Jen Mikol, a current doctorate of audiology student at Ohio University, is finishing up her 4th year internship at Hackensack University Medical Center/Hackensack Audiology and Hearing Aid Associates. She completed her undergraduate work at SUNY Plattsburgh as a Communication Sciences and Disorders major. I reached out to her and several other students in the program to see what it was like to live a day in the audiologist student life. Below are several stories that Jen and some of her colleagues thought would be meaningful for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
- I had a patient come in, a 3 year old, very smart little girl. During the testing we ran an automatic test (optoacoustic emissions). I asked her if she could hear the “birdies” and she looked up at me and said no- I instantly had a bad feeling about it. We wound up diagnosing her with a severe to profound hearing loss in one ear. She now wears a soft band BAHA and LOVES IT! She is doing really well in school (top of her class, in her words).
- We had a kiddo come in with hardly any language at 2.5 years. He was diagnosed with a moderately severe SNHL in both of his ears. He was very interactive but just did not say words. He was fit with hearing aids and began speech and language services and he is now a little chatterbox. He is doing really well in school and knows his audiologist as the woman who helps him hear and plays fun games with him.
- I had a kid come in who was starting to go through the process of potentially having a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. He was 4 and very introverted, he did not speak much, he did not connect with people. He had failed hearing screenings but was put off as not being able to engage well. He wound up having a significant (believe it was moderately sever to profound) hearing loss in both ear. We fit him with hearing aids and began getting him proper therapy, primarily speech services. He is not interacting much more with people and saying much more. He is still in intensive therapy however things like this are why our job is so rewarding. We get to help people and work with other wonderful professionals and the families of these kids.
- Plain and simple, I have a little girl who cries every time she has to take her hearing aids out, for testing, a bath, at night, going in the pool, whatever it may be and it breaks my heart and makes me so happy at the same time that she loves getting sound that much!