In support of the Academy’s Preferred Futures to "ensure that audiologists are known as the preferred health-care providers for hearing and balance wellness," the Academy has developed a unique and essential collegial relationship with the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP). The mission of the NAAHP is to "serve as a resource for the professional development of health professions advisors. The association promotes high standards for health professions advising at universities and colleges. It assists advisors in fostering the intellectual, personal, and humanistic development of students as they prepare for careers in health professions." Our relationship with this important association of health profession advisors is critical to expand access to the profession of audiology to students in colleges, universities and community colleges across the nation as they determine which health profession to pursue as a career choice.
Your Academy sought out and was invited to participate on the Advisory Council for the NAAHP. The Advisory Council is made up of 19 representatives from various health-care professions (i.e., audiology, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, podiatric medicine, optometry, chiropractic, and more) and the purpose of the council is to advise the NAAHP on the latest and greatest in each field and what would attract students to consider a career path in one health profession or another.
At the biennial meeting of the NAAHP, which was held in Baltimore, June 20-24, 2012, the Academy participated as an exhibitor on the showroom floor and provided a Health Professions Update to nearly 300 health professions advisors. The update was attended by Donna Pitts, AuD (current president of the Maryland Academy of Audiology), Alicia Spoor, AuD (past president of the Maryland Academy of Audiology), and Therese C. Walden, AuD (then president of the American Academy of Audiology). Donna, Alicia, and Therese were assigned to 10 tables each with 8-10 health profession advisors at each table and their job was to (in five minutes!) highlight the following:
- What are the 3-5 most essential characteristics/attributes that typically describe someone in your health profession?
- What are the three questions the advisors should ask a student who says they are interested in your profession?
- What are the three most important concepts/hallmarks/descriptors advisors think a student should know about your profession?
The update was modeled after a "speed dating" format and after five minutes at a table, the bell rang and each profession representative moved to the next table to enlighten the advisors at that table about their health-care profession. It was a lot of talking in a just about 90 minutes; however, almost 300 health profession advisors now know about or know more about the profession of audiology. The goal of the Academy is to market the benefits of the profession to students who are deciding, early in their college careers, what they want to study and how they want to make a difference. The Academy’s relationship with the NAAHP provides that access to the students and the advisors and it is time well spent.