Inspired in Albuquerque: talking less, listening more

By Helle Gjønnes Møller

Albuquerque Hearing and Balance aspires to change lives through personalized hearing solutions. Staff members are selected specifically for their positive attitudes and a shared passion for personalized care – and they work intently with each client to explore how their individual challenges impact their lives. With this philosophy, the clinic is a natural fit for the Inspired by Ida program. As all 18 members of staff recently became Inspired, we asked Director of Audiology, Carol Clifford, about their passion for person-centeredness.

1.    What is your clinic’s superpower?

Our clinic’s superpower is the level of detail that we bring to every encounter with our clients. Each client, each family member is treated like they are the most important person in the room. From the level of hearing and balance care to the compassion and appreciation of what is happening in their lives, our staff goes out of their way at every turn.

2.    What three words would you use to describe the Inspired program?

Compassionate. Motivating. Logical.

3.    Why did your team enroll in the Inspired by Ida program?

We have long believed in treating our clients like family and the idea of all our staff learning what a worldwide model of best practice looks like could only make us better.

4.    What changed in your practice after completing Inspired by Ida?

In some of the staff’s faces, I now see a greater degree of pride that we are treating people well. I feel the staff is more creative in how they listen to clients and acknowledge their concerns. 

I also feel that for the audiologists, they now really know that it’s okay not to convince a client to get hearing aids immediately if they aren’t ready. I think in the back of their minds, some of them felt they might be letting the practice down if they didn’t make it happen. Inspired by Ida helped them realize that we really do believe each patient’s timeline is different and that is okay.

5.    What does person-centered care mean to your clients?

Person-centered care means that we talk less and listen more. That we validate where the person is coming from and we stop and understand where they are on their journey. That means we begin by asking what their agenda is for the visit and we help them discover how better hearing might improve their quality of life.

6.    If your clinic was an animal, what would it be and why?

A new puppy because a puppy makes you smile and brings joy and warmth.