Let Me Hear From You: Audiologists Do It Better!
Today is the first day of October, and with that brings the beginning of National Audiology Awareness Month (NAAM) and National Protect Your Hearing Month (NPYHM). What will you be doing this month to promote the profession of audiology and/or educate your community about the importance of hearing protection? We are celebrating the sixth year of NAAM and NPYHM, and while we’ve made an impact, there is still much work to be done.
First things first, don’t forget to unwrap your latest edition of Audiology Today so you can use the new NAAM campaign poster “Audiologists Do It Better” to jump start your celebration of NAAM. Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of attending several state audiology conferences and have learned in many ways how audiologists do it better! During my travels, I’ve heard from our colleagues about ways they will be promoting the profession and/or hearing loss prevention, and it’s not too late to implement one of their ideas in your own practice.
One of our colleagues in Florida is planning to offer consumer seminars to local social clubs and community organizations about hearing, hearing-loss prevention, and the advantages of seeing an audiologist for their hearing, tinnitus, and balance care. Sure, you could do this any time of the year, but have you made the time? Another member, who’s an avid racing fan, was scheduled to distribute hearing protection at an upcoming stock-car race. Is racing not your style? What about distributing hearing protection prior to a concert in your area?
We’re always eager to recruit the best and brightest into the profession, so why not host an open house for an elementary class or a Girl Scout troop. Have them tour your practice and show them what audiology has to offer them as a career choice. Perhaps it’s the perfect time this month to educate your local hospital administrator about the benefits of having assistive listening device technology available for hearing-impaired patients who aren’t currently wearing amplification. Why not consider having your front office staff drop off your business card with hearing protection attached to be offered to customers at your local lawn mower repair shop. What about hosting a support group for individuals with tinnitus or teaching a senior citizens group about fall prevention?
If you’re saying to yourself, “I honestly don’t have a spare minute this month to design a campaign to promote audiology or hearing-loss prevention,” I do understand. Consider a couple simple ideas you can implement today that won’t require you to leave your office or will literally only take a few extra seconds. Perhaps have your receptionist answer your phone by stating your practice name and then saying “It’s National Protect Your Hearing Month, and our audiologists are concerned about your hearing.” Remove the candy from your dish in the waiting room and replace it with free earplugs for patients and their significant others. Forget the lollipops for your young patients; hand them a packet of ear protection and counsel them on the value of their hearing. Even these small gestures promote the profession and express our concern regarding hearing protection. Each small change we make individually will collectively make an impact.
Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to come up with a plan for your practice. There’s 31 days in October and it’s just October 1! Let me hear from you regarding your plan to promote hearing-loss prevention or our profession. As audiologists we value hearing, but this month is the perfect time to help others value their hearing. Don’t miss this opportunity to promote audiology!
Until next time…