An Ode to a Wonderful Teacher

Post By: Olivia Hahn 

As a student in the realm of professionals I am given the opportunity to learn from the best. I stand by Dr. Tina Sheehan's side everyday and silently gather information on physical techniques, ways to converse with patients, strategies on how to administer tests, etc. Coming to HearCare Connection has absolutely been a blessing and I've been learning everything I was expecting to concerning the technicalities of becoming an audiologist. I've also learned things that I think are just as important as the mechanics of this occupation that don't often get a light shined on them. Tina has an excellent reputation for caring about patients and applying herself beyond the black and white tasks of her job. She's taught me many things of course but there are some things that I will be taking away from her and HCC that I wasn't expecting to when I first stepped into this office.

The first being the importance of doctor/patient relationships and the value of community outreach. Watching Tina perform the duties as an audiologist is exceptional in itself but the real lesson to be learned is to form a bond and a trust between herself and who she is helping as well as the community around her. Her interaction with patients can be somewhat mesmerizing in the sense of understanding and respect she gives to each and every person that walks through our doors. To say that she makes you feel welcomed in this office is an understatement. Her giving nature leads us into the community by involving us in numerous health fair screenings and expos giving out information about ourselves to those who don't know the wonders of HCC yet. This in turn brings more people into our comforting atmosphere at HearCare. Everybody wins!

The second thing I've learned is that although I am an intern, patients and members of the community that I help beyond the office hang on every word that I say. They trust that I know what I'm doing and unless Tina introduces me as her student intern (which she does every now and again) patients believe I am just as qualified as a professional. I have Dr. Tina to thank for this because she allows me to spread my wings in the office and take over numerous types of appointments. Let's just say she kicked me out of the nest early. But throughout this experience she has taught me to be meticulous in what I say and do because although I don't necessarily think about it because I am still in the learning process, patients take exactly what I say seriously and to heart. I now know what a powerful responsibility this is and exactly how to approach people on an individual basis. 

The last thing that has truly stuck out to me is the fact that everyday is typical for us but is a huge day in the lives of whatever guests walk through that door. We have a routine when we walk into the office every morning where we turn on equipment, make our cup of coffee, and check our emails. I look over Cindy's shoulder to read what charts are prepared for the day and see if we have any 'cool' appointments scheduled. In reality, every appointment is extremely important because every appointment and every patient has a story of why they are here in the first place. For some, this is their first experience concerning hearing loss and that can be a scary thing. I'm sure you've found a robotic and factory-like environment in other doctor's offices but not here. Not a HearCare Connection. To remain respectful, to move patiently, and to be uplifting are virtues that Tina has taught me because although this seems small and routine to us, it can be confusing and  mean the world to someone else. 

So as I move onto a professional education and eventually the big, bad world I will carry these lessons with me. If I can have a fraction of the awesome reputation that Tina has made for herself then I'm going to be in great shape! So Tina if you're reading this, which I'm sure you are, thanks for everything that you do not only for me but for our HCC family and the Northeast Indiana community. I'm ecstatic to continue learning the rest of the summer so stay tuned HCC followers! Have a wonderful week.