COVID-19 and all its variants are still with us, despite all the predictions otherwise, and at Hear in Texas, our focus is on our patients’ well-being.
This is a brand-new practice, and we have set high standards in place to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.
I learned from my previous practice that I must be able to shift and pivot when needed, so even though the following is our current protocol, it will be adjusted as needed in the future.
Some of the services we’ve deemed necessary are:
- Virtual appointments
- Curbside services
- Remote programming for existing patients
- One entry point only – so people are not passing each other in the halls
- Sanitize rooms between appointments
- Masks and/or face shields for our team and available for patients
- Ask patients to reschedule or wear masks if they are not feeling well
COVID-19 Precautions Long Term
I think we will always be more cautious about protecting our patients because of the long-term effects of a COVID-19 illness. We have these procedures in place because of the positive feedback from our patients and because their care is my priority.
They are convenient to our patients and provide them peace of mind that we are doing all we can to keep them safe – not just from the pandemic but also from other illnesses.
Mask Wearing And Vaccination Proof
Wearing masks – I feel that if more of us wore masks, we would help decrease the transmission of COVID and other viruses like the flu.
Vaccination – Although we do not require proof of vaccination, I highly encourage it. Interestingly, most of my staff at my previous clinic contracted COVID, and those who did not had had their vaccinations plus the booster. I know the vaccines can’t always prevent one from getting COVID, but anything helps.
If You Would Rather Not Visit A Clinic At This Time
We offer new patients virtual appointments and online hearing tests. Although this is not the best scenario, at least it gives us some insight into what is going on.
Existing patients can book virtual appointments, remote programming, and curbside drop-off or mailing of their hearing aids for a proper cleaning and function check.
Postponing A Hearing Consultation Until After The Pandemic?
Many people have realized they have a hearing problem because of the pandemic – with mask wearing, people are not able to read lips, and some masks muffle speech.
Because the correction of hearing loss is the #1 modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline, I would say don’t wait. Waiting can have adverse effects on your sense of well-being and future cognitive abilities.
We will take every precaution to make sure you are safe in our clinic.
To Reassure You
One of the reasons I love what I do is that I’m not the type of doctor who sees sick patients. I’m a doctor of audiology. I see well patients and make their lives better. Hearing is definitely not a life-or-death situation, so patients are not in our office when they are sick.
We also do all we can to keep our office sanitized. Even if masks are not mandatory, we will wear them if it makes the patient feel safer, and we provide them to anyone who wants to use them while in our office.