During my first year as an audiology doctoral student, I had the privilege of completing my summer internship at Gardner Audiology in the Tampa Bay area. During my stay I was able to attend the Florida Academy of Audiology 2015 convention. This internship gave me the opportunity to work with a very welcoming and knowledgeable staff. The staff at Gardner Audiology was incredibly helpful in answering any questions I could ponder up and they were always willing to share any extra knowledge they deemed useful about hearing aids, testing, working with patients, and managing a private practice. Some of the staff went above and beyond by connecting with me after all the patients were gone to explain situations and work with me by practicing to improve my skills. They also took the time to share constructive feedback that I will continue to refer to throughout the course of my career.
The most impressive thing observed during my internship was how Gardner Audiology emphasized that the services they provide are patient focused and not veered toward selling a product. All the audiologists have a true passion for assisting the patients in finding out what they want and need in order to help the patients achieve their goals. It was an eye opening and uplifting experience to be surrounded by multiple professionals who were excited and motivated to come to work every day and who love what they do and the patients they work with.
I also had the pleasure of volunteering at the Florida Academy of Audiology conference in Orlando to assist CEO Dan Gardner by interviewing audiologists and vendors on their familiarity with the academy’s new website. Attending that conference was one of my favorite activities to date because I felt more knowledgeable and experienced as I discussed products, solutions and current events impacting the field with audiologists and vendors. All the attendees at this convention were very willing to share stories, experiences and best practices that have allowed them to see success and sometimes challenges in the field. It was an eye opening experience to witness the key differences in the way Florida executes their process as compared to Texas, where I currently reside for graduate school. I enjoyed attending the classes that offered additional insights and provided me with a much better grasp on the topics being discussed. The combination of attending school, while also attending this convention, and networking with professionals across the country has provided me with an incredible wealth of knowledge to assist in exploring what my interests are within the field and accomplishing my goals.