My mother gave me a priceless gift for Christmas. It’s a photo of me in high school, leaning closely to talk to my Great Grandmother. It reminded me of the influence that she had on my career and life. She had profound hearing loss. As a child I was always intrigued by her hearing aid and have always been fascinated by intricate gadgets and electronics.
Grandma was an amazing cook. Although she was most comfortable in the kitchen, she often left the kitchen chaos because she simply could not hear or participate with our large family. This has had a tremendous influence on my career. I knew when I discovered the field of audiology that this is what I was meant to do.
According to most definitions (including from Wikipedia) a vocation (Latin vocātiō - a call, summons) is an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which he or she is suited, trained, or qualified. Use of the word "vocation" before the sixteenth century referred firstly to the "call" by God to the individual. This is important to recognize when it comes to who you choose to work with. The dedication, energy, training, and devotion to pursuing our vocations are what separates us from warehouse, discount, and franchise providers.
I believe our patients, students and community experience the passion we each have for serving others through our audiology careers. I wish my Great Grandmother were alive today. There are so many advancements for hearing loss, from cochlear implants to sophisticated hearing aid technology, including advanced microphone technology and digital hearing aid processing for assisting in backgrounds of noise. It would have been a joy to help her hear better. However, it is still a tremendous reward to help the over 27,000 active patients we serve every day.