Tips for Dentists Dealing with Hearing Impaired Patients
Many dentists are not able to communicate with their hearing-impaired patients. However, in Canada and US large number understand the American Sign Language. This website will emphasize the five factors that a dentist should consider when interacting with hearing-impaired patients.
Correct positioning. The communication can be affecting by your situating. You need to make sure that you are in the position that you can be able to communicate perfectly with the patient. Consider the patient with one ear impaired so that you can target the ear that is okay. However, if it’s the case of both ears being affected you should make sure that your face is clear to the patient. The lighting should be controlled to make sure that the patient is able to see your mouth move. Make sure your face is free from any disruption like chewing, beard and face covering.
Do away with any possible intrusion. It’s necessary you make the room free for your communication. It would be in vain for you to advise the patient on the dental care services s/he needs but s/he can’t hear anything. When you are communicating with the patient with hearing difficulties you should make sure that you are not doing something else. Such things may include chewing, covering your face or talking from another room. The hearing impaired patient should see your mouth for him/her to lead what you are saying. Also you should avoid any noise in the room even from the heating and cooling system since it’s going to affect your communications.
Communicate at your best. It’s also important that you make sure you are speaking at your best. This means that you mention word by word as you talk. Unnecessary mouth movement will do more harm to the patient than good if any. The good thing to do when you want to introduce a topic to the patient is to call their name. When you mention the patient’s name you make them concentrate with your topic. Long statement cannot be understood by the patients with hearing challenges.
Respect the context. You should look for simpler words that the patient will understand in case you realize the first word wasn’t understood. You can spoil the mood when you use hard terms the patients can’t understand easily. Put you patient in the topic you are about to discuss first before you start your explanation on the patients’ health. Also give the patient time to ask the question and answer them one by one.
Look for an explainer. In case you are dealing with many deaf patients or seniors you may need an interpreter. A translator will link both of you in a fast way. At all times ensure your attention is to the patient. More information is found online.