I am humbled by our profession and am constantly reminded of the responsibility we hold as health care providers. Yes, we work with hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders. Yes, we help clean, check, and program hearing aids. We will patiently, compassionately, and with no small amount of encouragement walk with you every step of the way through whatever challenges your ears are facing.
However, it is so much more intimate than that when you really get to know your patients. When an individual comes in and confides in you that they just found out that they are sick, or that they are having problems with their jobs, or are facing a dilemma with their family, we are there to be a shoulder of support and offer our listening ears through these circumstances as well.
True patient-centered care is not just looking at an individual’s ears. It is examining the patient as a whole, evaluating not just what is important for their auditory system, but what is going to be critical for their overall well-being. Each person who walks through our door is an individual with unique history, skill-set, and needs. But above all, they are individuals to be valued and cherished for who they are as a humans, no matter where they are at that point in their lives when they walk through our doors.