I have lost count of how many times I have had a patient say “thank you for your time” or ” I don’t want to take up anymore of your time” during an appointment. I always reassure them that they are not taking up all my time and my time is dedicated to their needs. A lot of the time, it is not just their hearing needs. I have listened to patients who are so stressed out about work, life, or family situations that it is not only affecting the tinnitus that they have in their ears, but their health as well. I have been their shoulder to cry on, their person to vent their frustrations to, and I am not afraid to throw in a hug or two because that patient really needed it at that time.
As an audiologist, I think 25% of our time is dedicated to hearing aid adjustments, diagnostic evaluations, and hearing aid cleanings. The other 75% of our time goes towards counseling and “just being there” for our patients. It is all about connection! As human beings, we all need that connection. Sometimes it is as simple as placing my hand over theirs when I sense sadness or frustration, a healthy laugh to ease some tension, a hug to share in their pain, or, for some of the older gentleman that I work with, a quick kiss on the cheek. This is what makes us different from others and we will continue to be there for all of our patients!