Relating in New Ways
People with hearing loss have more options now for hearing technologies than they did a few years ago. With self-adjusting hearing aids and the ability to buy online or from their local big box retail chain, it has become very easy for people to find a quick fix for their hearing loss. It is more important than ever for audiologists to distinguish themselves and the services they offer. Person-centered care, counseling, and audiologists’ relationships to their clients will increase in importance as the clinician's role shifts away from technology and expands into communication management. These key elements will distinguish a clinician’s practice as you have the knowledge, experience, and personal connection to help potential clients navigate their hearing loss journey and find lasting, effective strategies to improve their communication. The Hearing Care Managers of the Future need to think of themselves as a Sherpa, a captain, or GPS — a guiding factor in their client's journey. To build this connection, you need to offer an individualized treatment plan for each client, including communication strategies that fit their lifestyles, and recognize that their hearing loss journey is unique. You can also serve as an intermediary by connecting your clients to one another through Group AR and other support groups. The strategies you introduce in your sessions will be reinforced if your clients compare notes, share tips, and provide support that they might not otherwise get outside of your appointments. The human connection you offer to your clients is something they cannot find when they buy online. Make the most of it.