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A waitress with hearing loss is helped by the Phonak Roger On

waitress with hearing loss
Working as a waitress with hearing loss can be a challenge. Often, the acoustics in a restaurant are not very good. There are multiple conversations occurring simultaneously. The environment can also be stressful and high pressure.

Dawn is a young woman who works as a waitress in the Netherlands. She has enjoyed her job at “De Ster Borne” in the north of the country for the past couple years. But because of her hearing loss, she found it difficult to understand customers and colleagues using just her hearing aid. Recently, she discovered the Phonak Roger On – a microphone that connects directly to her hearing aids. It helps her focus on conversations that truly matter.

Waitress with Hearing Loss

As a waitress with hearing loss, Dawn used a hearing aid accessory called the Roger Select microphone by Phonak,  which is a disk-like microphone that is placed on the table for 360 degrees hearing. However, the design was impractical for Dawn’s working environment because she could not directed the microphone. it was also ineffective during activities where she had to keep her hands free.

Recently, she switched to the Roger On microphone because it can be worn on her wrist. It can then be pointed towards the speaker while keeping her hands free for other things. Roger On is a microphone dedicated for all conversations that occur in background noise and over distance. This is especially useful in situations where a variety of conversations and situations are occurring, such as in the workplace or at a noisy restaurant.

For Dawn, it has made a world of difference. She can now take orders at tables all by herself. Contact with her colleagues has also improved considerably.

For Dawn, it has made a world of difference.

Read more: Roger On is the perfect solution for life after university 

Using the Phonak Roger On in Real Life

Since the Roger On microphone is long and thin, it can easily be worn on the wrist using a wristband. With the Roger On on Dawn’s wrist, it is no longer necessary  to stretch her whole arm towards the speaker.

The Roger On also has pointing mode 2.0, which uses three microphones in a row. This allows the user to focus on one person talking or in a group conversation when background noise is present. The zoom function is so powerful that the upper arm can remain next to the body (pointing with the lower arm alone). If there is a lot of noise (or for severe hearing loss) it can be best to still hold the microphone closer to the speaker.

Because Dawn has to point her arm, customers sometimes have a strange look on their faces when orders are being taken. That is why she has worked with a speech therapist to come up with a brief introduction to explain that this allows her to better understand what they are saying. Customers tend to respond positively to this.

Her supervisor, Daniek, also says he has seen an improvement in Dawn’s self-confidence now that she can work autonomously. She also has more contact with her colleagues, whereas she would previously only talk to her supervisors. Dawn was asked if she still wanted to use her old Roger Select, but her answer was very clear: “No, I want the Roger On because it allows me to hear everything!”

Read more: Why we use Phonak Roger On 

Author Details
The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill Blocker von Bueren and Lisa Goldstein.