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Access to Communication

Horizon recognizes the diversity of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community and respects individual patient communication preferences when arranging for services.

Whether you are admitted to a Horizon hospital, or you are entering a Horizon facility for an appointment, we want to ensure that we are effectively communicating with you. By contacting your health care provider in advance, we can make the following services available to you:

Personal amplifier: A wearable device that increases the volume of the speaker’s voice in headphones worn by the listener.

Telephone amplifier: A telephone attachment that increases the volume of the caller’s voice. This device is available to inpatients.

Sign language interpreting services:

An in-person or virtual (on a video screen) professional sign language interpreter can be arranged for appointments in either official language.

  • In-person professional sign language interpreters are provided by the New Brunswick Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services Inc., with advance notice.
  • Virtual professional sign language interpreters are provided in Horizon facilities for use by Horizon employees through the Language Line Interpreter on Wheels service.

Preparing for Your Hospital Stay or Visit

  • Communication Card: A personal information card to help you register for appointments.
  • Family/Friend Contact: Decide prior to your visit who will be your contact person while you are at the hospital and have that contact information available.
  • Keep a Record: Bring a complete list of medications, medical history, current doctors, your audiologist and contact numbers to the hospital.
  • Devices to Bring: Smartphone, iPad, hearing devices with extra batteries or charger and hearing device case labelled with your name.
  • Smartphone Apps: Load any apps that you will need to communicate.  Be sure to practice using Speech-to-Text apps, such as Google Live Transcribe, before going to the hospital.  It is also important to write down login information if an app requires a password.
  • Alternative Communication Methods: A pad of paper and a pen, white board, markers or writing tablet are also useful communication tools. Bring these to the hospital as a backup tool to your smartphone or hearing device.

Help Us Ensure Good Communication during your visit:

  • Let us know about your hearing loss
  • Ask us to speak clearly, and to face you when speaking
  • Remember that fatigue can affect your listening
  • Ask us to rephrase or to write out the information
  • Repeat the message back to ensure you understood correctly
  • Ask for written information about your medical condition, medication, or treatment

Blue Ear Symbol

Horizon uses the International Symbol of Access for Hearing Loss (often called the “Blue Ear” symbol).

Horizon displays The Blue Ear symbol to:

  • Identify the availability of assistive communication devices;
  • let patients know that employees are trained to communicate with the hard-of-hearing population;
  • and to identify a person as hard-of-hearing.

A Blue Ear sticker or card may be attached to the front of a patient’s chart or on a patient’s armband to alert staff there is a need for assistive communication. Patients may also carry Blue Ear cards to identify themselves as hard-of-hearing.

Transparent Masks

Horizon is committed to providing the most up-to-date transparent face masks approved for use by Health Canada to its employees in key areas like COVID-19 screening and patient registration stations to help Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors lip read and see facial expressions.

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Resources

Access to Communication Poster

Access to Communication Infographic

Patient Guide – Are you Deaf or hard of hearing?

Communication Card – A personal information card

We welcome your feedback!

We’re always looking for ways to improve how we communicate with the Deaf or hard-of-hearing community. Click here to have your say.