Tag Archives: career

I’ve Been In Utah a Year!

4 May

Hey, hey hey!

U district

Once I stopped being a student, I pretty much stopped writing.  Though I like blogging, my daily run is more important to me, and aside from working full-time, sometimes that’s the only thing I do all day.

It’s weird to think how different I am as a person now.  I don’t have long-term career goals at the moment.  Not in a depressed, sad way–and (hopefully) not in a loser way.  My priorities are not really my career, and only my career any more.  I’ve come to the realization I must work to live, but it’s not EVERYTHING.  Also, the barriers into my career were crazy.  And that drags me down.  For instance, I’m pretty down on big-university and I’m not sure I’ll ever attend one again.  All I got was a huge amount of insurmountable debt–and nothing really to show for it.

The vet thing–didn’t work out.  And it’s too bad it kept working out that way, because I would have been the most wonderful, dedicated veterinarian.  But they didn’t want me–time and time again.  So I eventually (after literally 10 attempts) I had to learn when to say when.

Audiology:  Unlike veterinary medicine, which I know a plethra of (unfair) politics, issues, and reasons why I wasn’t accepted, I have no idea why Audiology didn’t want me.  I had a 4.0 GPA and I forgot my GRE scores (they are in this blog somewhere) but they were good.  Here is what the university published,

UU AuD class stats

The minimum GPA requirement for admission is a 3.0. Our average admission profile for an incoming Au.D. student for Fall 2015 was a 3.74 GPA and a GRE score of 311. These are only averages, and we admit candidates above and below these values.

So I met that, did extra-curriculars, worked during school, and tutored students in my program–what else could they want?  Maybe they give preferance to Utah residents–and I didn’t become one until too late.  I really don’t know.  But I certainly didn’t try nearly as hard as I did vet school, once they wait-listed me.  I only applied the once, then kinda felt thankful that I didn’t have 4 more years of school I couldn’t pay for.

So those things changed my perspective, and now I may SEEM lazy.  But it’s not the case.  I’m just sort of on hold for now.  We are living in Utah to save money.  Because Cool and I want our lives to be in Colorado.  It’s just too expensive for now.  So I’m working at a company (we both are) that we can make direct transfers to when we move.  And I don’t trust the management, or love my coworkers, but I’m hanging in there.  Because the peace of mind of having a job before you move, and moving and starting work when money is tight–is totally worth hassle now.

And I figure, I can’t make concrete plans because we are leaving, so I’ll just have to start over anyway.  This is a 3-4 year period of saving money and focusing on things besides my career.  My health for one.  Relationships.  Enjoying nature.  More easy-going types of things, for sure–but not less important than career stuff.

I was singularly focused on my career my whole life.  And what did that get me?  Thus, I’m changing my outlook slowly, and I’ll refocus on the career once we’ve settled in Colorado (last move ever!).

CO 169

So I’m alive, I’m well.  I just don’t make the time to write like I used to.  And maybe another post won’t happen for awhile–but I’m not stressing out over it.

Moments of 2015-Bad

31 Dec

I see today (New Years Eve) as a day for reflection.  And I can’t say I’m sorry 2015 is over.  It wasn’t terrible, I’ve had much worse years.  But it wasn’t what I wanted either.  I like to know where I’m going, and in 2015 I never did.  I didn’t know if I would continue with school, and I didn’t know where my career would take me.  In the past, I’ve been severely disappointed when career objectives didn’t pan out, but this time I felt a calmness and grace about the situation.  Still, there is a dissatisfaction.  And now I’m left to really contemplate what I want in life.  But that’s a story for tomorrow, New Years Day, a day for goals and new beginnings.  Today I’ll post a few blogs about worst moments in 2015.  Which isn’t just picking the scabs of wounds, it’s thinking and it’s learning.  Seeing the worst times allows me to rearrange the circumstances to make next year better.

And again, I’m posting for the sake of time and forgoing a lot of re-writes.  I’ll edit later (maybe).

12TH WORST TIME OF 2015:  -Bob, at my new job, introducing himself as the janitor.  Trying to be funny, but offending me.  Insinuating of course he was much better than a crummy janitor.  He’s some client services administrator–big deal.  When he didn’t know that janitorial had been my very last job, and my father had been a custodian for 20 or 30 years.  What a D-bag.

11.  -Human drama at the YMCA.  Deb being all weird toward me because ???  and holding a grudge.  The churchy gal acting like a bitch and treating me like a lowly janitor.  Just coldness and unnecessary drama from people with nothing to keep their minds busy.  It was stupid, but even though I wasn’t invested in the drama, I noticed it, and had to DEAL with it.  Lame.

10.  -Rusty’s doors remaining half open in the winter.  Primarily because it rendered my remote start useless.  And obviously I NEED that.  I hate being cold.  So much so, that I had bought my own remote start and fought for them to put it in my manual–which is a liability for them and usually against the rules.  And I had always loved starting the car from inside the warm building.  But now it set off the alarm, because the doors were open just enough. . .

9.  -The unwelcoming, frosty environment at MSCL for my first 7 months working there.  NOBODY acknowledged me, talked to me, or anything.  I felt awkward and alone.  Those duds and douche-bags were the WORST!  Here’s an example:  I walk in as a brand new employee–and nobody (even my boss)  says hello.  Or I sneeze–and nobody says bless you or anything.  It was as if I was invisible.  I guess it’s because they have high turn-over, and they were change-averse.  And because it’s a lab, so people don’t have great any social skills.  But it still made me feel like it was ME.  And that brought back horrible memories of veterinary social problems that plagued my work life previously.  I had wanted new beginnings and to turn a corner in a new field–and this was not the start I’d hoped for.

8.  -Not getting into the UU AuD program, despite getting the 4.0, having extracurriculars, and working very hard on my application.  Was it the gay-themed activities I put on my application?  Bad interview answers?  Being from out-of-state?  I really don’t have any idea, and I feel like I should be in there.  Easily.  But this is toward the bottom of my disappointments (and the top of this list) because I’ve grown as a person, through my veterinary sagas.  I had to future plan, which wasn’t cool.  I still don’t know what I will do career-wise, which is scary and reeks of failure.  But I didn’t totally fall apart this time.  I took it in stride.  I do wonder how in the heck I didn’t get in that class, because I feel like I really deserved it and would have done an excellent job.  But I’m putting it on to them, not beating myself up over it.  And I’m not sure it’s what I want anyway.  I’m very disillusioned by the costs of school.  And I haven’t gotten ANY return on my undergrad investment.  And the forums scared me off of audiology a little, because they said Hearing Instrument Specialists can do almost exactly the same job, with NO school.  And they probably get paid equal or MORE than actual audiologists.  Also people talked about it being kind of a dead-end career, that’s highly redundant.  And I didn’t know if paying for 4 more years would even be worth it in the end.  But I’m still undecided, and haven’t closed the audiology door all the way.  Perhaps being 14th for a class of 12 was actually a favor to me. . .

7.  -When my parents insisted I call Dad’s chiropractor’s son about getting IN at Costco audiology–NOW, at the same time I frantically trying to complete a heavy-duty YWCA-UT job application and get ready for work at my current job.  They get overwrought and crazy and over-emotional, then there’s nothing for me to say or do to stop that crazy-train.  Unless I do what they say, when they say it, things fall apart quickly.  The whole thing just reminded me of every other time my parents tried to control me.  And how they were probably disappointed in me.  And that’s how the big horribleness of 2007 Cabin-Mansion had really kicked off the first time, so I was scared there would be a big blow up and subsequent melt-down of the relationship we had worked so hard to forge.

6.  -The meeting where work reneged on the full-time schedule, hours, and pay we had negotiated 3 days prior.  I had finagled the best schedule for my weekends, sleep, and time with Cool.  Everyone at work had left the meeting satisfied and happy.   They got coverage on a Sunday, which had been difficult to secure, I got Fridays and Saturdays off and a late-start Wednesday.  It was absolutely perfect and I commended myself for taking a chance and asking.  But 2 days later, they called me back in and told me I’d have to take the legit schedule I had applied for.  Because a girl (previously a bitch to me) who had more seniority, and was better at the job wanted to work Sunday.  And trying to please everyone, instead of defending me and the schedule they had promised me, they gave it to her.  So I felt betrayed (again) and like I had a much worse schedule.  But I also felt trapped.  What else would I do?  I needed this job, or it was back to veterinary assisting.  So I had to just accept it and deal with–while being really angry, frustrated, and un-trusting toward management–and that bitch.

5.  -When Cool picked a fight just 2 days after my good knows of getting a full-time job.  Cutting short my celebration.  Depression strikes this time.  Out of nowhere, Cool knocks the figurative wind out of me by acting like a major jerk.  It was awful, because I had just talked to my proud parents and had been super-ecstatic about my new job, and Cool knocked me down to a miserable level.  I was really sad about it, because I’m ALWAYS supporting Cool and she just didn’t have it in her to even pretend to return the favor–her depressive episode made it all about her.  Again.  I wished she could be supportive and celebrate with me, but instead her bipolar and selfishness ruined it all.  The memory of my new job is still tarnished.

4.  -Getting stuck with all the moving logistics, work, and most of the payments, because Cool went manic and in so doing abandoned me in a time of stress and need.  Which was the WORST because moving sucks anyway.  And there is so much to do and plan, and so much heavy physical work.  It wasn’t fair and I felt alone and unsupported.  Mental illness is the WORST sometimes.  It’s hard not to blame Cool, and that’s not really what I signed up for.  Cleaning the Spokompton apartment by myself was awful.  It was messy and there was so, so, so much left to do.  And it wasn’t fun, and I felt resentful that Cool had already started her job and couldn’t come do her share of the work.  Especially when I was cleaning things SHE had messed up.  Driving Rusty, alone, and wanting to come home and relax very badly, after such a tiring trip and no sleep.  Then walking into a messy house full of manic shenanigans, with a Craigslist ill-fitting futon we hadn’t talked about.  And dealing with having to clean and reconfigure everything, while dealing with a belligerent, unreasonable, manic person.  It was BAD.

3.  -Finding out I was just PRN (after they promised me something different in my interview).  I had interviewed over the phone for the job.  They said I was technically applying for a PRN job, but soon, they were posting a job with more regular hours.  That job was the same duties, but it was a year of guaranteed hours.  This PRN job, which had been posted was 25 hours a week for training, but then was substitute only.  Not stable, and not really what I wanted.  So they hired me during my phone interview, but told me they would call me when (slow) HR got around to posting the year-long job.  Then, I was to apply for that to make the paperwork legit, and that job would be mine.  I waited for the call to tell me that year-job had been posted and to complete that application.  And waited.  When I finally got the phone call from MSCL, they were wanting me to pick a start date for the as-needed job.  And pretended not to remember promising me the more stable-year long job.  I had written it down!  And the way my supervisor acted was callous–and I knew she remembered, but had just reneged.  But I had to take the lessor job, because what else was I going to do?  I needed an income after moving to a new state.  And sure enough on my first day of work, I found out they had hired a coworkers daughter for MY year-long job.  Nepotism had been at play, and as usual I got screwed at work.

2.  -The fear-phobia really, of being offered a job at a veterinary specialty hospital.  I had a sense of dread and sick feeling.  I should have never applied to veterinary hospitals, because my resume is just BUILT for them.  But I was feeling a little insecure and desperate about my guarenteed training 25 hours per week becoming true, as-needed.  I HAVE to work a minimum of 25 hours just to meet my bills, and that was soon to end.  And it’s my policy to ALWAYS interview for the practice if one is offered.  And while I know my veterinary experience is a major advantage in that field, I didn’t anticipate them loving me quite so much and being offered a full-time position on the spot.  The trouble was, it did seem like the best case scenario veterinary medicine could offer.  It was ONLY speciality referrals.  It was the BEST veterinarians in the state.  The hospital hirarchy was set up so there was a legitimate office manager and head vet tech to answer to–not the impulses of vets.  There was a true support system and everyone was on the same learning curve and truely didn’t leave you alone to fail.  And they seemed nice.  And said they didn’t yell–and I believed them.  And the technology was AWESOME.  They really had it all, not just the Idexx lab and digital x-ray.  Like ALL the toys, including MRI, and anything else spectacular.  But I had just such bad memories.  And I knew the schedules and the overwork, and the under-pay.  All the pit-falls, that really, I could no longer live with.  And it’s not what I want in life.  And the delimma was feeling like I HAD to take it, because I really had nothing else to fall back on, but feeling STRESS at the prospect of taking it.  In the end, I made the very, very difficult decision on not going backwards.  It was really hard (and brave) leaving veterinary assisting jobs in the first place, and I had done it for good reasons.  I had to keep up that bravery even when times got tough.  So I declined, but left the door open.  And they liked me so well, that they said to call any time I wanted a job.

  1.  VERY WORST 2015 MOMENT:  Thinking Goose might have thrown a clot to the leg, and worrying about his impending death, and worse, knowing there wasn’t a lot I could do to prevent it.  He randomly fell off the couch twice, and didn’t have use of his back leg.  It was too short to be a seizure (maybe) but didn’t have the pain of a thrombosis.  But my reference point was when the screaming cats had been brought to the vet.  Maybe there were precursor incidents at home that hadn’t been painful, and had gone ignored by owners–I didn’t know.  So of course, I thought the worst.  And I remembered the vets at Cats Meow preparing owners if there were any heart abnormalities.  Telling them to just make the decision to euthanize now, before emotions were involved, because once the clot was thrown, prognosis was grave.  And I remember the cats coming in-just screaming in horrible pain.  And owners saying it happened out of nowhere.  One day, the cat was fine, the next down in back and just SCREAMING.  It was awful to imagine that for my Goose.  And it’s still in the back of my mind, because he is a Maine Coon and they are notorious for heart issues.  But I’m hoping he was just being a clumsy dink, since it’s only happened twice, and the episodes were brief.

I Thought This Was It

10 Aug

My whole life I wanted to be a veterinarian.  So when that didn’t pan out, after time and time again of putting fourth my best effort–I was lost.  I didn’t know what to do with my life or what backup career I would chase.

retirement from vet med 012

And it took a lot of soul-searching and research to find an acceptable alternative–I just didn’t WANT to do anything that wasn’t animal related.  But Audiology made the most sense.  Sure, I didn’t love it in the same way and wasn’t excited about it like I was for animal work.  But nothing came close.  And it did spark my interest.  And in Audiology I could help people like my dad.  And there were a lot of great things about the career:  A stable schedule, more 9-5PM healthcare, higher salary so I could fight only my undergrad degree costs.

So I went to Riverpoint for 2 years.  And worked my A$$ off.  I really earned that 4.0 and for once in my life, made working the 2nd priority, which 9 times out of 10, was HARD.  I thought the grades would carry me into the next step of the program this time.  I thought with that 4.0 GPA, no admissions would reject me again.

But grades weren’t all I had.  I still participated in the extra-curriculars, volunteered, did extra for my program, observed professionals on my own time.  I had good letters from people I worked to know.  I even traveled out-of-state for the interview.

health fair 2014

And I was 14th on the list.  For a class of 12.  So 2nd on the waiting list.  Wait-listed AGAIN.  And even though I knew from multiple experiences what that meant, and how much of a long shot the wait list is–there was a teeny bit of hope.

Not a lot, but enough that I didn’t make any non-reversible plans or huge life decisions.  But in 40 minutes with the close of business hours, the wait list is over.  I will not be joining the Audiology doctoral class in 10 days.  I feel sad.  Sad for wasting all that effort at Riverpoint–not to mention incurring even more student loan debt on an education I can’t use.  And I’m relieved.  Because 10 days to get ready for a rigorous program is not a lot.  I didn’t have a loan for tuition, didn’t know how to make rent when students aren’t allowed off campus jobs, didn’t have books or a parking permit, and forgot far too many concepts and details of my hearing courses.

But mainly I feel lost again.

I’m not sure where to start over.  I can’t really pay for more school after the big move, and I’ll probably never go back to a big university, because for me it just hasn’t been worth all the money.  But what about a technical program?  Community college?  A job?  And in what area?

So again I’m left with a lot of questions and no real direction.  All I know is something has to happen soon.

Experience Summary: MU Vet [circa 2006?]

13 Jun

I volunteered 633 hours at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital. I was able to observe exams, diagnostics, and surgeries. When I was hired, my duties included: cleaning kennels, walking dogs, and maintaining the premises. I was able to observe exams, diagnostics, and surgeries during my time at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital.

We do not have certain duties at Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital. Everyone does everything. I do kennel work, diagnostics, reception, and anything else that needs done. I have been lucky enough to gain experience with small exotics and observe surgeries at my job.

thanksgiving milkingI helped care for dairy cattle being used in heat stress research. We milked the cows at 4 am and 4pm every day, which entailed sanitizing the milking equipment, milking, and re-sanitizing the milking equipment. I also helped feed, clean stalls, and bed the cows. I observed a biopsy while I was working with the project.

Dr. Greg and Terry Chapman took me to a hog farm to see the facility and observe the commonpig farm management practices. I was able to see the different stages of production as well as learn about waste management. I also went to Fisher Brother’s Hog Farm and toured the facility and observed the daily routine.

I worked as barn crew at Equine Medical Services, Inc. My main responsibilities were cleaning stalls, bedding, feeding, watering, and medicating the horses. I helped unload and load hoses in the trailers, caught horses for their pregnancy checks, and walked horses to paddocks. I also cleaned the six barns and maintained the facilities.

I spent six hours one Saturday helping Dr. Terry Chapman examine horses. We vaccinated the horses for West Nile Virus, Eastern & Western Equine Encephalitis, and Influenza (tuberculosis). The Coggins test requires that about 3 mL of blood is taken to analyze for Equine Infectious Anemia. I was able to actually pull the blood and vaccinate most of the horses we worked with that day.

At Noah’s Ark, we often get exotic small animals. I have force fed a chinchilla, trimmed bird nails and wings, restrained small and large birds, force fed ferrets, gave a turtle a baytril injection, and force fed a snake a pinky.

I volunteer at D-D Animal Sanctuary, where I help clean out tiger and panther enclosures. I have also bottle-fed a claf and fed an alligator among other odd-jobs. I have seen many different exotic species there and enjoy the experience I gain in a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

I was able to follow Dr. Sharp on his rounds at Charles River Laboratories, a research facility. He checked the feces of Cynomologus macaqus, Recess, and Marmosets to check for gastrointestinal problems. He changed food and prescribed medication as necessary. He also looked for gross lesions and possible research-ending health problems by the groups. I was able to remove sutures from a monkey and feed the monkeys graham crackers.

I also counted the 65 hours from my heat stress research listed in food animal.

I observed Dr. Minor working with wolves. I went to a private compound where wolves were used as security and helped her vaccinate many wolves. When one of the female wolves was very sick, she came to the veterinary hospital for two weeks. We gave the wolf supportive care and eventually euthanized her.

I worked on a dairy cattle heat stress research project. Rectal, tail-head, shoulder, and hip temperatures as well as the respiration rate of 18 cows had to be taken four times a day. Meticulous records on the cows had to be kept. The temperatures and respiration rates were recorded as well as the feed intake and output of each cow. I drew blood from under a cow’s tail.

I volunteered in the Organic Chemistry Stockroom mixing solutions, pouring chemicals into smaller containers, putting chemicals back on the shelves after labs, washng dishes, and checking lab materials out to students.

Good and Bad Resume Words

15 May

Applying for jobs sucks.  Why do they have you upload a resume if they are going to make you type out all that info over again?  And why do they care about every job you’ve ever had ever?  And how am I supposed to remember all those dates, names, addresses, numbers, and payments?!  Ugh.

hope fear

The Worst Résumé Terms

The following terms are résumé turn-offs as selected by respondents:

1. Best of breed: 38 percent

2. Go-getter: 27 percent

3. Think outside of the box: 26 percent

4. Synergy: 22 percent

5. Go-to person: 22 percent

6. Thought leadership: 16 percent

7. Value add: 16 percent

8. Results-driven: 16 percent

9. Team player: 15 percent

10. Bottom-line: 14 percent

11. Hard worker: 13 percent

12. Strategic thinker: 12 percent

13. Dynamic: 12 percent

14. Self-motivated: 12 percent

15. Detail-oriented: 11 percent

16. Proactively: 11 percent

17. Track record: 10 percent

The Best Résumé Terms

There are, however, several strong verbs and terms candidates can use to help describe their experience. The following are terms employers would like to see on a résumé:

1. Achieved: 52 percent

2. Improved: 48 percent

3. Trained/Mentored: 47 percent

4. Managed: 44 percent

5. Created: 43 percent

6. Resolved: 40 percent

7. Volunteered: 35 percent

8. Influenced: 29 percent

9. Increased/Decreased: 28 percent

10. Ideas: 27 percent

11. Negotiated: 25 percent

12. Launched: 24 percent

13. Revenue/Profits: 23 percent

14. Under budget: 16 percent

15. Won: 13 percent

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Different Areas of AuD

30 Mar

I need to make an informed decision about what type of audiology I might like to do.  When I was trying to gain admission into vet school, I always put small animal private practice (like the other 90% of applicants) because that was what I knew, what was easiest to get involved with, and that’s where most of my experience was at.  I want to actively choose my arena for Audiology.  So I went to the student academy of audiology website and here is what I found:

http://www.audiology.org/SAA/SAA_News/SAA_interviews/Pages/default.aspx

–>everything without ** in front of it is cut & pasted directly from the interview.  **are my thoughts and comments.

Beltone audm

AuD/PhD:
**absolutely not! That sounds like either double the years in school or double the credit-load. Financially, that would be awful to pay for that much more school. Personally, I want to start working much sooner!

Walking about-July 2012 034

Intraoperative Monitoring AuD:
–>there is only one non-medical profession permitted to provide monitoring independent of medical oversight? That profession is Audiology

-2. What is a typical day like?
No such thing really exists in the OR, and for me that is one of the attractions of intraoperative monitoring. Many surgical cases begin before the sun comes up and may last into the night
**I think I would like a more regular schedule then veterinary medicine allowed. I want a cemented schedule of appointments, and regular work hours.

3. you have to be able to think on your feet to overcome electrical fields generated by drills, suction devices, beds and operating microscopes in order to have a signal that is stable and useful in helping to guide the surgical procedure.
**I’m tired of being stressed to the max, and this scenario sounds panic-inducing.

Educational Audiology:

Her first opportunity to provide audiology services was with the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, providing itinerant audiology services to seven different Native American communities in New Mexico, Utah, and Southern Colorado for 13 years. She then went on to develop an educational audiology program for the Rio Rancho Public Schools in New Mexico and has provided educational audiology services for 20 years to students and staff.

**I think this sort of thing would be awesome in the short term!  I would love to help my people.  But I would want more stability eventually. . .

inner ear 2

2. What is a typical day like for you as an educational audiologist?
Every day is different, but I spend some time doing just some basic hearing screenings, repairing hearing aids, working with teachers to help them understand hearing loss, and working with FM systems. So usually about half of my day is out at one of the schools and then I usually return to my office to contact parents, write reports, and do more complete hearing evaluations. I have portable equipment that I take with me to provide some itinerant services out in the schools and then I have a sound booth and clinical equipment at my office to provide more complete evaluations. I don’t do any hearing aid fittings, but hearing aid checks and minor hearing aid repairs are a daily routine. I fit personal FM systems and provide monthly checks. Our district has purchased a number of classroom amplification systems for each school; three of our newer schools have classroom amplification systems in every classroom. So I do spend some time troubleshooting classroom sound systems and doing some teacher training with them as well.

**all of this sounds cool.  I wonder if I would miss actually fitting hearing aids, or if I wouldn’t love the fitting process in the first place.

3.  I am fortunate to have the opportunity to follow the students throughout their school careers. Some of my students I’ve seen since preschool and have graduated or are getting ready to graduate from high school and go on, so you get the opportunity to see how the students mature and hopefully become contributing adults. I have even tested the child of the first cochlear implant student I worked with.

**this would be amazing!  Unless you had to work with some sort of turkey, then you had to be with that person forever. ..

my_dbay_room

4. What are some of the limitations and challenges in the field of educational audiology?
I think one of the most important things that we need to do is the communication and collaboration with the teachers and speech pathologists, and yet this probably one of the most difficult things to coordinate because of the teachers’ schedules. Teachers are being required to do more and more with less and less. I think that collaboration is probably one of the most important things that we can do to support our deaf and hard-of-hearing students, not only with teachers but also with ancillary staff. Finding that time to collaborate continues to be a challenge. And I think sometimes just for people to understand the impact of hearing loss on a student’s ability to access instruction is a challenge.

**I totally concur.  Talking to my Mom, she is excited to make changes or learn about audiology and hearing, but just didn’t know the info.  I think I might have an advantage in this because my Mom is a teacher so I can see both sides of the story and fill in holes.

5.  to get involved:  Educational Audiology Association-EAA is probably the best value. It provides such relevant resources through the listserv. EAA also provides summer conferences that provide not only continuing education but also the opportunity to network with other educational audiologists and to belong to a community of people who have similar experiences and common goals of helping deaf and hard-of-hearing students become successful.

real estate agent

Industry Audiologist:

1.  I am currently employed as a product manager at Phonak U.S. and what that means is that I work with traditional hearing aids (BTEs, RICs, ITEs) throughout their life cycle. I work with our Swiss colleagues and our research and development team to get the right materials and to develop the right products for the market. Then once it’s brought to market I work with our sales and development team in the U.S. to train them on what the product does so they can in turn train the hearing healthcare professionals. I also discontinue the products when that time comes later down the road. –

**In my mind, I thought this would be more testing industrial workers for noise-induced hearing loss–something I’d be interested in.  I see now this is a fancy term for “drug-rep” aka sales.  Hell no!

2.  I thought, “You know, maybe I should join a profession that actually talks to people as opposed to talking petri dishes.” sales representative

**I’m the opposite.

3.  working with the veterans was amazing as well.

**Though, I think I would like this aspect.  But you could find it in other AuD niches as well.

4.  My typical day is crazy! I don’t really feel that any audiologist has a typical day. It’s always something different, which makes the field so exciting. Right now my day revolves around a lot of meetings with different departments from research and development, to science and technology, to marketing, to market insights looking at what are the market needs of the hearing impaired and how can we use our products to best serve those. I do a lot of work with the development and marketing of training material. How do we leverage the material we have and what’s the best kind of representation of material, be it print or digital, that we can give to health care professional so they can in turn help their patients the best way they know how.

**no, this isn’t for me.  I wouldn’t like all the travel or commissions, and I couldn’t be super-phony to sell-sell-sell!

5.  6. What are some challenges of working for a manufacturer?
Two things come to mind: One is travel. Sometimes the travel is amazing, like Switzerland, sometimes it’s not. For a lot of audiology positions within the industry, it does require an extensive amount of travel. You have to be flexible in your lifestyle, and really want to do that. The day to day travel can wear on you, so you have to be prepared for that. From the health prospective, to the family prospective, you have to make sure that fits within your life and the lifestyle you want to have. The travel does afford you the opportunity to travel and meet people all over the world and to see how audiology is done all over the place. The other challenge is that I don’t get as much patient care as I would like sometimes. I got into audiology to help people. As a clinical audiologist you get to do that every day in the clinic. Sometimes as you’re away from that you want to reconnect to that every once in a while. Luckily, opportunities within manufacturing allow for that but it’s not every day. Sometimes you’ll see a patient every once in a while, either working with a validation group, or working on a research team, or also going to help a clinical audiologist in the field. Sometimes you crave that patient interaction, which is why we all got in this to begin with.
**Just like I thought.

dino CI

Cochlear Implant AuD:

I think what really drew me to cochlear implants was the science-base and how frequently the technology changed; it was constantly evolving.  I liked being in on the cutting edge of that and being a part of the research and development and making it possible for deaf individuals, who before had access to amplification, but not with the same success that we are able to provide them with implants, actually be able to achieve near normal speech and language.  So that’s what made me really focus on cochlear implants and make that my primary area.

2.  typical work day?
So on a clinic day, it would vary between going to the operating room and assessing the internal device in the packaging to make sure it’s a functional device, and then again checking the device once it has been implanted, and then assessing the neural responses from that individual using the cochlear implant after the surgery is complete.  Another thing would be a cochlear implant work-up where we would do a full assessment unaided but also with amplification primarily focusing on speech understanding and working toward whether or not that person was a cochlear implant candidate and then discussing with them the devices available and helping them determine what would be the most appropriate implant for them.  I also do cochlear implant activations where implant recipients come in after the surgery and have their devices activated or turned on, so that would be the first time that they would hear or have access to sound.  After that it would typically be mapping, so coming back in for follow-up and testing, either to document their benefit and performance or to adjust and change their maps so that they could have additional benefit from the implant.  On research days, I would also be working with cochlear implants, but it would be testing different protocols for mapping and programming and seeing if we can come up with ways of improving that and making it better for patients.

**I’m not very familiar with what this would actually entail, so I’m not sure if I’d like it.

3. What do you like most about working in CI audiology? 
I think I like the fact that it changes so much.  I like the fact that the technology is always advancing, so you’re constantly learning something new, whether it’s software or equipment or parts and pieces.  I like the fact that it’s not static; it’s something that’s different all the time.  And I really enjoy the fact that you get a long-term relationship with families, so you learn to get along with your patient and kind of establish that rapport and the communication to help them do better with their implant.  It’s a long-term relationship so you really get to watch them progress over time.  I really enjoy having that relationship with the patients.

**I also don’t know how I’d feel about constantly changing technology.  It’s good that improvements are constantly making things better for patients, but how difficult is it to keep up with the new knowledge?  Would you have to go to tons of classes and work with product reps a lot?  Because I don’t think I’d like that very much.

**As for seeing a patient progress over time–that would be very fulfilling and cool.

4. What are some challenges that you face in your practice of cochlear implant audiology?
I think a lot of it would be based on reimbursement from the hospital standpoint as well as from the clinic standpoint.  I think we’re always battling concerns that because of the cost of the device and the reimbursement that we receive, which leaves a big difference between the two, and the shortfall that we receive because of that, that the hospital may at some point limit the number of implants that we can do, and we would never want that to happen because we want to provide this device to as many people as possible and to all people that would be candidates for it.  I think that we are always struggling to have enough time and equipment to be able to see all of the people that are actually candidates.  We have a high patient caseload and we work diligently to see all of them.  I think the numbers are increasing, which is great, but being able to have the number of personnel and the equipment and the resources to provide those services continually is something that we are always looking to improve and make sure that we have.

**It would be difficult to keep up on changing state and federal level insurance intricacies, and I would HATE the business side of this!  I would not want to have an overwhelming caseload, pressure to implant as many people possible, or a struggle to get the funds I’m worth.

4.  there is a lot of job security—so I think you’re making an excellent choice that way—but primarily I think there’s just a lot of job satisfaction.  It’s a very rewarding field.  You’re able to provide so much benefit to a patient.  I think it’s exciting to see that.  It’s exciting to have a long-term relationship with the patients and their families.  I think the field itself is exciting because it’s constantly changing; it’s very dynamic.  You’re stimulated intellectually because it’s always challenging to learn new equipment and software and take on the new knowledge, if it’s out there, and incorporate it into your practice, but it’s also fulfilling because you get to work so closely with patients over a long period of time.

**It sounds good a bad to me, and ultimately I still don’t know enough to make a sound (pun intended) decision about whether or not I’m interested in this avenue.

maculae 1

 Vestibular AuD:

there is a lot of job security—so I think you’re making an excellent choice that way—but primarily I think there’s just a lot of job satisfaction.  It’s a very rewarding field.  You’re able to provide so much benefit to a patient.  I think it’s exciting to see that.  It’s exciting to have a long-term relationship with the patients and their families.  I think the field itself is exciting because it’s constantly changing; it’s very dynamic.  You’re stimulated intellectually because it’s always challenging to learn new equipment and software and take on the new knowledge, if it’s out there, and incorporate it into your practice, but it’s also fulfilling because you get to work so closely with patients over a long period of time.

**I would really like seeing a few patients, but in a very in-depth way.  I think it would allow me to do my best work, without all the scheduling and financial pressures.

3. What do you like most about vestibular practice?
Many patients with vestibular problems can be helped. I enjoy discovering a patient’s underlying condition, giving them a tangible diagnosis, and providing treatment options that can alleviate their troubling symptoms.

**That was one of the best things in the veterinary field–seeing how something YOU did provided direct benefit to the patient.  That would be good.

4. What are some challenges of vestibular practice?
Insurance reimbursement is always a challenge with vestibular practice. We depend on insurance reimbursement for most of our diagnostic work. As reimbursement is cut, we have to be creative in how we stay a viable business.
**This is a hard one.  How do you get past this stuff?  I would want to worry that I’d be out of a job at any given moment.

5.  There are a lot of conditions and presentations that you see in this line of work (more than in a hearing-specific practice), so exposure is very important.  Do not listen to nay-sayers. I was told over and over again that an audiologist can not build a successful practice and/or career out of diagnostic work. I did not believe this for a second, so I was not held back. I have been able to commit myself to an area of audiology that I love, and I have experienced great professional success doing so (without selling one hearing aid over the past 5 years).

ear art 3

I really liked this series of articles!  It gives me more information so I can really know HOW to choose an area based on my personality, interests, and skills.  Instead of just falling into whatever is convenient.

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Transformation Count Down: Day 6–Priorities

26 Dec

Day 1: What is most important to me in life? That is, what are my highest priorities?  Have my actions been in alignment with my highest priorities?

I’m always thinking about this one.  And this morning I was productive toward my biggest goals.  I worked on my CV, and I think it’s as far as I can take it with outside help.  When school resumes, I’ll make an appointment to take it to the writing center to get tips and editing.  I also, worked on my six scholarship essays, which I’m happy about the effort put fourth, not necessarily the product.  This weekend I’ll see if my mom will listen to them and help me polish them up a bit–then I’ll just turn in what I have.  They don’t have to be perfect, and my heart isn’t really in it, so I’ll say good is good enough.  For this blog post though, let me outline what my priorities are, and if I feel those are the proper order and if my actions are aligning with them.

And just to confirm–this isn’t a post to replace last year’s goal achievement and next year’s resolutions.  That will be a big, seperate post.  This is more generalized.

Most important to just important:

-Establishing a career and the stability that comes with that

-Settling into a place that I like

-Appreciating my family

Really, I guess that sums up what I want in life.  This year, I have been working to align my actions with my top goals.  Sometimes it works out for me and sometimes I could do a little more.

Smaller actions that get me to the big goals–and am I doing them:

-I think a big action that will help align my intentions and actual output is staying sober.  I have started it and my mind is in a good place to keep at it.  This item alone will help me by leaps and bounds in every other area, and though it isn’t easy to abstain–I feel hopeful and uplifted already.

-re-tool my schedule to make education first (Yes)

-study (Yes)

-work on funding to pay for & allow school and save for moving & grad school (needs work)

**must work on scholarships, which means must volunteer and work on career-oriented extra-curriculars

**must min. spending

**must save more for the move to CO

-do little things for people I care about (needs a lot of work)

**As the last important priority, this one often shifts to the background.  I need to be more effortful and show more gratitude as yesterday’s post reminds me.  Little things day in and day out ought to help.  Small steps like smiling more, making eye contact, saying one nice thing, and letting go of frustration will take this a long way.

So that’s the transfomative blog of the day.  Priorities and how it’s all about the little, repeated actions!

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