Susan Grant and Amy MacLean like to think of themselves as the Comox “Connection” for hearing health care.
Seeing that Grant has 13 years of experience in the field and MacLean has 10, it's not hard to see why that is. Both women enjoy working in the Comox clinic in British Columbia and thrive on new, exciting challenges that are presented to them.
We caught up with both women at their clinic where they talked about hearing health, hearing aid technology, hockey moms and hugs.
Connect Hearing Canada: You two really love working for Connect Hearing, don't you?
Amy MacLean, RHIP: We are fortunate enough to work in a profession that allows us the opportunity to help put a smile on a person’s face, in a very meaningful and lasting way.
Susan Grant: Every day we are at the clinic, our goal is to help each person we encounter hear better.
CH: Can you talk about some of the interactions you have had with clients?
Grant: We have had countless inspiring interactions. For example, the Papa whose granddaughter will bring him his hearing aids before they have their morning tea party; the young father who wanted to be able to hear his son learning to say his first words; the woman who is vibrant, active and just wants to hear and be a part of everything going on around her all of the time. It's a wonderful reward for us to be a part of these meaningful, life improving events.
CH: That must be a wonderful feeling.
Grant: It is. I've had clients come in, one after he other. I fixed their hearing aids or set them up with new ones and the clients think that's the greatest thing in the world. I've had clients give me hugs because they were so happy. We get a lot of hugs in this office, Amy and I. Not that I want to encourage everyone who comes in to give us hugs (laughter). But it is a nice feeling to know you are helping people.
CH: That's wonderful. How have you seen hearing loss affect people's lives?
MacLean: Being with Connect Hearing has allowed us to witness how being able to hear as well as possible is an integral aspect of a person’s general well-being and overall quality of life. Losing our ability to hear gradually isolates us from those we love. It leaves people out of the conversation and creates negative feelings of embarrassment, frustration, suspicion, sadness and anger. Being able to witness the smile and positive energy return to someone’s life is fantastic!
CH: It's important to hear these stories, but it's just as important to communicate the importance of hearing to young people. How do you do that?
MacLean: Yes, and that's the big question isn't it - how do you get your kids to listen to you (laughter). It's so important because young people need to understand the value of hearing well. But I feel that they also need to have compassion for those who don't. If we can teach younger people to do that, to have that compassion, hearing impaired people will be better understood and young people will understand the importance of protecting their hearing.
CH: Connect Hearing has been named one of Canada’s greatest places to work. I'm assuming you both agree?
MacLean: Oh yes, we can attest to that!
Grant: We are well supported in our efforts to ensure that our clients receive care and service that is second to none. We have a great team, we have outstanding clients, we can be proud of the service we provide - and the view from the office windows isn’t bad either!
Connect Hearing: Can you talk about some of the new innovations you have seen?
Grant: A recent innovation in the world of hearing health is a product called the Lyric.
This is an extended wear hearing device that fits deeply into the ear canal and is worn for up to four months at a time. We are very pleased to be one of the clinics that offer this product. It's exciting because of the freedom it offers to those who wear them. There are no batteries to change, no need to keep track of where you have put your hearing aids. You can wear them in the shower. There is no need to be reminded of your hearing loss every day.
CH: Are there any products you recommend to clients?
MacLean: The products we most commonly recommend to our clients are the wireless accessories that are often provided with hearing aids. These devices can allow hearing aid wearers to connect directly to sound from phones, television sets, computers, music sources and voices at a distance. They can also help to overcome the difficulty of background noise. Everyone should enjoy the benefits of these products.
CH: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Grant: I like to spend time with my mom and find new ways to entertain her busy granddaughter. She enjoys bead work and riding her bike.
MacLean: I am very busy with two young sons and husband. They like to make the most of all of the great outdoor activities that the Comox Valley offers. If it's hockey season be warned that I'm the ultimate hockey Mom and I'll be cheering for my kids. I not only know the score but I know the rules and who broke them and what the call should have been. Join me at a game sometime and I'll show you what I mean!
Connect Hearing: Well, if we ever join you at one of those hockey games we'll be sure to bring our earplugs! Ladies, thank you for your time!
MacLean: As I warmly recall from my first months of being a newcomer in the Comox Valley, now almost eleven years ago, everywhere I went it seemed someone would say, “Welcome to the Valley”. In the same warm and welcoming way, Susan and I would like to invite all of you to visit us in downtown Comox. We want to be able to say to you welcome to Connect Hearing.
To book your free hearing evaluation at our comox clinic click here.