Have a patient who’s hard of hearing? A new hospital kit can help improve communication
When Alan Dion spent time at Lions Gate Hospital in the recent past, he made sure not to forget one important item from home: a larger sticker that read: “I am hard of hearing. Please face me. Speak clearly.”
Alan is hard of hearing and wears hearing aids but there are times he needed to take them out. His two days at LGH turned into two weeks so he’s glad he had the sign.
“Without exception, everyone from the housekeeping staff to nurses and physicians said, ‘Good idea. I’ve never seen that kind of sign before,’” recalls Alan. “It really helped for smoother communication. We’ve heard anecdotally that people who come to hospital with hearing aids for tests etc, take them off and then forget them. Or they come unexpectedly to the hospital and are not wearing their hearing aids whether it’s due to a car accident, heart attack or any manner of emergency.”
Since that time in hospital, Alan has become a board member of the North Shore branch of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA). He shared his desire with the board to donate special CHHA-NSB kits to the hospital. The board agreed it was a great idea.
Thanks to the organization’s generosity, hospital kits for patients with hearing loss will be available upon request. The kits include:
- A laminated sign that can be attached to the foot of the bed (One side is for those hard of hearing, the other for those who are deaf.)
- A pad and pen
- A Ziploc bag with a name tag for hearing aids when patients are required to remove them for tests etc
- A small, laminated information card to hand to staff with instructions on how to communicate with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing
- A pin depicting the universal symbol for hard of hearing
“There is a growing number of elderly people on the North Shore and we use the health services frequently, and, as we know, hearing loss goes with age,” says Alan. “With these kits, we think we can make a patient’s experience in the hospital less stressful and easier if staff can properly communicate with them. I do think it will help improve patient care.”
William Findlay, Director Client Relations & Risk Management Patient Care Quality Office, agrees.
“This is excellent” says William. “Lions Gate Hospital is lucky to have a generous and thoughtful community on the North Shore and to have organizations such as the CHHA supply these kits for us.”
If you require a kit for a patient, please inform your manager or contact Tamara VanDenBerg.
For more information about the CHHA North Shore Branch, visit www.chha-nsb.com.