Daniel Gardner, M.S., Gardner Audiologist
Danica Moore is a Lamar University Doctor of Audiology student who volunteered her time to Gardner Audiology last year. She continues her studies by training and working with audiologists in different types of clinic environment. She submitted the below story to me for online publication.
As a student clinician, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most knowledgeable and renowned audiologists in various clinical settings in Florida and Texas. I am currently at a private practice in Beaumont, Texas that has been family owned for over 40 years. My experience here is something that I will always cherish. While I have been here, I have had the opportunity to work with special needs patients of all ages. These patients have been by far some of the sweetest patients I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I am not always able to obtain a full hearing evaluation on all the patients depending on their severity but at the very, least I do otoscopy and tympanometry to get a visual of their ear canals, ear drum, and the function of their ear drum. I also do my best to get speech thresholds to verify if they have normal hearing within the speech frequencies. If I am unable to obtain speech thresholds, I attempt observe if the patient can localize speech or pure tones. Some of the patients who come in for a hearing evaluation are very cooperative. I have been able to make ear impressions for patients who needed an In-The-Ear hearing aid and I have also been able to collect speech recognition thresholds, word recognition thresholds, and pure tone thresholds for air conduction and bone conduction. These test results will assist in verifying if the patient does have a hearing loss and if further action in needed. While testing I have to be quick to keep the patients interested since they can lose interest rather easily. If I lose their attention and I am unable to get them back on task that is usually the end of the evaluation no matter how much or how little information I have gathered. Even though the patients may be willing to be tested without any issues at times, it is just not possible to obtain the results needed because the patient cannot comprehend the task at hand. When this happens, I reinstruct them in several ways to see if they are able to complete the task of pressing a button, raising their hand, saying yes to hearing a beep, even pointing to body parts, responding to their name, or having them complete different commands. Overall, being able to work with this population has helped to me refine my skills for being able to think on my feet and become efficient in trying to obtain as much information as possible during my time with the patient. These are the types of experiences that will allow me to grow into a well-rounded Audiologist.