunShine state. And I just moved down here from WI one year ago.
So much for retirement!!!

Take heart. Be patient. Ask questions. Participate in anything where you can learn. Listen to your sixth sense because its right

Jump to this post

@nurseheadakes Thank you for all you're doing with the Clear Mask campaign. Some people play bingo, some play bridge, your pastime is more rewarding and benefits others. It's a shame that colleges do not stress dealing with disabilities enough, if at all. I've presented at several colleges in Michigan. Most of the students are either future audiologists or speech and language pathologists, but my biggest thrill is for the students in the Physical Therapy program. At the end of my lecture, I give case scenarios, to simulate actual cases where a patient may have hearing loss. Colleges are too into textbook teaching and the instructors do not know hearing loss like most of the mentors in this group.
Tony in Michigan

Liked by barbb

REPLY

I was a professional student and worked on getting my MBA in Healthcare Admin despite my hearing loss. My professors knew I had a hearing loss and had hearing aids but were unable to provide any accommodations for me. This was the time when there was little available anyway. So I attempted to educate myself and them about what I needed and they helped me with my studies as much as they could. I finished my MBA in 3 years and was given the MBA Student of the Year Award. While that may have been wonderful, I was also given the opportunity to teach at the MBA level for a semester as well to get my feet wet with students. I did that while I was working full time and learning how to hear with hearing aids. I created power points to teach others about hearing loss and those who I interacted with. I became involved with the State HLAA organization as well as the local Chapter. I interacted with nursing friends that I knew and offered to give them insights into how to work with the deaf/hard of hearing world for one of the hospital system. It was well received. Remember – this is before the digitized technology we take for granted now a days. There was no fancy cell phones and assistive devices to go along with our devices for hearing accept for the "new" FM system that required many different pieces to make it work. Then with time we were given Bluetooth – streaming and highbred digitalized hearing aids with the iPhone that opened our world to better hearing for high prices if you could afford it all in the last 1

Liked by barbb, Michelle

REPLY
@nurseheadakes

I was a professional student and worked on getting my MBA in Healthcare Admin despite my hearing loss. My professors knew I had a hearing loss and had hearing aids but were unable to provide any accommodations for me. This was the time when there was little available anyway. So I attempted to educate myself and them about what I needed and they helped me with my studies as much as they could. I finished my MBA in 3 years and was given the MBA Student of the Year Award. While that may have been wonderful, I was also given the opportunity to teach at the MBA level for a semester as well to get my feet wet with students. I did that while I was working full time and learning how to hear with hearing aids. I created power points to teach others about hearing loss and those who I interacted with. I became involved with the State HLAA organization as well as the local Chapter. I interacted with nursing friends that I knew and offered to give them insights into how to work with the deaf/hard of hearing world for one of the hospital system. It was well received. Remember – this is before the digitized technology we take for granted now a days. There was no fancy cell phones and assistive devices to go along with our devices for hearing accept for the "new" FM system that required many different pieces to make it work. Then with time we were given Bluetooth – streaming and highbred digitalized hearing aids with the iPhone that opened our world to better hearing for high prices if you could afford it all in the last 1

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Sorry….hit the button too fast… last 10 years….I was saying. Amazing really.

REPLY
@barbb

@terryflys4 Here's a concrete example of what I'm talking about in my prior reply. On April Fools day this year, when NYC was in the height of the pandemic here, I fell, went to the ER, diagnosis – fractured wrist. Surgeon did a procedure on my wrist and arm. I pulled out my cell phone to use the Otter app to understand what he was saying. He told me I couldn't do that. I said "why not?" He; "it is against hospital policy".. I said, then please step away and pull off your mask because I can't hear otherwise, which he did, and I was able to manage that. Days later, after recovering from the trauma of the fall, I consulted with Toni Iaccolucci of HLAA, she spoke with the hospital's "patient services" (I don't have the proper name of the Dept immediately handy) who said they would talk with the surgeon. This was important to me not only because of the advocacy needed in hospitals generally, but personally as I had to meet with him for follow up. Together Toni and I worked with that hospital department on getting the cooperation of the surgeon. Follow up app't with the surgeon was no problem. I was able to use my Cell with the app.

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Way to go! Those are the kind of results we want to have!! Thank you.

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