Friday, December 12, 2008

Harmony. Jo-Ann.

The other day we had a seminar that attempted to introduce us to what happens when a patient leaves the hospital. Specifically, elderly, chronically ill patients. Where do they go when we're done patching them up? Back home? Rehab? The curb?

One of the essential skills the lecturer highlighted was performing a functional assessment in order to determine just what our geriatric charge can or can't do for themselves. Part of that includes testing their hearing. Makes sense.

The lecturer went on to say that when older people are hard of hearing, it really isn't helpful to start shouting at them. Not only do you up the HIPAA ante of broadcasting their health status, but raising your voice tends to elevate vocal pitch. This is troublesome since higher tones are the first to go as human hearing degenerates, so even though you're louder, you may not be any more intelligible.

The lecturer suggested instead of yelling into the patient's face we, especially us women, consider lowering our voice.

The rest of the seminar was lost on me. All I could do was imagine interviewing my patients in this voice (heard between 1:17-1:20):