Expected Outcomes:

• Dispensers assist patients in coming to grips with the reality of their hearing loss and in the process of accepting amplification or other assistive listening devices.
• Dispensers educate the family and the patient in the ramifications of a hearing loss and what is a reasonable expectation for improved communication with amplification.
• To facilitate listening in various acoustic environments.
• To provide alerting systems to: augment the benefits of the hearing aids, establish procedures for follow-up and provide information to allied healthcare professionals.

Indications for Procedure:

• Individuals who have had their hearing evaluated.
• Individuals who are being fitted with amplification.
• Individuals who need more help than their hearing aids can provide in various situations.

Procedure Methods:

• Explain otoscopic examination and audiometric assessment to patient.
• Discuss patient’s reactions to hearing instruments.
• Discuss with patient various treatment options, e.g., different levels of technology, different styles of hearing instruments.
• Provide patient with hearing rehabilitation exercises.
• Explain hearing instrument use in different listening environments.
• Instruct patient on proper instrument insertion and removal techniques.
• Counsel patient on cerumen management.
• Counsel patient regarding care and use of instrument.
• Counsel patient on battery life and insertion/removal techniques.
• Counsel patient on telephone usage with hearing instruments and assistive listening device coupling as necessary.
•Counsel patient on amplification expectations and limitations:
• Discussion of appropriate expectations for amplification include improved communication, freedom from unwanted feedback, minimization of the occlusion effect and more auditory benefit in quiet than in noise
• Patient is advised of their legal rights for hearing aid adjustment, replacement and return
• Self-assessment tools that measure degree of hearing handicap and/or pre- and post-fitting satisfaction are an appropriate tool for measuring patient satisfaction
• Instruct patient/family in effective listening techniques with hearing aids
• Counsel family members about patient’s adjustment and use of hearing aids
• Provide patient with information concerning environmental modifications that can ease communication
• May provide patient with information on speech reading or other aural rehabilitation classes
• May include demonstration and information on devices to enhance telephone usage; listening to television; listening in church; listening in restaurants and other difficult listening environments; listening in the classroom or auditoriums; and telephone, doorbell and smoke alarm alerting systems
• Formulate long-term treatment program
• Establish methods for recording care from treatment to rehabilitation
• Counsel patient on importance of follow-up visits
• Provide physician, with patient’s permission according to HIPAA standards, your audiometric evaluation and recommendations and communicate with other allied health professionals as appropriate.
(Reprinted from the International Hearing Society web site open to the public)