Emily Martinson, AuD, PhD

Hearing loss can impact a person’s life both socially and professionally.  As many people with hearing loss know, conversations in the workplace can be a challenge. For medical professionals, hearing loss can sometimes cause difficulty with hearing critical life-saving sounds. Emergency Medical Technicians, doctors, and nurses all make use of a stethoscope to hear their patients’ heartbeats (or alternately to hold up to doors and eavesdrop on private conversations). Depending on the type and severity of hearing loss, however, this can be a challenge.

What do medical professionals do if their hearing loss makes use of a stethoscope challenging?  There are several options.  Amplified stethoscopes are a great option and can be purchased with your unique hearing loss in mind.  These stethoscopes work almost exactly like traditional stethoscopes, but just make the sound louder and easier to hear. Another great option, especially for professionals with more severe hearing loss, is a visual stethoscope that displays the heart rate on a screen.  This turns the sound into a picture that is easy to see. Many of these options might already be available to you in your workplace.

Check with your employer or hearing care professional for more information!

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