A Message from Principal Audiologist and Owner, Emma van Wanrooy
We are all coming to terms with how dramatically our lives are changing as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. I wanted to let you know what my plans are for Pittwater Hearing during this uncertain time. At this stage, we are regarded as an essential service, and are therefore allowed to continue operating.
One of my greatest concerns has been how can I balance the safety of my staff and clients, while still providing you with the services you need. I am acutely aware how vulnerable a lot of you are feeling right now, and your safety is of my utmost concern. In addition, I believe that ensuring that you can hear as well as possible during this time of social isolation is critically important. Phone calls and video chats are going to be so important to maintaining contact with family and friends for most of you.
Based on the advice and training that I have undergone through the Australian Government Department of Health and my professional bodies, I have devised a plan that I am confident will ensure that Pittwater Hearing can continue to assist you during this pandemic. We have implemented strict infection control procedures in the clinic. Below is an outline of my plan which I have devised to be viable for as long as is needed:
- Avalon Clinic: Our office in Avalon will remain open as long as we are allowed according to the restrictions set in place by the NSW and Federal Governments. Our standard hours of 9am – 4pm Monday – Friday will remain. Other times are available by appointment.
- Mona Vale: It is with great sadness that we have decided to put on hold our visiting site at Gilbert Collins Medical Practice. There are multiple reasons for this decision that we are happy to explain to clients who ask. At the end of June 2020, we will review the situation again. For those clients relying on this site, please contact us to discuss alternative ways of receiving your services. For those with upcoming appointments, we will be in touch to discuss alternatives.
- Self – Isolation: We encourage our elderly clients and those with other health conditions to follow the advice of their GP’s, Medical Specialists and families and stay at home as advised. Anyone who is has an appointment coming up with us will be contacted to check if you still want to come in. We will talk to you about alternative ways of delivering the service that you need.
- Hearing Aid Supplies: Batteries, hearing aid parts (domes, wax filters, drying capsules etc) can be ordered via phone call or email. You can make payments by credit card or bank transfer, and we will mail out your order.
- Hearing Aid Repairs: If your hearing aids stop working and you are house-bound, please consider the following alternatives to walking in:
- We can assist you over the phone or via video-link (zoom or facetime) to troubleshoot the problem
- Ask a family member to bring in your hearing aids for us to service
- Phone ahead and schedule a time to ensure that you come into the office when it is likely to be quiet to ensure physical distancing.
All Hearing Aid Manufacturers remain open, and our regular courier is still operating so hearing aid orders and repairs are possible.
- Audiology Appointments in the age of Social Distancing: Thankfully I have extensive experience delivering services using TeleAudiology. This will be used to deliver services in the following ways.
- In the Clinic: Our advice from the Department of Health is to adhere to social distancing rules as much as possible while acknowledging that this is not always possible in order to do our job. We have therefore decided to modify our clinic set up to minimise the amount of time that we sit with you in the test room with the door closed.
We will continue to talk to you face to face (at a distance of 1.5 metres), but when conducting testing, we will be operating the equipment from the next room, and communicating with you via video on an iPad. This may sound very strange and hard to visualise, so we will be sending out more information on this soon to help you understand our new way of working.
- Adjusting your Hearing Aids at Home: Not all, but a lot of hearing aids that we have fitted over the last 3 years can be adjusted using an app on your Smartphone, iPad or tablet. Compatibility with phones and tablets is different for the various brands and models of hearing aids. Talk to us about whether this alternative is available with your devices.
I know that the pace of change of lives right now is rapid, and it is hard to get our heads away all the new ways of conducting our lives. So, we will be sending out more information to assist you in a variety of ways:
- On our website: pittwaterhearing.com.au/blog/
- Via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northavalonhearing/
- Via Newsletters. We will use email where we have your email address, otherwise, they will be posted. If you have changed your email address, please let us know.
I am so grateful for the way you have all supported me and our clinic over the last 5 years. We know that we won’t see some of you in person for a while, and we will miss your visits greatly, but we will keep in touch.
Wishing you and your families all the best over the coming months. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help you in any way.
Emma van Wanrooy