Why did you choose to pursue a career in audiology? Although each of our “whys” may differ, our passions have led us here, whether they be in clinical practice, research, education, and/or diagnostics. In the audiology profession, the opportunities for growth and change are endless!
My “why” stems from the care clinical audiologists have for their patients. This care and compassion solidified my passion for audiology. Our profession is unique in the way we care for our patients and their families, both in our offices and their everyday environments – all around the globe! During my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to serve on a humanitarian audiology trip to Guatemala. This trip broadened my perspective of access to hearing healthcare, sparked the beginning of my professional journey, and showed me with utmost certainty that audiology was the path for me.
Throughout my undergraduate studies, I stayed connected to the local community through volunteering, advocacy, and charitable/humanitarian efforts. During my first year of graduate school, I returned to Guatemala for another humanitarian audiology trip. My love for audiology continued to grow during this trip as I saw first-hand how the gift of hearing can light up people’s lives.
After my first year in graduate school, I decided to bring this passion back to the forefront of my life. I discovered Equal Access Auburn through the Harrison School of Pharmacy at Auburn University, which opened an opportunity for my SAA chapter to get involved in local audiology-related humanitarian endeavors. The organization provides relief services to underserved members of the community. With support from our department, clinical supervisors, and Equal Access Auburn, our local SAA chapter now provides free hearing screenings.
Local humanitarian efforts connect us to our community and provide us with an opportunity to develop relationships with those who might not otherwise have the means or ability to access services. After participating in our first community screening, it was evident how grateful the community members were. The positive impact we had resonated with us. Participating in community events allowed us to not only give back, but challenged us to become better clinicians by finding creative testing solutions and recommendations.
Whatever your “why” is, foster it and keep it at the forefront of your endeavors. Reach out to established campus and/or local organizations that share your focus or start your own initiative. Research established campus organizations and work with your professors to make connections. Be creative and show your community your “why” for audiology!
For more information about different humanitarian initiatives and events your local SAA chapter can organize for your community, visit the SAA Program Ideas Bank.
Megan Tice is currently a third-year audiology student at Auburn University in Alabama. Megan is completing her fall clinical rotation at Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat of Atlanta. She is currently serving on the SAA Board of Directors as the Public Outreach Chair. Her interests include pediatrics, humanitarian outreach, and cochlear implants.
By: Sarah Crow, BS Sarah Crow, BS (she/her), is a third-year audiology student at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). She serves on the national SAA Board of Directors and is currently the chair of the Member Relations Committee. The following article highlights Sarah’s humanitarian audiology experience offered through her university program. As I…
SAA chapters around the country are involved with fundraisers. After all, money makes the world go ‘round, right? Seven years ago, the students at the University of Iowa (UI) decided to put their money where their mouths are and give back to the patrons of the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic. On October 26,…
Are you interested in getting involved in international humanitarian work? Read this short interview, conducted by Molly Mochel, and learn about our student members’ experiences. Sara Brooks Weems, 4th year AuD student from South Alabama University What international audiology humanitarian work have you been involved with? In other words, what was the trip, who…