You’ve made a big step. You’ve talked with a loved one and convinced him or her that getting a hearing test and possibly being fitted with a hearing device would increase his or her quality of life. The next step is to find an audiology office that you can trust to take care of your loved one and do the best job possible. What are some things to look for in an audiologist office?
Find a referral
If you have friends or family members who have been to an audiologist and have had a good experience, you may be able to use that information to your advantage. If you have an older parent, there’s a good chance that one of his or her peers have already had experience with an audiologist.
Longevity of the practice
A practice that has been in business for a long time is usually a good sign, because it shows that the audiologist has returning patients who are happy with the level of service. This also is important because there is no worry about them leaving suddenly and closing their business.
Check the audiologist’s website, and see if it has helpful information and client testimonials you can read through. That is not to say that the quality of the website reflects on the quality of service, but a modern and frequently updated website does reveal that the audiologist is “with the times” and probably follows the latest developing trends in the field. In this same category of things to research are other reviews from third party websites such as Yelp, where you’ll know you’re getting feedback straight from the patient.
Expertise of the Audiologist
Hearing devices are a big investment. You want a professional who has the training necessary to fit you with the best technology. You should feel you are being helped instead of just pushed a product. Treating hearing issues goes beyond the product. You will be with this person for a long time so having someone you can trust and feel comfortable with is vital. Are they able to explain your hearing loss and how hearing aids will help you? Are they knowledgeable about devices to help you hear better? Do they explain everything thoroughly and take time to make sure everything is answered?
Not all hearing aid practices are created equal. Some offices may be owned by hearing aid dispensers, large corporations, or even insurance companies. The result is not quality care and customer service. You may also experience high turnover with the employees. Hearing devices purchased at these places can be locked so that the patient can only return to that location to have anything reprogrammed, adjusted, or repaired. A privately owned practice will allow patients to receive the upmost service, patience from the staff and audiologist, and hearing aids that are unlocked.
Though proximity may be your first search criteria when looking for an audiologist, it shouldn’t be your main deciding factor. Finding someone who is a great fit nearby is always a plus, but don’t choose an audiologist simply because they are the closest to your home. Consider the other factors in this post and be willing to go a little further if necessary to get the best quality care.
Helpfulness of the staff
Once you think you’ve found the right place, what is your experience like when you walk in? Is the staff welcoming and helpful? Do they take care to answer all your questions, from ones about hearing health and hearing devices to more routine questions about insurance billing and industry trends?
Chicago Hearing Services was established in 1990 to enhance the lives of the patients we serve in Chicagoland. Our office is built upon high standards, training and expertise, patient education, and most of all a positive patient experience. The entire team is dedicated to providing you with excellent, personalized care and service to make your or your loved one’s visits as comfortable and pleasant as possible. Get in touch with us today to schedule your appointment!