As we come to the end of Otosuite’s 10 year anniversary month, I thought I would close out June with a top ten list of some of my favorite things about being an audiologist. It very much harkens back to the days of my undergraduate, as I considered what healthcare field I would enter (Nursing? Physical Therapy? Speech-Language Therapy??). As I sit here in the Copenhagen airport after spending the past week at our global HQ in Taastrup, DK, I can’t help but recount all of the things that drove me to be a clinician; to put in the long, long hours of hard work studying, and to take a few risks that have ultimately lead me to not only a job that I love, but colleagues that I admire, respect, and truly enjoy working with.
In no particular order…
- Being able to work with people on a personal level.
- I’ve always known that if my job couldn’t be cuddling kittens all day, every day, I wanted to have a job where I could wake up every day knowing that I could help make someone’s life just a little bit better. It could be something as simple as confirming the PE Tube surgery was a success could bring such relief to the parent whose kiddo had been miserable and not hearing well, or now being able to discuss with customers how Otometrics can best help their clinic life with educational opportunities, assisting in getting the settings just right in Otosuite or feature requests for equipment, every day I still feel like I can do my part to ease some pain points and help people get the most out of their investment with our company.
- Always a nerd at heart, academia and the hard sciences have always been a draw for me. And now, I get paid to read research articles and read up on the latest and greatest hearing healthcare technology!
- Personal growth.
- Every professional growth opportunity I’ve had so far in my career has lead me to personal growth as well. Whenever I push myself to learn new equipment, a new test, or read up on new and exciting research, I find I can almost always find something to carry over in my personal like. Sometimes its’ a bit abstract, but it’s always there.
- Tinnitus, tinnitus, tinnitus.
- Love, love, love!
- The look on someone’s face when they hear clearly for the first time in _______ .
- Sometimes it’s a look of confusion, sometimes it’s fear, sometimes it’s tears. But no matter what the reaction is, I always feel a familiar tug at my heart-strings. There have even been a few tears on my part as the patient I was working with realized just how much they had been missing. One of the last hearing aid patients I saw at my job prior to joining Otometrics was an older gentleman with one dead ear and a severe-profound SNHL on the other side, and he had never had hearing aids. Due to a lot of confounding variables we only fit the one ear, and I will never forget the look on his face as tears began welling up in his eyes when he heard my voice clearly for the first time. And now I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
- All of the opportunities.
- I sincerely feel that audiology is one of those professions where opportunities are everywhere, as long as we are willing to stretch ourselves and push past our comfort zone. As someone who can get bored with something pretty easily, I’m very happy with my chosen career path, and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
- Amazing colleagues.
- Since in the US we tend to spend more time at work than at home, I believe it’s vital that you love where you work. Fortunately, I’ve found that someplace, and it’s not just because of the job. I work with some amazing people, which makes this job I love even more fun.
- Learning as a priority.
- I really, really dislike stagnation, and audiology provides a way to always learn something new. As I stated in the above I’m still a nerd at heart, so getting my CEUs is never a chore!
- All of the cool hearing aid colors!
- Once time I fit someone with a red hearing aid for the right ear, and a blue for the left. And it was amazing.
- It’s not just a job, it’s a passion.
- One of my worst fears growing up was that I would never find a job that I was passionate about. I thought, “well if I’m going to spend all of this time in school and spend so much time working as an adult, it had better be something I really care about.” Thankfully I fell into audiology, and don’t plan on looking back anytime soon – when I talk shop with my work colleagues, or discuss with friends and family anything audiology I can still feel my face lighting up with excitement.
And now, since it’s time to go find my gate, I’ll sign off.