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Perspectives of a Gator Audiology Student

The Lifelong Pursuit of Knowledge
April 27, 2015 1:39 PM by Josh Gilbert

With the new year has come a continued array of learning opportunities and a further awareness of the growth process towards developing clinical competence.

Graduation is right around the corner! The nearer I get, the more I realize that earning the title of audiologist does not mean that educational growth is forever terminated. Conversely, I now see that the AuD degree serves more as a professional launching point from which a lifelong pursuit of clinical knowledge is maintained.

It encourages me to talk with experienced audiologists at my externship site and hear them say things such as, "I'm still learning too." or "I'm still learning new things everyday."

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I think that the most important thing is being able to accept instruction so that one can truly improve. My goal is to be humble enough to accept constructive criticism and confident enough to do the best job that I can with the knowledge that I have to provide patients with optimal service.

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2014: A Big Picture Analysis
December 18, 2014 3:18 PM by Josh Gilbert
As the year comes to a close, I am very thankful for the host of opportunities that I have been given to contribute to caring for patients and learn valuable clinical skills from a number of preceptors.

Of the many important attributes necessary for becoming a skilled clinician, I think that being able to accept criticism and successfully integrate suggested changes from one's preceptors are two of the most vital.

Sometimes, I have these "light bulb" moments when I feel that a concept that has been difficult for me to understand suddenly becomes clear. I don't think that these moments are happenstance but instead result from a preceptor's willingness to be patient and persistent in training a student regardless of how immediately apparent it is that a student "gets it" or "doesn't get it."

Observing this patience and persistence in each of my preceptors makes me feel thankful and hopeful that I will be able to pass on what I have learned in the same manner someday.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a blessed holiday season to you and yours!

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Midpoint of Externship Year
November 21, 2014 11:08 AM by Josh Gilbert
Somehow, half of my externship year has already past!

I continue to learn many new things each day and have begun to see HA patients more regularly in addition to performing diagnostic testing. I really appreciate my preceptors' perspective in having externs focus on diagnostics for the first few months of the externship and gradually integrate HAs thereafter. While I still have room for improvement in my diagnostic skills, I feel much better equipped than I did when I started in May.

One important facet that I have been trying to better integrate into my thinking with HA patients is considering the importance of adapting to their needs and preferences and incorporating these into my recommendations. As a student clinician, it can be easy to get locked in on what you think (or may even feel you know) is best for the patient without actively listening and adapting accordingly. I am sure that this clinical skill will take years and years to develop but I am optimistic and determined to make gradual improvement.
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Post Hearing Aid Fitting
October 8, 2014 2:00 PM by Josh Gilbert

I will begin this post by stating that I am amazed that it is already October! At this time last year, I was nearing the end of the externship interview process. It is crazy to reflect on how quickly time passes...

One resounding theme of my past week in clinic was regarding the importance of follow-up appointments post HA fitting. I've noticed that potential HA patients tend to greatly appreciate when the process of follow-up appointments after the initial HA fitting is discussed during a HA consultation appointment.

It seems intuitive that, prior to investing a significant amount of money towards amplification, a patient would desire that the audiologist's professional expertise be continually exhibited throughout weeks, months, and years that comprise the follow-up process. Additionally, adapting the HAs to meet the patient's personal needs and preferences is such a vital component towards a successful fitting. It would be foolish to purchase a new vehicle without planning to bring it in for regular servicing (oil change, coolant flush, tire rotation, etc.) by a trained professional. It might be a reach to make that comparison but comparisons help me conceptualize things better...

I am continuing to learn a tremendous amount and feel blessed to interact with such great colleagues at my externship site; couldn't ask for better!

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The Importance of Building Good Rapport
August 18, 2014 5:19 PM by Josh Gilbert

As I approach the 3-month mark of my clinical externship year, I am continuing to learn a tremendous amount in terms of identification and recognition after performing diagnostic audiology testing on a variety of patients and receiving helpful, corrective guidance from my clinical preceptors.

One theme that has resonated with me lately is the importance of building good rapport with patients. As a clinician, it can be easy to become so familiar with the process of audiologic testing and providing instructions that one may become complacent and oblivious of the fact that many patients are undergoing audiologic testing for the first time.

Given this fact, it seems that clinical competency extends beyond simply providing accurate testing to also ensuring that the patient has at least a basic understanding of the tests being performed and is treated with a high quality level of care.

As I continue along, and eventually begin to work with hearing aid patients, I hope to keep improving in the area of rapport building as it is truly a crucial facet of clinical audiology.

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Settling In as an Extern
July 10, 2014 9:14 AM by Josh Gilbert

I am about a month and a half into my 4th year AuD externship. I feel that I have already learned a tremendous amount and look forward to continue learning throughout the rest of this final year of my doctoral program and beyond!  

It is really neat to be in a clinic environment each day and to see how striving to apply an evidence-based approach to audiology serves to enhance the quality of life of a large number of people.

Some of the facets of an evidence-based approach that I have observed frequently in my first month and a half as an extern include:

  • Incorporation of ipsi diagnostic acoustic reflexes in the audiologic test battery (or at least screened acoustic reflexes when it is too difficult to maintain a seal for diagnostic); this is consistent with the "cross-check" principle;
  • Attempting to verify audiometric findings as much as is possible (i.e., rechecking measured asymmetric thresholds with a new insert, the contralateral transducer, or testing again in a different sound booth); and
  • Attempting to ensure that cerumen impaction and/or insert depth is not skewing test results by having the patient see an ENT for cerumen removal prior to audiologic testing, if they are at least moderately occluded, and pulling firmly back on the pinna when placing inserts to ensure that poor insertion depth is not suggestive of a conductive component which would not be present with correct insertion depth.

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Heading Out West
April 30, 2014 9:05 AM by Josh Gilbert
Ever since the spring academic term ended last Friday, marking the completion of my classes and clinics, I have been focusing more on preparing to move to CA. My wife and I have gradually been selling, giving away, and throwing away our stuff in attempting to downsize as much as possible before our move.

It seems that you never really know how much you have until everything is removed from its proper place and begins to occupy the living room, bedroom, etc.

Nevertheless, my wife and I are both very excited about this opportunity. Transitioning always brings some challenges with it but excitement and anticipation certainly help overcome these challenges.

20 days and counting until I begin my externship! :]

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AudiologyNow! 2014 Academy Research Conference
April 3, 2014 3:00 PM by Josh Gilbert
I was blessed with the opportunity to be a graduate student attendee of yesterday's Academy Research Conference (ARC) at the annual AudiologyNow! Conference, which is being held in Orlando, FL, this year.

The conference topic was "Hearing Aids and the Brain". I was intrigued by each of the eight speakers' presentations. The intricacies of peripheral hearing are complex enough to merit continued research. However, the presenters gave in-depth discussion with regard to how sound is processed once it reaches the brain and the challenges of providing appropriate amplification given the complexity of signal processing within the brain and the many variables which contribute to different perception across amplified listeners.

It is encouraging to me that this topic is being explored. It was an eye-opening educational experience and left me feeling very excited about the future of audiology!

Best,

Josh

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The Future of Audiology
March 6, 2014 10:07 AM by Josh Gilbert
As one of the course requirements for my Current Issues class, I submit a weekly journal entry. This past week, I speculated about changes which may take place in the world of audiology over the course of the next 10 to 20 years.

Here are some of the questions that I came up with:

Will all of the major hearing aid manufacturers soon develop technologies with rechargeable batteries?

How much smaller can hearing aids get while still maintaining, or perhaps improving, technological features and capabilities?

What changes might we see in clinical protocols as more and more evidence based research is produced?

Will auditory processing disorder be better understood? Will new and improved diagnostic tests yield better identification?


If you happen to read this blog, please comment with any answers/critiques to these questions. Or, perhaps, pose some questions that you believe may contribute to shaping the future of audiology.


Best,

Josh

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A Time of Transition
February 17, 2014 9:54 AM by Josh Gilbert
Over the last couple of weeks, my mindset has shifted from viewing this academic term as any other to viewing it as a time of preparation in which I should place special emphasis on improving in clinical areas that I am weak in as well as continuing to stay up to date with the newest technologies from the major hearing aid manufacturers.

I am well aware that there is no way to be fully prepared for everything that awaits; however, I want to do my best to be as prepared as possible. I have gradually been assembling a large binder with audiology related materials that I plan to take to CA and use as a reference during the externship year.

Outside of the academic realm, there are a couple of other transitions taking place as well:

My wife and I have gradually been selling the furniture that has occupied our cozy, little one-bedroom apartment home for the last two years. We plan to re-invest the money received towards furnishing our new residence.

Harvest Bible Chapel of Gainesville has been our home church for the past year and we have built some close friendships with other members of the church. We have been blessed to be a part of the church and look forward to getting involved at a new church as we transition to the West Coast!

In summary, it is a time of transition but also a time of great excitement and anticipation. I am really looking forward to beginning a new chapter of life and the many adventures that it is sure to bring.

Best,

Josh

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Back in Class
January 14, 2014 12:02 PM by Josh Gilbert
Well, the winter break has ended and I am back in Gainesville. The first week of clinic and classes has already flown by.

I am very excited about both my clinic and class schedule for this semester. My clinical schedule is comprised of a clinic at the VA, a clinic at a local, university affiliated clinic which mirrors a private practice setting, a clinic in an ENT setting, and a tinnitus clinic. This broad variety excites me tremendously and I am sure that it will serve as a fantastic preparation for my clinical externship year which begins this May. My classes are Deaf Culture and Current Issues. I have always wanted to acquire a basic knowledge of ASL and I am happy to have the opportunity to do so in the Deaf Culture class.

Thankfully, I passed the Praxis exam last December! The next steps in the externship preparation process will include plenty of paperwork. I am just beginning the process of applying for a required professional experience (RPE) temporary license.

I have also begun TAing for two classes in the UF Bachelor of Health Sciences program, an Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care class and a Critical Thinking in Health Care class.

It was a great first week and I look forward to blogging more as the semester progresses!

Josh

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End of the Term
December 9, 2013 1:48 PM by Josh Gilbert
Today marked the end of my class and clinic schedule for the Fall 2013 term.

For the next week and a half, my attention will shift to making final preparations for the Praxis Audiology Exam
by reviewing previous class notes and textbooks.

I am excited about this final preparation process as it will serve as an encouraging reminder of how much I have learned since starting the
Doctor of Audiology program at The University of Florida as well as allow me to brush up on areas that I don't feel strong enough in.

After the Praxis exam, I plan to enjoy spending lots of time with my wife for a couple of weeks!

Spending time with her will be a terrific conclusion to a busy but very encouraging year.

Best,

Josh

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Giving Thanks
November 21, 2013 9:51 AM by Josh Gilbert
The Fall 2013 term at UF will be coming to a close soon; it is amazing how quickly such a seemingly lengthy period of time can pass!

I am currently working on completing a variety of class related tasks, and will continue to in the coming weeks, alongside my clinical assignments and
responsibilities as a TA. In addition, I am trying to squeeze in time to prepare for the Praxis Audiology exam which I will be taking in mid-December.

Two weeks ago, I was offered and gladly accepted an externship position at my top clinical choice!
I am looking forward to beginning the externship year and will continue to do my best to be a good steward with my time so that
I can review and prepare adequately prior to beginning next May.

When things get busy, as they are now, it makes me all the more thankful for each of the opportunities that I have been given.I count it a true blessing to be able to work hard and continue to learn as I move closer to graduation and begin to transition into a tremendously exciting career opportunity. There is so much to be thankful for.

Best,

JoshThe Ear

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Working Hard With an Optimistic Outlook
November 4, 2013 12:06 PM by Josh Gilbert

Time is moving so very quickly! I am stunned at the pace of this semester but very thankful for the variety of experiences that I have received to this point.
I am currently in five clinical assignments, enrolled in multiple classes, and serving as a graduate teaching assistant. I see these opportunities as responsibilities that help me to use my time efficiently. I also see the importance of balancing my time well so that I can maximize the time that I spend with my sweet wife! She really cheers me up and helps me stay hopeful in the midst of the busyness of life.

All of the clinical assignments that I have had in the UF AuD program have been great learning experiences and this semester's allotment has been no different.

I believe that knowledge is an accumulation of building blocks which forms a foundation and eventually turns into an intricate tower of expertise. One of the primary challenges with being a graduate clinician is keeping an optimistic perspective as all of the building blocks are compiled and humbly accepting reproof with the knowledge that, in time, the little things will start to "click" and continue to "click." I think that staying patient and giving a full effort each day are vital components of the learning process.

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Hello there!
August 30, 2013 2:44 PM by Josh Gilbert

AdvanceWeb has kindly given me the opportunity to blog about my experiences as a Doctor of Audiology student. In case you didn't read my bio, I am preparing to enter my third year as a Doctor of Audiology student at The University of Florida.

As I write this blog post, I am in the process of considering 4th year AuD externship opportunities. I have searched for and reviewed different externship sites and continue to review audiology related materials as I prepare for interviews.

This morning, I completed my last clinical period of the summer term. I will now have about a week and a half off; I plan to use this time productively!

In addition to externship searching, I'm hoping to have a little gap of time to take a short road trip with my wife, Heather, before the fall term starts.

Let the blogging begin!

Josh

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