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Caring for Patients with Hearing Loss

Posted on February, 26, 2018 by admin

As an STNA, it is likely that you will encounter patients with hearing loss. In fact, 15% of adults in the United States have some form of hearing loss and the percentage only increases as patients age. When caring for these patients, it is important to do everything you can to ensure that they understand the important messages you must communicate to them and that they receive enough stimulation. Below, you’ll find some tips that will help you to give your patients with hearing loss the care they need.

1. Make your lips readable

Many patients with hearing loss rely on lipreading to allow them to understand spoken communication. You can make it easier for them to read your lips by enunciating clearly, ensuring that your lips are not hidden in shadow and that the light of the room is bright enough for your lips to be seen clearly, and making sure your lips are not hidden by facial hair.

2. Consider alternative forms of communication

If your patient uses sign language to communicate, learning even just a few basic signs can make a world of difference for your relationship. Many patients who have lost their hearing with age, however, do not know sign language. If this is the case, you could use pen and paper or a whiteboard and markers to communicate.

3. Care for their hearing aids

If your patient wears hearing aids, you can help them to ensure that they are always in working order. Steps as simple as cleaning out their filters and replacing dead batteries can make a big difference for your patient. If your patient does not have hearing aids, but you believe they could benefit from them, talk to your supervisor. Sometimes, hearing loss occurs so gradually that the patient does not notice it until someone else points it out.

We hope these steps will help you to provide excellent care for your patients with hearing loss. As an STNA, you will likely work with many patients who suffer from some form of hearing loss. By taking the extra steps required to communicate with these patients properly, you can ensure that their wishes are fully understood and that they receive the mental stimulation they need to stay mentally sharp and alert.

Posted in STNA|STNA Issues

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