Like everything new in life, I was quite apprehensive at first embarking on my journey as an Audiologist. You never truly understand the magnitude of something until you jump right into it and the same can be said for my first year studying Audiology. The transition was made seamless with the ever-helpful lecturers who were always on hand to aid and assist the entire cohort. It was stressful at times when exam dates and deadlines would overlap, but good time management and the resolve to succeed helped overcome that. I was very pleased with my clinical progress in anticipation of the placement towards the end of the year.
The wealth of knowledge at my disposal from all the lecturers was an incredible asset for anyone in the field of Audiology and the equipment present at the university allowed us to develop the skills required as a clinician and closely mimicked a clinical setting. I am firm believer that the experience gained in a clinical environment by a qualified professional is invaluable and hard to replicate. So, when the pandemic ensued, and placements was cancelled I was extremely disappointed. For me it was the accumulation of the entire year of academic study, a week where you would be tested on your knowledge and be required to troubleshoot in real time for patients at hand.
The pandemic itself fell during exam season and it brought about its own challenges for both students and lecturers alike. We had to adapt to the new formats of examination in a very short space of time and the lectures had to deliver remaining lectures and study sessions online and in some instances in ways they were not accustomed to. Procrastination was a major challenge especially since there was no accountability being in the comfort of your own home. All in all, this academic year with all of its struggles and uncertainties caused by COVID-19 was a success. The pandemic was something unprecedented that affected the entire world drastically, but it taught us resilience and to have the mental fortitude to overcome whatever may be put in front of us. Not only is this essential in life but also as an aspiring Audiologist making patient care and treatment easier.
This year has anchored my desire and determination to become a successful Audiologist. The current climate has increased the need and demand for Tele-Audiology. There is a shift in digital based services and with the industry constantly growing and evolving with new techniques and research it is an exciting time to be studying Audiology.