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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How Hearing Specialist and Audiologists Are Making The World A Better Place

Currently, I am in training to obtain my state license to become a Hearing Instrument Specialist . I will be able to sell and dispense hearing aids to customers who are dealing with hearing loss. I love what I do and I am receiving the best training. My degree is in Communicative Disorders/Hearing Sciences with a minor in Psychology, so I am in my desired profession. A lot of people are usually confused about what a hearing specialist is versus an Audiologist. At my current company, as long as you are a Licensed Hearing Specialist or an Audiologist, you are able to be employed and compensated the same way. Both are amazing professions with great career opportunities. In my state, to become a Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist, a bachelors or associates degree is required. Afterwards, you have to find someone who is willing to sponsor and train you for specific hours so that you are eligible to sit for a practical exam and written exam. Let me tell you: Those exams are HARD. I am so grateful I passed my required so much practice and STRESS! Numerous people have failed it and you only get TWO chances to take it! I had to learn how to make ear-molds, calculate masking levels, hold an otoscope, etc to ensure that I know what I am doing once I start to work alone. Now, I have to study and take my written exam in a few months. My written exam will be on troubleshooting,types of hearing aids that are sold (BTE, ITE, CIC, CIC, etc), counseling hearing aid customers, the physics of sounds, the programming of hearing aids, hearing disorders, laws surrounding dispensing and selling, etc. I love the hearing aid industry. The technology continues to only get better. I think it is amazing how our hearing and ears play a very important role in our daily lives and overall health. 

Audiologists are doctors and are required to go to school four years. It is not easy to get accepted into an Audiology program; I recall numerous classmates of mine with high GPAs and GRE scores receiving rejection letters. Audiologists not only deal with the selling of hearing aids, but also the rehabilitation and diagnosis of hearing and balance issues. Licensed Hearing Specialists do NOT DIAGNOSE. We are only licensed to sell and dispense hearing aids to customers and help them hear better. Of course we are knowledgeable on the disorders of our hearing system but we do not diagnose. After graduating with my bachelors in 2012, I decided to work and brainstorm on if I wanted to pursue a graduate degree. I was recruited to train and earn my dispensing license and decided to do that instead of going back to school for Audiology or Speech Pathology. This decision is great for me because it not only involves what I went to school for, but we also have to know how to sale and market ourselves which are two skills that align with all my future career goals. Also, it was a cheaper alternative. Graduate school is VERY expensive. Obtaining my license is a cheaper option and will still allow doors to open for me in the hearing and assistive technology industry.

For both professions, you have to be a people person and willing to help others. This is not a profession for anyone with lackluster social skills! I think working in the hearing and assistive technology industry is very underrated. Most people are not aware of the opportunities in this industry. 

If you or someone you know are in the market for hearing aids, do research. Audiologists and Licensed Hearing Specialists are both very knowledgeable and competent individuals who can help change your life for the better. What is important is finding a professional who is willing to take their time in alleviating your hearing loss and exhibiting valuable customer service and people skills.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Would You Like Attitude With That Ma'am?

I've noticed something: people are RUDE. Okay, I know this isn't a revelation. But lately, as someone who is working in Sales/Customer Service, I see the unpleasantness individuals are projecting onto each other. I know everyone has terrible days. But why take it out on others? Why use profanity and derogatory language toward people? For example, after I left work today, I went to the grocery store. Of course, it is after 5 and the store is hectic. I see a cashier struggling to work her register. It will not unlock and she is telling the individuals who are trying to check out that they must move to another register.I admit, the cashier said this in a very nice tone. Well, an irate customer begins to scream at her "I am in a hurry! Get this sh** fixed NOW." All I could do was shake my head. Was that outburst necessary? It wasn't!

People are such in a rush and stressed that they are exhibiting rude behavior. Outbursts like that is just one example. I have watched people not hold doors open, not smile, say hello, etc. I am not saying become all cheery and excited toward random people but PLEASE attempt to be polite.

Also, I notice a lack of sensitivity toward different cultures and orientations. We live in a wonderful country full of individuals who are different races, ethnicities, nationalities, genders, religions, etc. please stop with the ignorant questions: ummm what are you? What language do you speak? Why do you dress that way? Why is that your name? I can go on and on! There are ways you can approach an individual with questions pertaining to their background. Doing this in a work environment is especially uncomfortable. Respect others and have manners. 

As someone who has worked in corporate America and experienced these examples directly and indirectly, I just wanted to bring awareness to the lack of sensitivity showcased in our world. I hope a reader will have an epiphany and end their own rude behavior!

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's a New Year! Hello 2015!

I love experiencing a new year. First off, I am very grateful that I am alive, healthy and able to experience it. Second, a new year equals new goals. I am huge on goal setting. Every year since I was in college, I have set goals for myself and have accomplished most, if not all, of my goals.

I reflected on 2014 and looked back at my vision board. I accomplished everything that was listed! Was it tough? It sure was. I experienced numerous setbacks and heartbreaks. But, I remained focused and reached my goals! I feel motivated so of course I created goals for 2015. In 2015, I want to become a better version of myself mentally, physically, financially and emotionally. Prior to the new year, I was taking the necessary steps to achieve my 2015 goals. I am optimistic that by December 31st, 2015, I will look back at my vision board and accomplished everything I decided to pursue.

It's tough. You will run across obstacles, frustration and setbacks. But you will overcome. To all my readers, I ask that you create some goals this year. Write them down in a notebook, your phone, or anywhere accessible. I also recommend vision boards. You can make a vision board on Pinterest. Once you create these goals, read over them periodically to remind yourself that you have goals to reach. Don't settle for less. Setbacks will happen but read over your goals to remind yourself that setbacks are common and not the end of your visions. Put out what you want to the Universe and take the necessary steps to reach them. Let's take 2015 by storm and ACHIEVE!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's almost Christmas!

Ahhhhhhh only three more days until Christmas! I am very excited. I love the holiday season so much, specifically Christmas. I have so many fond memories of Christmas during my childhood. At 25, what I enjoy about Christmas is the quality time I am able to spend with loved ones. That might sound cliché, but it's true. As I get older, I realize giving is better than receiving.

A few weeks back, my apartment complex had a toy and supply drive for a women and children shelter in our area. I felt so grateful and elated that ai was able to give back. All of my life, I have been blessed with holidays surrounded by gifts and families in a nice and secure. Unfortunately, not all families experience that so I was very happy that I was able to donate and make a family's life better. 

If you can, please give back during this holiday season in some way. I can not emphasize enough how volunteering your time to bring a smile on an individual's face is worthy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We must finish this new year strong.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

We are the generation of Activism!!

I know we have watched the protests taking place in Ferguson, MO and all over the U.S. I read the other day that Millenials maybe the generation of activists. Personally, I like this. It's nice to take a stand against unjust behaviors and regulations. Now, I will never support violent protesting. Let's stick to educated and peaceful protesting. I have always believed in standing up for what you believe in because if you don't , you will fall for anything. When I was in 8th grade, I signed a petition and visited our state capitol to protest public smoking and to ban it. Cigarette smoke is a serious hazard and I never enjoyed breathing it in. Some people have asthma and cigarette smoke can be potentially fatal. Even though the public ban took almost ten years to happen in our state, IT HAPPENED! I was happy. I, along with my fellow classmates, petitioned for this and it made us feel proud to know our voice was heard. Throughout high school and college I continued to advocate for those who needed it and I will continue to do that. Maybe one day, I will be in need and need an advocate. To all my Millenials, please keep up the non-violent protests for whatever it is that bothers you. Always utilize your voice for the right reasons! We can make a difference!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!!

Okay I LOVE the holidays. When October comes, I become super excited because I know that Halloween, my birthday (hey, it's important to me), Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. Let me elaborate on why I love this time of the year:

1. The weather- I love cool/cold weather. Living in the South, you do not experience really cold weather. The past few years we have. I'm assuming because of the environment. I have not complained over it. I am not too fond of the summer time and the hot weather. I love everything about fall weather: the clothes, the drinks and the coziness I feel when I go to sleep at night. I love it!

2. Halloween- Even though I rarely dress up for Halloween, I love scary movies. I can watch a scary movie alone and not be terrified. I will sleep like a baby! Ever since I was a kid, I have enjoyed scary movies. I enjoy watching Halloween (Mike Myers) the most. It's creepy but I enjoy it.

3. Thanksgiving- I enjoy good food and family time. Plain and Simple!

4. Christmas- Christmas music. Christmas movies (Home Alone 1 and 2). Christmas Specials (hello Charlie Brown!). giving and receiving gifts. Family time! Simple moments I cherish.

One thing I have learned over the years is that not only should we be grateful every day, but specifically, around the holidays. A few years back, when I was in college, I volunteered at a soup kitchen. That specific moment opened my eyes and made me realize how extra blessed I am. We complain so much about not eating a specific dish on Thanksgiving or not receiving a specific gift on Christmas when people who are homeless, in poverty, sick, etc would trade places with us in a minute. I ask everyone this year to focus on enjoying family time and also give back. Visit a soup kitchen, donate gifts to others in need and participate in other activities that will allow you to donate. You will feel great and have a new perspective on life.

I hope you all enjoy Thanksgiving. I know I will. I am very excited about spending quality time with my family. Also, stay off social media when spending time with your family. I think we all are guilty of staying on our phones while talking. This can cause you to miss out on valuable communication. I want to focus on living more in the moment :) Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Internet Trolls Need to be stopped!!!!

I'm active on social networks. I think it's a great place to network, socialize and market your business. I utilize Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I enjoy following people and reading their opinions on various topics. But on social media, there is a downside to voicing your opinion. 

Trolls are the name for people who spew hatred and ignorance behind a computer screen. These individuals usually have no picture, name or followers/friends but respond to tweets or comments with hatred. I have not been victim of a troll, but I have read some of the ignorance these trolls type. For example, Anderson Cooper was tweeting a new story about politics. Some troll responded by using derogatory and homophobic names. Of course, Anderson Cooper responded with class. My point is, I find it disgusting that ignorant people who are not capable of voicing an intelligent opinion are hiding behind computer screens. How pathetic! 

Feminists on Twitter also receive a lot of death threats. Sometimes, these women are just tweeting about basic social,political and economic rights for women yet a troll responds with death threats. It's terrifying to these women. Below is an article discussing how Twitter will try to alleviate this issue.

It's unfortunate that we have to deal with ignorance everywhere. By blogging occasionally on issues I run across, I hope I can just assist on raising more awareness.