Evil British NHS Audiologist Makes Deaf Social Work Student Feel Like Drain On Resources

Looks like there are Evil Audiologists over in Britain’s socialized NHS healthcare delivery system, too.
Fuck NHS.


I am 20 years old, a University student studying for my degree in Social Work. I am severely hard of hearing and have worn two hearing aids since birth. I am not blind to the harsh cuts the NHS has faced over the past few years and I understand we have been in a financial crisis under the previous coalition government. However, I have never in the past 20 years seen these cuts affect the service that I receive from the NHS, especially in audiology, the department I receive my hearing aid support from.

Not until now. I want to tell you about my experience a couple of weeks ago.

A few weeks ago, I made an appointment at my local audiology department at the hospital in my local town. This appointment was to have new moulds fitted for my ‘in the ear’ hearing aids. I went into the consultation room and I explained that I needed some new hearing aid moulds due to the current mould rubbing me severely. The moulds had also become discoloured and not very presentable. No hearing aid user likes to wear yellow looking moulds that look mouldy and unpleasant. It is natural that the moulds discolour and I usually stick it out long enough in till they are that bad they need changing.

The audiologist looked at the fit of the aids in my ear and the hearing aid itself. He stated that there was no need for new ones to be made as they fitted well and I had already had new moulds made a year ago. I explained that 6 months to a year seemed usual to come in for new hearing aid moulds. The audiologist stated that now I am in adult services replacements are every 2 years and not as regularly as they would have been in children’s services.

I did not know how else to respond to this but to sit in silence. I had never been told that was now eligible for new moulds every 2 years and not yearly. I was still confused as I had explained to the audiologist that the moulds had discoloured and rubbed me, regardless of how long ago I had new ones. The audiologist stated that on this one occasion he would fit new moulds.

After that the audiologist asked ‘do you know how much hearing aids moulds cost?’ to which I replied I didn’t know. The audiologist stated ‘they cost between £15 to £20 for the moulds and this is very expensive, the money comes out of adult services budgets’. What was going through my head was ‘are you trying to make me feel bad for coming to my appointment and asking for new moulds because my current ones have left me in discomfort’? I was made to feel like a drain on NHS resources and that I was using money unnecessarily, however this was not the case.

Following the moulds being made, the audiologist explained that I would be telephoned to come in and have an appointment to have them fitted. However, as I have fitted my own hearing aids for the past few years I asked if the moulds could be posted instead. The audiologist stated that we do not post them as ‘that costs money and it isn’t cheap for postage’. I pointed out that for years now I have had them sent in the post, but agreed I could come in and have them fitted if they weren’t going to post them. The audiologist stated we only post them to our university students, as I was a student living away, the audiologist agreed to post them on this occasion.

Again I felt like I had to justify myself to the audiologist.

It was also clear that my records weren’t read and my hearing loss understood, because when the moulds were being made and left to harden in my ear, the audiologist started to talk to me. For people who don’t know, to make new moulds the hearing aids have to be taken out for a few minutes. You wait patiently until the solution is hardened and ready to be taken out of the ear and you put your hearing aids back in.

As a professional in audiology I would expect the audiologist to have read my records and check my level of hearing before he tried to communicate with me verbally when I did not have my hearing aids in. I had no idea what was said but nodded and pretended I could hear him – I felt devalued.

I was born with a hearing loss due to sensorineural nerve damage but I have never experienced this feeling in the 20 years I have been using the services. I was not advocated and was alone on this visit. The reason I wanted to write my story was because I want people to understand that you should never feel like you are a burden, scrounger or drain on the NHS.

I will be qualified as a social worker in 12 months and will be paying taxes in which will help fund care that I need. I feel that no one who is hard of hearing or deaf should be spoken to about budgets, cuts and costs on their appointments. I walked away from that appointment wanting to use private services. I want to be proud of using NHS services – I have received extraordinary support for many years from some great audiologists and in writing this I do not want to undermine their amazing work and efforts.

Finally, I completely understand why postage services are being cut and why moulds need to be changed every 2 years and not more regularly. However, it is important that every deaf and hard of hearing patient has these changes explained. I walked out of that appointment feeling undeserving of new hearing aid moulds, I felt that I was using NHS budgets unnecessarily and I did not feel proud to be deaf.

It wasn’t in till I got home and explained this to my mother and older sister, who were appalled at my experience, that it made me want to make other people feel empowered. I want all audiologists to be approachable and provide advice in a manner of professionalism, to understand their patients hearing and to never let them walk out feeling devalued.

National Deaf Children's Society Campaigns blog

Danielle Davies, Deaf Social Work Student Danielle Davies, Deaf Social Work Student

I am 20 years old, a University student studying for my degree in Social Work. I am severely hard of hearing and have worn two hearing aids since birth. I am not blind to the harsh cuts the NHS has faced over the past few years and I understand we have been in a financial crisis under the previous coalition government. However, I have never in the past 20 years seen these cuts affect the service that I receive from the NHS, especially in audiology, the department I receive my hearing aid support from.

Not until now. I want to tell you about my experience a couple of weeks ago.

A few weeks ago, I made an appointment at my local audiology department at the hospital in my local town. This appointment was to have new moulds fitted for my ‘in the ear’ hearing…

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Oticon RetardHearing Website

Hey Oticon USA: You brag about your “Brain Hearing” but you have a brain-dead website that uses Macromedia’s shit Flash plug-in instead of HTML5. brainflash1Did it ever occur to the stupid fuckwads on your website team that Apple won’t allow Flash on the iPhone because it crashes, and that Flash is blocked on many corporate firewalls — Hopefully your own — because it’s buggy as shit? So, your website project manager had your pro website coded in Bang-a-Whore, err, Bangalore: Do Sanjay and Kumar write the embedded code for your Ilium Sense DSP’s too?!

#FAIL! 

brainflashFAIL!

Memo to Researchers on the Rationalized Arcsine Transform

ArcsineMemo to researchers who rely on the Rationalized Arcsine Transform: If you need to use RAU’s to pick flyshit out of pepper near the ceiling or floor, your study methodology is fucked. Read how scoring QuickSIN was designed, to spread out the results for meaningful analysis; or alternately use something like HINT scoring by varying the SNR so your subjects get 50% correct… And then go back to your drawing board to redesign your bungled study.

Get This Asshole Off The Road!

If you’re driving in the LA area, watch out because Paul Sirimarco is on the highway, distracted while masturbating needlessly signing songs to his ASL terp wife Tina… And both are hearing!

Paul Sirimarco
This asshole can’t even make the excuse that Deaf people have a wider field of vision because he is not Deaf. Worse, this isn’t a one-off as you can see from their YouTube channel.

Hey, song copyright holder: Complain to YouTube & the audio will be muted, like this one:

Two Words Why Widex Hearing Aids Cost Too Damn High: “Bird Grinder”

WidexHQAndWindmillMeme

As you cringe when you write out The Big Check for your new pair of Widex hearing aids, wondering why the cost is too damn high, just look in the parking lot of their palatial 394,000 square foot (9 acre!) politically-correct carbon-neutral masturbatorium headquarters in Vassingerod Denmark, equipped with all of the latest overpriced enviro-fascist gewgaws, where you’ll see their 200 foot tall bird grinder in the parking lot, with it’s 130 foot blades killing any bird that flies into them. So, just how many dead birds do you pick up each morning? I’ll bet your Facts About The Widex Headquarters blurb hides this uncomfortable truth. Watch the video.

Free Advice from The Evil Audiologist: Spend your damn money to fix your piece of shit MDex. And make a donation to the National Audubon Society for each bird you sacrifice on your enviro-nazi altar.

Even Jimmy McMillan says Widex Hearing Aids Cost Too Damn High!
Even Jimmy McMillan says Widex Hearing Aids Cost Too Damn High!

Dirty Tricks Used To Sell Hearing Aids: “White Coat Marketing” and The Phony “Research Study” Discount

You’re experiencing trouble hearing: On average it’s taken you seven years to act on it, sometimes asking your family doctor (who is often clueless), sometimes going to an ENT, and sometimes responding to a TV ad or direct mail piece to see a hearing aid dealer or audiologist. Here are two barely-ethical Dirty Tricks they use to get you to buy their often-overpriced wares — And how you can combat them.

 

Dirty Trick #1: White Coat Marketing by the ENT:

You finally act, get your hearing tested, either at a standalone audiologist or hearing aid dispenser, or at an ENT’s office. You’re escorted either into the Dr’s office or treatment room for the “examination,” where he comes in with his white coat. He first looks at the audiogram, then he looks in your ears (and occasionally your nose & mouth), then he looks at the audiogram again, and then he delivers the sales pitch: “see my audiologist down the hall for your hearing aids,” sometimes even walking you down the hallway where you’ll part with thousands of dollars more than you would spend elsewhere.

Dirty Trick #1A: White Coat Marketing to the Scared Mother by the pediatric ENT:

You’re a scared parent of an infant or child newly diagnosed with hearing loss, and the pediatric ENT is telling you Junior needs hearing aids as soon as possible, and to see his audiologist at once, where you’ll quickly “find a way” to part with four, five, even six thousand dollars for low-to-middle grade (usually Phonak, sometimes Oticon) hearing aids, often signing usurious Care Charge or other patient financing agreements or asking Grandma for money. For the smiling Evil Audiologist — especially ones at  “Children’s Hospital of [insert ‘City Name’ here]” or “[insert ‘Big Donor Name’ here] Children’s Hospital” — it’s like taking candy from a baby.

The way to combat this Evil AuD Dirty Trick is to ask the ENT for a prescription for the hearing aids — which ethically he must write — and once you have that, shop around. One thing Evil Audiologists are being forced to do is unbundle their services, and you can leverage this, buying the hearing aids elsewhere and have them programmed for about $200 by any audiologist — Just make sure she uses real ear measurement to get an accurate fit.

[This brings us to Costco: They sell  “locked down” Bernafon, Rexton (Siemens) and ReSound hearing aids one generation behind, and you are forced to return to a Costco that sells hearing aids for any reprogramming. However, the $1299 Phonak Brio hearing aids are the same aids as the current expensive Audeo & Bolero aids; and once purchased can be programmed by any pediatric audiologist with Target 3.3, which every hearing aid professional has loaded (or if they have an earlier Target version tell them to run the updater from the Tools menu). The problem is that Costco will not fit hearing aids to people under 18 (even though they do a good job by using real ear measurement on every fitting), so you may need to ask the store manager if you can buy the aids in the package without being fit so you can take them to your audiologist for the earmolds & fitting.]

 

Dirty Trick #2: The Phony “Research Study” Discount:

This trick is used by ethically-challenged “professionals” to close a sale when the consumer is negotiating for a better price: Typically after some back-and-forth the  Evil Audiologist will say “let me check if there’s a research study you can participate in;” and then he goes into the other room for a few minutes and prints out a phony “research study contract” with your name filled in. He then comes back in and says “Good news! There’s a research study you can participate in that will give you a $1000 discount” as he puts the contract in front of you to sign. But when you look closely at the contract, you’ll see no research institution or other entity named, and you’ll also see words to the effect of  “in return for this valuable renumeration we are asking you to complete the study, and if you do not, you will pay $400 in fees if you return the hearing aids” — Meaning you’re now on the hook for $400 in fees if the Evil AuD fucks up your fitting. First off, all hearing aid manufacturers give generous 60 to 90 day free return privileges to their dealers, so you should never have to pay any more than the nominal cost of the earmolds if you return the aids. If you’re offered one of these phony “research study” contracts, simply cross off the exorbitant dispensing fee; and if they don’t agree, get up & walk out — You don’t want to deal with them.

Southpark Ginger Kids episode on Hulu
Southpark Ginger Kids episode on Hulu

[This is not to condemn all research studies: One small audiology chain in Salem, Oregon that has a boutique practice of specializing in single-sided deafness uses internal studies every couple of years to determine the best CROS hearing aid for first-time and long-time users. He can be an asshole ginger to his colleagues, but he’s NOT an Evil AuD.]


Rotten Audiology Schools

RottenApple_thumb4You walk into your drop-dead gorgeous audiologist’s office and she’s so hot, you pop a boner, ready to plink down $7000 for any new hearing aids she hangs on your ears. However, you need to disconnect her beauty from her brains, and we at The Evil Audiologist are here to assist you.

For starters, look at her diploma on the wall: How do you know that she was actually trained at a real school, and not some mail-order diploma mill… Or worse? We’ll give you our first hint here in the lede: If the school on the sheepskin says Lamar, Missouri State, Texas Tech, Gallaudet or Louisiana Tech, then Run Like Hell!

Fortunately, the people over at US News & World Report rank the various Au.D. clinical doctorate programs out of the 73 in the U.S.; and from our dealings with their alumni, these 3 pages of rankings are surprisingly accurate, especially the bottom-of-the-barrel programs on page 3. In addition, ASHA/CAA accreditation status can tell a story, with the Auburn program having been on probation and the Missouri State program actually — and deservedly — unaccredited.

When you look at the listings, they are somewhat skewed, as part of the ranking methodology is numbers of papers published by their faculty dinosaurs — That is what pushed Vanderbilt’s program to the very top of the pile. Vandy’s an excellent school, and their CI program & clinic are outstanding, but it’s certainly not any better than the others in the Top 8, such as Northwestern, UNC-Chapel Hill, Ohio State, or UT-Dallas. Basically, if the school on your audie’s sheepskin is on the first page, there’s a high probability she’s reasonably competent.

Sometimes lack of publishing can push an otherwise-good program down in the rankings, such as what happened to University of North Texas and University of Oklahoma.

Published papers by faculty can also move a truly rotten audiology school to ratings mediocrity: Several experienced audies who supervise interns have told us that Gallaudet’s Au.D. students have the weakest clinical skills of any they have hired, as fluency in ASL is not a clinical skill — But we bet they masturbate really good! 😀

So-called “transitional AuD” (tAuD) programs are highly variable: These were online programs in which master’s level audiologists enrolled to plump up their credentials after all of the masters’ level programs were decertified (accreditation history here).  Some, like University of Florida, are somewhat good; while puppy mills like Pennsylvania College of Optometry (Salus) and AT Still are dubious. In any event, if you see sheepskins for both an older masters & newer doctorate of audiology, you can get a pretty good reading based on where she earned her master’s.


In our next article, we’ll expose the sorry state of pediatric audiology with actual case histories, but to give you a preview — and with only a couple of notable exceptions — the audiology & CI programs at “Children’s Hospital of [insert city here]” and “[insert Big Donor Name here] Children’s Hospital” are universally rotten to the core.

The notable exceptions that have outstanding pediatric audiology programs are Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago, and All Children’s in St. Pete~