Following on from this survey, Comfort Clean Ear, a new dedicated professional ear wax removal service that has started operating in the North-West Tasmania. Comfort Clean Ear removes ear wax using gentle micro-suction technology under direct observation. This is the same safe, gentle and dry technique used and preferred by ENTs and is much more effective at removing impacted wax. Where the syringing method is contra-indicated or for those patients where syringing has not been a pleasant experience, Comfort Clean Ear provides a safe, timely and practical alternative for your patients who may otherwise need to wait excessive periods to see an ENT.
Similar wax removal clinics have integrated well on mainland Australia and have been well received by GPs, Audiologists and ENTs alike. They have helped improve clinical efficiencies by not wasting GPs’ precious time in the medical appointment removing wax, by allowing ENTs better use their time to manage more important ear related problems as well as reducing the need to bring a patient back for another appointment due to wax occlusion for Audiologists.
A link to AMA Tasmania's latest Online Newsletter can be found here which supports the establishment of Comfort Clean Ear.
Summary of Survey Results:
Q1. Have you ever removed wax from a patient's ear?
- 83% answered yes
Q2. If wax removal is not the prime reason for a patient's appointment, how much of the appointment time is taken up by the wax removal procedure?
- 50% of respondents said that wax removal on average took up between 20-33% of the appointment time
Q3. When would you not perform wax removal as part of your appointment even though it has been requested?
- 66% of respondents would not perform wax removal if present otitis externa or evidence of ME pathology
Q4. What method do you or other colleagues use for wax removal at your medical practice?
- 100% of respondents selected ear syringing
Q5. Are you aware of patients refusing to receive wax removal as a result of their aversion to the syringing method?
- 33% of respondents said 'yes'
Q6. Have patients ever complained of pain during the syringing method?
- 33% of respondents said 'yes'
Q7. Have you ever failed to unblock an ear full of wax and if so, what's the frequency?
- Everyone said 'yes' but it doesn't happen that often.
Q8. If available, would you refer your patients to have wax removal performed by specially trained Nurses or Audiologists who possess skills in safe wax removal using the same techniques ENTs use (micro-suction and curettes)?
- 66% of respondents said yes. The other 33% said they would at least offer their patients the option.
Q9. Do you think such a service (that is already offered in most major cities on mainland Australia), if provided outside the GP appointment, would serve as a valuable way to improve clinical efficiencies for GPs?
- 66% of respondents said 'yes'
Q10. Given access to ENT services for public clients requires lengthy waiting periods, do you think a wax removal service provided by Audiologists and/or Qualified Nurses would be a more timely and practical alternative for safe wax removal for patients who choose not to have wax removed via the syringing method?
- All respondents agreed with the assertion.