At the doctor

April 15, 2016


For hearing-impaired people

Before your appointment with the doctor:

  • Make a written list of what you want to talk about.
  • Bring paper and pen.
  • Make sure your hearing aids are functional (e.g., batteries).

In the waiting room:

  • If you have hearing aids, use them.
  • Tell the receptionist that you are hearing impaired.
  • Show the receptionist your “CommuniCarte”.
  • Show the receptionist your special card for waiting rooms.
  • Ask that someone write in your medical file that you are hearing impaired.
  • Ask the receptionist to use the basic communication strategies (see section Basic communication strategies).
  • If needed, ask the receptionist to write down important information.

During the appointment:

  • Be positive and relaxed.
  • If you have hearing aids, use them.
  • Remind your doctor that you are hearing impaired.
  • Do not act like you understood if you did not.
  • If there is something you did not understand, ask your doctor to repeat it.
  • Tell your doctor how to help you: look at you and not cover their face, talk more slowly and a little more loudly, make short and simple sentences.
  • Observe the doctor when they are talking to you (lip movements, facial expressions).
  • Ask the doctor to write down important things you discussed during the appointment.
  • If you feel like you are not able to understand everything, ask another person to go with you.

If you have to take off your hearing aids during the appointment:

  • Inform the doctor that you do not hear well without your hearing aids.
  • Before taking your hearing aids off, ask the doctor to explain what will be done.
  • After the exam, put your hearing aids back on and ask your doctor to explain the important things (e.g., observations).

At the end of the appointment:

  • Repeat what you understood to be sure you got all the important items.
  • If you need to make another appointment, do it on the spot if possible (not on the phone).

Basic communication strategies

Ask your communication partner to:

  • Look at you and not cover their face
  • Talk more slowly and a little more loudly, without yelling
  • Make short and simple sentences
  • Write down important information


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