If you’ve been putting off a visit with your audiologist or you had a scheduled appointment that had to be cancelled during the COVID-19 lockdown, you may be wondering if it’s now safe to go in for a hearing test or hearing aid maintenance. While there is no clear-cut answer to whether it’s safe to go out yet, many practices are changing their patient care model and office protocols to keep you as healthy as possible.
What to Expect from Your Provider
We have abundant information from local, state and national agencies about best practices for running a health care clinic during this pandemic. The CDC, Oaktree Products and the American Academy of Audiology have issued guidelines and kept supplies in stock to help out, as well
- When possible, we are conducting appointments via telehealth in order to minimize contact.
- We are booking in-person appointments with gaps in between so staff can disinfect the rooms after each patient.
- We encourage you to fill out your intake paperwork online in advance to avoid handling papers back and forth and to minimize time spent in the waiting room.
- We are screening patients and staff for signs of infection, including taking temperatures upon arrival.
- The occupancy in the waiting room is restricted, and we are doing our best to get you into the exam room as quickly as possible.
- Staff and patients must wear face masks.
- When masks must be removed due to communication barriers, it is done from a safe distance.
What You Can Do
The most important thing you can do to protect our staff and other patients is to stay home if you or someone in your house doesn’t feel well. Be sure to follow office protocols and keep your mask on unless instructed to remove it. Wash hands and use sanitizer frequently.
If you schedule a telehealth visit for the first time, expect some technical hurdles at the beginning. While it can be time consuming to set up, it’s worth the time and effort to keep everyone safe.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
While you may feel uneasy heading out into the world, it’s important to take care of your health and wellbeing, too. If your personal wellbeing, safety and relationships are affected by your hearing loss, it may be worth the risk to seek treatment.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the experts at Topeka ENT today.