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.
Starting the Academic Year Right! The 2021-2022 academic year began a few weeks ago. Many of you are returning to campus full-time for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring. Many students, myself included, have gotten accustomed to our schools’ virtual format and the flexibility it has provided. It is…
A Year in Review For the first time since the existence of the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA), none of our 2020-2021 SAA Board of Directors (BoD) members met each other in person. In previous years, the SAA BoD would meet in person twice: at the AAA Annual Conference and a few months later in…
The SAA Conference and AAA 2021 Virtual: Can’t wait to “see” you there! In April 2019, when Riley DeBacker (now SAA Past-President) and I met with Sarah Alfieri, the next SAA Programs Committee Chair, Sarah told us her biggest goal was to create a more accessible programs experience for audiology students. Two years and many…