Many people don’t enjoy visits to the doctor or any other health service provider, and one of the reasons is a bad experience in the past. Perhaps a doctor was rude, pushy, inattentive, or unable to provide an accurate diagnosis. Whatever your past experience, it’s normal to be leery of finding a new audiologist who will take good care of you. As you observe and ask for the input of friends, family, and other professionals, look for these three qualities in an audiologist and you’ll be more assured of a good experience, both inside and outside the office.

1. Good time management

Since their services are in such high demand, audiologists are usually busy people who need to juggle many patients on a tight schedule. This doesn’t excuse them from treating you with respect by honoring your time. An audiologist you’re regularly forced to wait for may be lacking in good time management skills. This is a bad sign that other aspects of your care besides the appointment may suffer from delayed responses and action.

2. Good people skills

Like any health professional, an audiologist should take the time to treat you with empathy and interest and listen to your responses and concerns with undivided attention. If you feel immediately uncomfortable, ignored, disrespected, or belittled with an audiologist, it’s best to look elsewhere. A good audiologist will make you feel at ease about what your appointment will entail and comfortable enough to disclose any information that could help them better diagnose your case.

3. Good problem-solving skills

Audiologists are highly educated, but the diagnostic process requires the ability to dig deeper find the root cause of your hearing loss and carefully consider and eliminate all thet factors in your case — especially when there’s not an immediate answer. Without good problem-solving skills, audiologists will have a poor record of diagnosing and providing long-term solutions to hearing loss.

4. Good communication abilities

The terminology an audiologist would use with another audiologist when describing a case shouldn’t be the same used to explain your diagnosis to you or your child. A good audiologist will be able to break down complicated medical processes and terminology so you fully understand your hearing condition and how it can be treated. At the same time, it should never feel as if an audiologist is talking down to you or questioning your intelligence. Audiologists aren’t teachers, but they should possess a very similar skill set.