Hearing Devices at Taranaki Base a big help

Huffy the Shih Tzu/Maltese hearing dog with renal patient Larissa Shewen (left), Sue Young (owner of Huffy) and Jane Gubb (Renal Clinical Nurse Manager)

28 March 2012

Amigo hearing devices are at Taranaki Base Hospital to help both patients and health professionals communicate.

New Zealand Hearing Week (26th – 31 March) coincides with the launch of the eight small hearing devices within Taranaki Base Hospital that will allow patients and clinicians to understand each other clearly. The devices consist of a discreet microphone (worn by the health professional) and headset (worn by the patient).

The initiative came from the DHB Disability Action Group which includes patients and clinicians with the aim to improve access to health services within the hospital.

The idea was raised by Sue Young, a volunteer with Deaf Aotearoa who has a congenital hearing impairment, and was followed up with a trial across various hospital departments.

“Hearing impaired people can understand the gist of a sentence but they can miss vital words. These devices make everything calmer, easier for impaired and hearing people,” said Mrs Young.

DHB renal clinical nurse manager Jane Gubb said the device was been invaluable. “We have a number or hearing impaired patients who now can communicate and discuss issues easily.

“We can be confident the patient has heard any questions properly and respond appropriately, it also avoids the need for us to raise our voice or keep repeating information,” said Mrs Gubb.

“These devices are discreet and easy to use - and they make interactions between patient and health professional more productive and enjoyable,”

Haring impaired renal patient Larissa Shewen said she had been receiving dialysis for 14 years. She lost her hearing in 2009 and she has been making do by lip reading and watching hard. “I can cotton on but I don’t necessarily understand everything that is said to me. This aid makes things easier for everyone and I get all the information I need.”

“The nurse or doctor just clips it on to the shirt and they can walk around the place and chat with me,” she said.

Taranaki Base Hospital has eight devices, and is looking to apply for funding for more in South Taranaki.

For more information please call
Sue Carrington
Media Advisor
Ph 021 367 789

Last updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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