My sister, Diana, when she was a director with Mary Kay she would always talk about her “why”. Why is she doing something, why did she choose something, what is her larger purpose? As I started reflecting on my career and my path, I found I had a why too. Does the “why” change? I think it does. In order to understand my “why” I think you deserve to know my journey.
I started out at our community college majoring in Pre-Med/Pre-Nursing. I was working as a CNA at our local community hospital and loving it. I took a microbiology class and thought maybe I should major in that and do that as a career. One day while talking to one of the nurses about my career path and mentioning microbiology, she said “no you have too good of a bedside manner, you need to work with people”. It was then that I knew I needed a career where I could have patient care. When transferring to the University of North Dakota, I needed a major so as I was looking through the school catalog, I feel upon Communication Sciences and Disorders. I decided to go along with this major still with the goal of going to medical school. I just didn’t want the typical chemistry or biology degree. It was during my senior year of college, that my career path was ever changed.
During Dr. Kevin Fire’s Intro to Audiology class, I knew I found my career and my field. Dr. Fire taught with excitement, energy, and passion. I knew he liked his chosen field and wanted us to like it as well. He demanded a lot out of us with great reward though. Audiology is a perfect blend with my love of science, math, and human interaction. I knew I had found the correct field while on a very windy journey.
Diving deep into Audiology
When I started graduate school at The Ohio State University in 2005, I never knew my journey would take me to my present day. I began audiology thinking I wanted to work with children, dizzy patients, and tinnitus–boy was I wrong! I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing than working with adult patients specializing in hearing aids and aural rehabilitation. I want to own a practice one day and contribute to the world of small business.
I want hearing aids and audiology to be something respected. I want patients that are excited to come see me. I know my patients need me and I’m happy I touch a little part of their day. Sometimes sitting after a patient leaves, I think “wow I may be the only person that they have saw that week–I’m pretty lucky it was me!”
Whether you a student wondering about a career or possibly a patient (or soon to be one), find an audiologist with passion, excitement and a true love of what they do. If you are a fellow colleague, allow your patients to see your excitement and passion about your career and tell them your “why”.
For me my “Audiology Why” has become a path to make people’s lives a little brighter, a bit more positive, and possibly last a bit longer. It isn’t just about fitting a hearing aid or changing the person’s tubing but rather what can I do to make their life a little less stressful, less anxiety, less withdrawal, less isolation, and more carefree, daring, brave, and confident.