06 Jun My Internship at HIA
For the past 6 weeks, Catherine (a second year audiology student) has been learning from the staff and patients at our Gladstone office. She took a few moments to describe her experience with us below!
My final week as an intern at Hearing Institute Atlantic has come to an end. The past 6 weeks have taught me so much: from all the places earwax can hide in a hearing aid, to how to test someone’s hearing when they don’t understand English. My time at HIA has provided me with many memorable experiences that I will carry with me as I go forward in my training to become an audiologist.
Before my internship, I had no experience in a private audiology clinic, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I was assigned to two audiologists, Beth and Nona, and I split my time between them. Beth and Nona are both incredibly dedicated to making sure that their patients can hear as well as possible. And sometimes, that isn’t as easy as you may think.
The truth is, hearing aids are not new ears. And taking someone who is used to not hearing, and putting hearing aids on them is not always (or often) a seamless transition. At first, many people find the amplified sound too loud. Some people may notice that the sound of their own voice is bothersome. Other people may notice that music doesn’t sound the way they expect it to. These kinds of issues came up over and over again during my internship, and each time they did, Beth or Nona would make adjustments and hope that things would be better the next time, and they usually were. To help someone re-enter the world of hearing is a process, and the challenges are unique to each person and each type of hearing loss. Although hearing aids are not an instant fix, having a dedicated audiologist can be incredibly effective.
Over my 6 weeks at the Hearing Institute, I saw patients come in to have their hearing tested, get fitted with their first set of hearing aids, and then come back in for readjustments. I learned that treating a hearing loss can take some time and patience, but that the results are absolutely worth it. After one hearing aid fitting follow-up, a patient told me that his hearing aids had given him his life back, and that put every little struggle and readjustment into perspective.
I will truly miss everyone that I had the pleasure of getting to know at Hearing Institute Atlantic, including all of the lovely patients that I had the pleasure to meet. Happy hearing everyone!