Listen Up: May is Better Hearing Month
The month of May is always such a busy time of year. There are graduations, holidays, and many parties; the best part is that May is Better Hearing Month. The entire month is dedicated to celebrating the cornerstone of audiology, and arguably, it should be celebrated every day. ‘Better hearing’ is a nuanced term though, and this year, in particular, I think we should look at it through a lens of better listening. Human connection has been limited for over a year now, and we all deserve a little bit more of it. As hearing and communication experts, we should strive to be better listeners and model better listening practices to those around us.
Listen to your patients. As future audiologists, I think most of us love being fixers and want to offer all our knowledge the moment we can. I urge you to hold those thoughts to yourself for a few extra moments. Sometimes people share things with you, and instead of a solution, they need a little bit of understanding. Ultimately, this builds our relationship and emphasizes patient-centered care.
Listen to your family and friends. I know you might not be able to see them in person, but give that friend a call who you haven’t talked to in a few months. Let that human connection fill up your cup; find joy in listening to your friend share their life woes and sharing your woes with them. These moments are crucial in keeping us going.
Listen to yourself. Whether it’s the brain, heart, or gut telling you something, listen to it! Each of these systems is meant to be a warning system in some way, shape, or form. If your brain tells you to sleep, then take a nap and take it easy. If your heart tells you to take the very comprehensive, yet very far away from home internship, then take the internship. If your gut tells you that something is amiss with your ABR, then investigate it further. Humans are very intuitive, so listen to yourself!
As the month winds down, I encourage you to continue practicing and modeling better listening throughout your daily life. It’s been a tough year, and I think we all need a little more connection with better listening.
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