DeafHear Regional News

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Story of the Month

Visiting the GP and the Dentist: A personal experience.

This is the story of a Hard of Hearing person’s experience while visiting her GP and Dentist. She lives in the West of Ireland and we thank her for permission to use her story. She talks about difficulties with waiting rooms, accents and even X–rays!

DeafHear.ie Story of the Month Aug 2013: Visiting the GP and the dentist; A personal experience.

The intercom system for calling the next patient is my bug bear! It is hard to hear and concentrate on my name being called out when you don't know how long you might have to wait. And it is, hard to hear if there are other background noises like crying babies or other conversations going on at the same time in the waiting room. My GP has this system and I am always afraid of missing my appointment and this has happened once. The doctor needs to come out and call me with eye contact, or make sure I get the message some other way through either a nurse or secretary.

No disrespect intended, but with some of the foreign doctors their accent is very hard for a person like me to understand and it puts an extra barrier there.

I do tell everybody I meet from the reception to the nurse and doctor that I am hard of hearing but it gets tiring at times and easy to forget to tell the next person but I need to make sure that the fact is at the top of the notes so that they know to note it from then on. 

More details of the results of the appointment should be written down (e.g. printed out) before you leave the doctor, and maybe time given to people like me in order to read them, and then more access to the doctor again in order to clarify any questions that may come up on further reflection and time to think.

In the dentist it could be up on the wall if you need to take out hearing aids before dental X–rays instead of having to remember to tell them. I am so used to my hearing aids that I forget what they need to know and what they already know!

They are getting better at spending time with me and realising that they have to speaks clearer slower and use less complicated words and more simple language.

 

Looking Ahead

This person’s story shows some of the issues that arise for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing when they are accessing health services. Research has shown that people with hearing loss are more likely to experience a delayed diagnosis or a medication error due to communication barriers. DeafHear and other organisations are working with the HSE and other health professionals to try and improve access to health services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people.

 

 

 

    


 

more...Hearing loss costs an estimated €2.2bn every year in Ireland.

 

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