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Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Patient Moments: Why Audiology Is a Top-Five Profession
By Mary Rapaport
ReSound

The joy of hearing is all about small moments—the sound of bicycle bells on a spring day, an intimate whisper in a crowded restaurant, a granddaughter’s first words. Restoring these moments is what inspires us every day. Every time hearing is restored, another magical moment is created. Hearing is so fundamental that professionals who restore it help their patients start brand new lives. 
 
It is in these moments that audiologists remember why they chose hearing healthcare. It is not surprising that CareerCast recently rated audiology as a top five profession.
 
ReSound has launched the Moments Movement as a way to recognize hearing healthcare professionals and elevate the patient moments that inspire and motivate them daily. Here are some of the most inspiring moments that have been shared.
 
Getting to Know Your Wife All Over Again
Adriana Rodriguez-Miciak of Baylor College of Medicine had her "why I chose this career" moment with a young man who has congenital hearing loss. At the fitting, his eyes lit up. He could hear the birds for the first time in probably many, many years. When his wife spoke, he was floored by how natural and clear her voice sounded. It was as if he was getting to know her all over again.
 
The Cries of Your Newborn Son
Lynda Wayne of Cadence Hearing says her favorite moment was when a young man brought his newborn baby into the office. Prior to hearing aids, he had never heard his child cry or make noises at all. As soon as Dr. Wayne programmed the instruments, his wife brought the baby into the office. The patient's eyes widened and then started to tear up upon hearing his new baby boy. This man, who had a severe hearing loss, had emigrated from Russia and was never fit previously. "This was his first experience with hearing aids, and it certainly was a memorable one," Dr. Wayne said.
 
Helping a Child with Cancer
Caroline Bjarnason of Integrity Hearing & Balance experienced one of the most profound moments of her career while working as a pediatric audiologist in Southern California. She had been performing routine hearing exams on a child who was undergoing chemotherapy. At one of the exams, she diagnosed a hearing loss. As she explained the results, the patient's mother cried. A few weeks later, the patient came into her office for a hearing aid fitting. During the fitting, the mother realized her child could hear again, and she cried once more. She then turned and said something the audiologist has never forgotten: the mother thanked Ms. Bjarnason for returning her child to her. Of all the things her child had lost to cancer, hearing was the most tragic, she said. "In that moment I realized, more than ever, what an integral part I play in the lives of my patients," Ms. Bjarnason said.
 
The Sounds of Spring
For Eliza Floyd of Audio Hearing Center, her moment occurred when seeing a patient for a follow-up visit. As the two of them chatted, the patient mentioned that her daughter, who always visits in the spring, had been in town recently. The patient and her daughter were enjoying some conversation one night in the kitchen when, all of a sudden, the patient heard a sound that she recognized but hadn't heard in many years—peepers! "It's a sound that is very unique to spring," Dr. Floyd said. "She was so happy that she could hear them again after so many years and delighted that her daughter could be there to witness the moment."
 
Emerging from the Silence
Bonny Kuhfal of Bay Area Hearing Services saw an older gentleman from the Philippines who had not heard for many, many years. His daughter told Ms. Kuhfal that he never spoke to anyone and no one ever talked to him; he had withdrawn into total silence. When Ms. Kuhfal turned on the hearing aids, his face lit up with a smile from ear to ear. He said, "I don't want to leave this room. I want to stay and talk to you all day." He was teary eyed, and so was everyone else in the room.
 
ReSound is collecting moments like these online at  www.gnresound.com/moments and awarding monthly grants to the hearing healthcare professionals who help make these moments possible.
About the Author

Michelle Hogan, Editor
Editor, The Hearing Journal

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