As a pediatric audiologist for a children's medical center, I plan to attend AudiologyNOW! 2014 in Orlando, FL. Although it is right down the highway from my home; I'll be there from Wednesday all the way through the end of Saturday's sessions. That's because each year I attend AudiologyNOW!, I come away with renewed enthusiasm, ideas and techniques to incorporate into my practice. Children and families know when a provider is engaged and interested in their best outcomes. Attending AudiologyNOW! renews that spirit in me. All of that makes me a better pediatric audiologist and benefits my small patients and their families.
One of my occupational therapist colleagues once told me that a child's job is to "play", as children learn through play. Pediatric audiologists reach children through their world - a world of play. AudiologyNOW! provides all kinds of opportunities for me to learn how to play again through this acronym!
P – L – A- Y
P - Pals. I meet my old and new pals at every AudiologyNOW! I attend. Some of my most memorable experiences involve having fun at informal events with my audiology friends, some of who have become lifelong friends. When audiologists get together, after some small talk and catch-up time, the conversation invariably turns to the subject of Audiology! I have learned so many different things through this informal method over the years. Items typically not learned in classes – ways to work with parents, best technique to hold an unhappy child for earmold impressions, or opinions on new technology that I haven't had a chance try yet. Knowledge comes in many ways and informal networking with my pals leads to great innovations in my practice.
L - Learn. It goes without saying that AudiologyNOW! presents many formal opportunities for learning for the pediatric audiologist. Here’s a sampling from the Wednesday Learning Labs and Featured Sessions:
- Learning Lab: Bagatto & Scollie's session on The Essentials of Pediatric Hearing Aid Verification and Validation including the Academy's Pediatric Amplification Guidelines;
- Featured Sessions: FM Validation; APD Grand Rounds and Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss. And for variety: Women in Audiology: Insight to Leadership, Advocacy and Inspirational Stories; ICD 10; and Electronic Medical Records.
So many great sessions on Wednesday and throughout the conference for the pediatric audiologist that I wish I could attend them all. View additional Pediatric track sessions in theConference Planner.
A - Advance. Participating in AudiologyNOW! advances my pediatric practice to the highest levels. Want to advance your knowledge in Auditory Processing Disorders? Consider attending the CAPD Conference - Clinical Populations with CAPD, What We Know and What Lies Ahead- held Friday evening and all day Saturday in conjunction with AudiologyNOW! 2014. Presenters of this conference include the foremost experts in the area.
Another way to advance to higher recognition in pediatric audiology is to consider the American Board of Audiology’s Pediatric Audiology Specialty Exam or the Cochlear Implant Specialty Exam which are also held in conjunction with AudiologyNOW! 2014. Obtaining these specialty certifications certainly represents a high achievement in pediatric audiology and demonstrates to parents, physicians, and workplace administration commitment to the profession and best practice. Go to the ABA Website for more information and application deadlines.
Y - Why do I attend? Because of everything I have experienced at past conferences and expect to experience this year. I haven't even talked about the pediatric exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall. If you haven't noticed, pediatric audiology is a hot area with manufacturers and vendors. Take a look at diagnostic assessment equipment for better, faster, more accurate newborn hearing screening and full electrophysiologic assessment. While in the Exhibit Hall, look at the emphasis placed on pediatrics by our hearing aid and cochlear implant manufacturers. Many present new kid-friendly devices and accessory items at their booths. I am amazed by the extensive materials designed specifically for children now available. I also make it a point to experience the DiscovEARy Zone. This is a great opportunity to incorporate new ideas in your practice geared to children in low and high tech ways. And you don't have to be a child to DiscovEAR and learn from the Zone!
I am looking forward to and am excited about attending AudiologyNOW! 2014. As a pediatric audiologist, I know I will bring back valuable information that will benefit my patients and my practice. I'll also be at the Florida Academy of Audiology in August 2014 in Fort Myers. So, if you return to Florida after AudiologyNOW! 2014, why not join us for more reasons to 'play' in audiology?
Holle Aungst, AuD