Coordinator's Column On a hot August morning in the late 1990s, I put the last of my belongings in the trunk of my car and began my 1,200 mile trek from New Jersey to Minnesota. The decision to move was the culmination of many months of careful thought. I was relinquishing ... Coordinator's Column
Coordinator's Column  |   March 31, 2016
Coordinator's Column
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Part 1
Coordinator's Column   |   March 31, 2016
Coordinator's Column
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, March 2016, Vol. 1, 1-3. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG7.1
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, March 2016, Vol. 1, 1-3. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG7.1
On a hot August morning in the late 1990s, I put the last of my belongings in the trunk of my car and began my 1,200 mile trek from New Jersey to Minnesota. The decision to move was the culmination of many months of careful thought. I was relinquishing my job as a clinician and taking on the role of student once again. I enjoyed my work as a clinician. The most rewarding part was working with patients and their families to address real communication needs in their everyday lives. We didn't have the best tools in our AR toolbox in those days. Device flexibility was limited to the turn of a screwdriver and accessories were not often provided. Group rehabilitation was not widespread outside of university or large hospital settings and private practice was only really beginning to emerge as a career path. For me, there were was as much frustration as there was fulfillment in the aural rehabilitation process. Patients continued to report communication difficulties despite the “best” fitted device and counseling. Inevitably someone would ask, “Isn't there more that you can do?” And to that question I didn't have a satisfactory answer. So I went back to school to get some answers. Becoming a student again was an unsettling experience in many ways. It wasn't simply the change from one environment to another. It was a transition. A change is an alternation that is situation-dependent, but a transition is the development or evolution of one form to another. In other words, meaningfully implementing changes into your life. I feel that aural rehabilitation is on the precipice of transition. There has been a positive paradigm shift to patient-centered care. However, our delivery model is under careful scrutiny. Hearing health care services may draw new competitors in the form of over the counter sales. Telehealth may alter the way that patients access health care providers. All these changes will propel our field into unexpected and sometimes unwanted transitions. This can evoke anxiety and concern but it can also be an impetus for growth. We have the opportunity to move hearing health care forward by routinely providing a broader range of rehabilitative services and perhaps increasing access to our services to the many individuals with hearing loss who have yet to seek treatment because of perceived barriers to access.
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