Trinidad and Tobago
January 16, 2017
For students from the Long Island (Au.D.) Consortium, the recent training and hearing mission in Trinidad was a life-changing experience they say will shape them as individuals and inform their burgeoning careers as audiologists.
The 12 students from the Consortium, which consists of students from Adelphi, Hofstra and St. John’s universities in New York, learned Phases 1-3 of the WFA® Community-Based Hearing HealthCare Model. The model provides ear and hearing healthcare in a simple, sustainable and scalable manner to people in need around the globe. The training ranged from identifying hearing aid candidates, to fitting hearing aids and counseling patients on how to use and care for the devices.
Following two days of training, students worked with Foundation staff members to provide the gift of hearing to many Trinidadians during a Phase 2 fitting mission.
While they were all outstanding pupils throughout the training modules, it was their compassion and care that shone through during interactions with patients. Many of the students bonded with their patients, like Samantha Hartnett who helped Ramkissoon Harricharan, 78, hear again after 40 years. The next day, he stopped by the AfterCare clinic to deliver fresh picked oranges to Samantha and the team. Not only did the mission help Trinidad people with hearing loss, the mission also served as an important supplement to the traditional audiology education students receive back home, said Dr. Ianthe Murad, clinical coordinator for the audiology doctoral program at Hofstra University.
“We do a great job of giving them the skills and the education to be audiologists, but there is something that happens during the Starkey hearing Foundation missions that just comes alive that you can't really learn from a textbook,” Dr. Murad said. “It is special to see each of the students connect with the patients. They are learning that caring about others is a top priority and that it is just as important as helping the patient to hear. To see them in action just pulls our program together. It gives me confidence that they will be great audiologists with bright futures.”
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