Recognising hearing loss in your patients and supporting their communication needs is key to providing them with the best possible care.
‘Hearing loss pathway’ is the term used to describe a series of steps that can help you to anticipate, assess and meet the needs of your patients so that poor communication doesn’t affect their care and outcomes.
Hearing loss pathway checklist
When you ask yourself the following questions, you’ll make sure you treat all your patients with hearing loss consistently and that you’re supporting them to communicate so that they can have the best care experience possible.
- Do you know what to do if a patient appears to be struggling to hear you?
- Are you using the communication tips?
- Do you have access to communication equipment? For example, a personal listener that can help people with hearing loss to communicate better in noisy places? And, if yes, are you using it?
- Are you screening patients for hearing loss, if a screener is available, and making referrals as appropriate?
- Are you recording suspected or diagnosed hearing loss in patient notes and in their communication care plans, and passing the information on at handover?
- Are you providing patients who use hearing aids with a storage box, if available?
- Are you checking that patients’ hearing aids are working properly?
- Are you using the hearing aid maintenance kit to undertake any basic hearing aid repairs?
- If the patient is profoundly deaf and requires communication support, do you know how to book this?
You may also find our good nursing practice Q&A helpful.