Five Guidelines for Treating Hearing Impaired Patients
Dentist may have the challenge to get to understand the American Sign Language that is used by the hearing impaired people. The American Sign Language can be used by a portion of the people in Canada and US. Here are the five guidelines to enable the dentist to communicate effectively with their deaf patients.
Perfect positioning. The communication can be affecting by your situating. You need to make sure that you are in the position that you can be able to communicate perfectly with the patient. Consider the patient with one ear impaired so that you can target the ear that is okay. Otherwise on the normal situation of a hearing impaired patient make sure that your mouth and face is visible to the patient. The lighting should be controlled to make sure that the patient is able to see your mouth move. Things like the beard, chewing or putting your hand on the face can reduce the ability of the patient to read your lips movement hence you should avoid them.
Do away with any possible intrusion. It’s necessary you make the room free for your communication. It would be in vain for you to advise the patient on the dental care services s/he needs but s/he can’t hear anything. When you are communicating with the patient with hearing difficulties you should make sure that you are not doing something else. When you have to do something else you should pause the discussion until you will do for you to continue talking. Anytime the patient is not able to see your lips move you can be sure s/he will not grasp anything you are talking about. Don’t talk in a room with background noise since it will affect the hearing ability of the patient.
Communicate at your best. It’s also important that you make sure you are speaking at your best. You should not fake your words as you speak. It’s not appropriate to shout or move your mouth carelessly since the patient will not be able to understand your lips movement. The good thing to do when you want to introduce a topic to the patient is to call their name. This will make them more attentive to understand what you are saying. It’s also not advisable to make a long statement when you are talking to the hearing impaired patient but make a short statement.
Know your topic. The other thing you should do as a dentist is to make your language as simple as possible. You can spoil the mood when you use hard terms the patients can’t understand easily. Put you patient in the topic you are about to discuss first before you start your explanation on the patients’ health. Allow for questions and handle the question one by one.
Look for an explainer. In case you are dealing with many deaf patients or seniors you may need an interpreter. The interpreter will make sure that both of you understand each other perfectly. It’s very important to note that you should always look at the patient as you talk and not the interpreter. More information is found online.