Today OuterChat.com mentioned a chat that will be going on about people's experiences with audiologists. I won't be able to participate in the chat, but it got me thinking about my own audiologist. I go to East Valley Hearing, and my audiologist is Dr. Scharber. I've been going there for more than a decade. He was the one who fitted me with my first digital hearing aids, and recently he got me my Oticon Epoqs.
I've read horror stories about people visiting audiologists and being unable to communicate, or dealing with unsympathetic staff and leaving frustrated and confused. I feel very lucky to have gotten an excellent audiologist. Everything about his office is designed to communicate - when you walk in the door, to your right you see a visual history of hearing aids complete with actual displays of old aids, and to your left, you see a display of current hearing aid models, testimonials, and news. Just a bit further down is a small store with useful items like bed shaking alarm clocks, and a television on a loop system. Of course, you have the typical advertisements displaying senior citizens enjoying their new-found hearing. Since pretty much every other patient I see in there is a senior citizen, I can't be snarky about that.
The staff remember my name every time I go in, which is every month or couple of months since I pick up my hearing aid batteries from them. (When I bought my hearing aids, they gave me three years of batteries for free.) They helped me set up the Care Credit to be able to afford my aids, and my audiologist threw in the Streamer accessory for them for free. And every time I go for an actual appointment, Dr. Scharber listens to my concerns, and always has an answer or an explanation. He taught me about entrainment, and helped me set up a new program for my aids that helps me listen in crowded situations. (I will definitely be trying it out at work today. I'm holding myself to it. Expect a blog post on that tomorrow!)
I wish that everyone had an audiologist that listens to them, tells them about their options, describes the technical terms, and does everything possible to ensure they have the best experience with their aids. Knowing the aids are taken care of - and my ears are, too - takes a load off when I have hearing concerns. How about you? What is your audiologist like?