One of the key messages that we focus on with everyone enrolled in our program is the importance of collaboration between doctors, audiologists, teachers, and therapists in case management of children with hearing loss.

During our Video Analysis Program last October, one of the therapists captured a video of herself leading a therapy session with a child she works with regularly. She sent the video to the Global Foundation for feedback from our team of auditory-verbal professionals. In her notes that she included with the video, there was a comment that the child did not seem to be hearing as optimally as possible. When we asked her about it, she had not thought to talk to the local audiology department about her concerns.

Today, the doctors, audiology technicians, and therapists taking part in our program were gathered in one room for lecture and discussion.  We asked this therapist to present this child’s case. We had an open discussion about the roles of the doctors, therapists, and audiology technicians in case management and how to work together to troubleshoot and address potential problems like this one. The Vietnamese listened intently to the therapist’s concerns and then discussed together about what they should do to troubleshoot the situation and try to resolve the issue.

It is moments like these that bring the theory and study of best practices to life.The next time there is concern about a child’s hearing, these therapists and audiology technicians may be more likely to think about reaching out cross-functionally to address problems. Fostering trust and shared accountability is important, especially for the child whose hearing is in question.

 It would have been easy for our Global Foundation audiology professionals to test the child and make any necessary adjustments while they are here in Vietnam. However, that would create dependency. Our goal is to enable the Vietnamese to take care of their own children. With coaching and guidance, our team can share new ways of doing things that may help the Vietnamese professionals in their own work.  When we are not here, they then have the skills, knowledge, and most importantly — the confidence  — that they can address situations like this one themselves.