Smokey, the University of Tennessee’s mascot, took time to have his hearing screened, along with 387 people — a record number — during a recent audiology open house hosted by the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Health Professions.
The department, which is located on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has hosted the event for 10 years. The Audiology Open House was created by students to engage the community and raise awareness for the department and its services. The open house is entirely organized by UTHSC students pursuing a degree as a doctor of audiology, along with student members of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA).
“The graduate students do more than just participate; they are fully responsible for the event,” said Julie Beeler, MA, CCC-A/SLP, coordinator for referral services and program liaison in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology. “They advertise for the event, recruit sponsors and donors, organize the volunteers, plan the logistics of welcoming and screening several hundred people, conduct the screenings and provide counseling and recommendations. It’s an excellent experience in community outreach.”
The event was open to all staff, faculty, students and the community. Services included free hearing and balance screens, as well as counseling about hearing conservation. A total of 45 people screened were identified with hearing loss and received referrals for further testing.
“Not only is planning and hosting this event an excellent educational experience, but I think it also helps remind our students why we do the work that we do each day in the clinic,” said Beth Humphrey, AuD, CCC-A, associate professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology and faculty adviser to the UT Chapter of NSSLHA. “We hope to inspire others to take care of their hearing, as well as to support them if they are struggling in life because of their hearing. Unlike other hearing professionals, audiologists are trained to listen to the needs of their clients to improve quality of life as it relates to hearing loss and balance disorders. This event embodies that theory of helping others on a grand scale.”
For more information on the UTHSC Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, please visit: https://www.uthsc.edu/health-professions/asp/about/index.php.