It’s no secret that the pandemic created challenges for us all.
We shut down in the middle of March 2020 for two and a half months. We didn’t have to shut down because we were considered an essential service, but we decided to because we couldn’t get PPE — gloves, masks — all that was incredibly hard to find at that time.
My wife Stacey did a fantastic job of basically hunting down all the gloves and masks we could find. The front hallway of our house looked like a warehouse, full of stacks and stacks of boxes.
Once we got all that, we developed an infection and control safety manual with all the staff, and then we reopened on June 1, doing everything as safely as possible. We’ve adjusted our protocols as things have progressed.
I think we’ve had a positive impact. I’ll be honest, I was scared when we shut down. I didn’t have answers. I didn’t know what we were going to come back to. But it’s been a good thing because everything’s even cleaner and safer now.
We’ve experienced good teamwork. You have been fantastic. We’ve had no issues with the new procedures we’ve put in place.
Our Safety Measures Still In Place
We make things as safe as possible.
- We are still using PPE, even for things like earwax removal.
- We have air-purifying filters in all our offices.
- We still sanitize like crazy. We sanitize before you come in; we sanitize after you leave.
- We confirm the appointments the night before and go through the COVID screener. We ask those with any COVID symptoms to reschedule.
- Visits are by appointment only right now, unless you’re coming to purchase things like batteries.
- We ask that everyone wears a mask when they come in. Everyone has been fantastic with it.
- All our staff members are vaccinated, by personal choice.
- We offer remote visit options by video, where you can call us from wherever convenient.
How We’re Adapting Our Services For The Long Term
Eliminating the walk-ins and changing them to booked appointments has been working really well, and it helps both you and our staff to work harmoniously. Now no one has to wait for, say, an hour or two to get a hearing aid serviced. It’s done right away. We’ll likely keep this in place.
Having the technology set up to offer remote health visits is something that we will use indefinitely. It can be a big help to someone who can’t get in to see us for whatever reason.
Masks And Vaccinations Status
One of the unfortunate aspects of having everyone wear a mask is that there can be communication issues.
Some patients can’t hear us while we’re wearing a mask, but we do have contingencies for this – some of our desktops have desk shields that we can stay behind, or we’ll wear a clear face shield so people can see our lips.
Ontario has a higher percentage of vaccinated people than other cities, and all our staff members are fully vaccinated by personal choice.
No-Contact Services For Our Ontario Communities
- We do home visits if you are comfortable with us going into your home. Again, we make sure we’re in full PPE. We’ve been doing that a little bit more than usual. There is a fee to that, but we’re more than happy to visit. It just takes a little bit longer to schedule because we have to make sure our clinician is free.
- There’s the remote, telehealth option.
- We don’t mind running out if you would rather stay in the car to pick up batteries or such, or to ask questions.
We Can Come To You
If your hearing or tinnitus is at a point right now that it’s really impacting your life, know that we are safe and we will do everything we can to make your visit safe and comfortable for you.
If coming out to us is a big challenge, we can come visit you, if you don’t mind having us in your home. I would hate to see someone isolated withdraw even further from not hearing better.
My suggestion is to give us a call, let us know what your difficulties are, and we’ll figure out a solution to how we can get you seen.
Concerned About An Upcoming Appointment?
Everybody’s different; everyone’s situation is unique. Many people have valid reasons for not wanting to be around others right now.
We have no issue working with people under difficult circumstances. My first priority is to keep both you and my staff safe, so there are boundaries to what we can do, but we will work with you to figure out what’s best for you and what would make you comfortable.
Your Safety Is Our Top Priority
We understand that it’s scary to trust that others are taking every precaution necessary to protect your health, but at the same time, we don’t want you to feel scared.
We want you to come in here and feel comfortable and know that your health is being looked after – not just your hearing health but your safety from COVID as well.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have about our safety protocol so we can work out a solution to making sure your hearing is as good as it can be during this time. Contact your nearest location in Kitchener, Guelph, Simcoe, or Waterloo to talk to our professionals.