Keeping up with changes

“Like any profession, you have to remain current with audiology,” said Sheila Dalzell, Au.D., FAAA, of Dalzells Hearing Centers. “You need to understand what’s changed, what may change as well as try to stay ahead of those changes. Don’t wait until it’s happened.”

As this month’s Inner Circle Spotlight, Dalzell shares her insights on how to best support patients even during changing times.

Patient first

Dalzell has been an audiologist for over 45 years, and what she enjoys most are the interactions with the patients she sees in the office every day. She finds the fact that you can improve people’s lives rewarding. And, placing the patient first is key.

“Patient first is important because we want the end result,” said Dalzell. “Patients who come to our office have to be satisfied by the end of a trial period that they’re hearing what they want, and that they’re using the hearing aids. They understand how to use them as well as the other assistive devices.”

She added that they encourage patients to bring family members so that they can also tell us what that patient hears or doesn’t hear. “Because when you have hearing loss, you may not be aware of things you’re missing when others will be,” said Dalzell.

The evolution of hearing needs

According to Dalzell, taking advantage of training and education from Phonak is important. Because hearing loss changes over time and situations for patients change over time, they need to have the best possible hearing result at any time during their life with the hearing aids.

“The more we understand and know about a product or the ability to program a product is critical to the end user,” she said. “That’s our whole goal; it is that we can improve hearing for every patient that we see.”

Give back to the community

As an audiologist, Dalzell finds it rewarding that she can donate hearing aids and services every year. “I know that they’re being used well and that they’re very much needed,” she said. “It’s a great thing I can do to help give back hearing to individuals. It’s wonderful.”

Dalzell added, “When patients realize that you’re willing to give back and that’s part of what you like to do, they appreciate that.”