This Student Learned How to Test Hearing

As a first-year graduate student at University of South Florida, we are learning the fundamentals of being an Audiologist, including the complete hearing test battery performed on patients. A small class of eleven, we practice on each other as we learn. Each week, we have learned a new part of the complete hearing test battery. We have been stumbling along, practicing and making mistakes, so when we are ‘released’ into the real world, we will be ready to help people hear.

Two weeks ago, we began to stretch our wings. The undergraduate students are required to come in for testing to get a personal experience about what they are learning. Little do they know, they are the graduate students’ guinea pigs! Our first time performing the complete hearing test battery on actual people; what an experience!

Being a licensed Audiology Assistant for Gardner Audiology for the past year has given me experience working with patients, but this was completely different. Being a graduate audiologist comes with the weight of knowing you are ultimately responsible. You must go over the case history, perform all the tests, interpret the tests, and counsel the patient. It was a lot more difficult than I expected! This semester, we have begun learning how to interpret hearing tests, what is normal and what isn’t. The difference now, however, is after completing the evaluation, we have about two minutes to look over everything and summarize the results, as opposed to a whole class period. Luckily, most of the undergraduate students that I have tested normal hearing, but it is still nerve wracking, none the less! Three weeks in, I am beginning to feel more comfortable with the process. I know that the more experience I gather, the more confident I will become!

Rachel

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