I am an Audiologist. Most of the time the response I receive after telling someone that is “come again?”, “say what?” Audiologists possess amazing knowledge and skills that can change someone’s life, but we have had a difficult time spreading the word.The work we do day in and day out can truly enhance the quality of life of the individuals we serve. But, the messaging to the general public has been limited and ineffective, thereby reducing the number of people who seek our care.
There have been several events in the past, highlighting the importance of hearing health care. C. Everett Koop, MD a pediatric surgeon by training and served in the U.S. Public Health Service and acted as the 13th Surgeon General under President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Koop facilitated many important public health campaigns and became an advocate for early hearing loss identification and prevention for people of all ages.
During this time, President Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, publically announced that he was using hearing aids to treat his hearing loss. Subsequently, President Bill Clinton, the 42nd President and our first “baby boomer” in the Oval Office, made it publicly known that he was using hearing aids for his hearing loss, at the age of 51.
More recently, hearing loss prevention issues received major nationwide coverage in 2010 when New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Brittany had their son, Baylen, sporting a nifty set of headphones to protect their infant son’s hearing from the crowd noise at Super Bowl XLIV.
Then there was Michael Phelps, the most-decorated Olympic athlete in the history of the games, and his then-fiancée, Nicole, protecting their son’s hearing at the August 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
These public examples of hearing care and protection were powerful images. But we still have the challenges of communicating our message day in and day out.
As a member of the 2nd Tuesday Business Group we practice our “elevator” speech each month when we meet. With continued difficulty describing what I do in a few brief sentences, my friend and co-member suggested I announce, “I change people’s lives by helping them hear well”. Yes that may be the case but it is still hard to truly grasp the full extent of what audiology is.
So I have been working on a new “elevator “speech. When we can visualize a concept, create a picture to associate it with the words, it is easier to understand and more importantly remember. So let me give it a whirl. I would love to know what you think.
“Well you know how most people at some point in their life will find themselves in a social situation, maybe sitting around a table with somebody who is finding it difficult to hear. That means that the individual often feels isolated, perhaps stops going out, worse than that continues not being able to live the life they once did. Well what we do is help those people with significant hearing challenges by providing both medical science and technology which in turn puts them in a position where they can enjoy those situations better. It further means that those people get to continue going to those social situations, spending more time at the table with their loved ones and continue to live the life they once loved. “
Can you see that person I just described? Are you that person? If so, give Beth a call at 704-633-0023. Jane and I would appreciate the opportunity to help you continue to live the life you once loved.