For the women who work at the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Connect Hearing Clinic, work isn't just fun – it's meaningful.
We were able to catch up with office manager Donna Coudert, Laurie Smith CCR, audiologist Heather Jessome, audiologist Virginia Muirhead and hearing instrument dispenser Marilyn Kelly who talked about their jobs, new technological breakthroughs, and their community.
Connect Hearing: How long have you been with Connect Hearing, and what is the most interesting part of your job?
Donna Coudert Office Manager: The most interesting part of my job is meeting with different people and trying to direct them to the right person to help them in any way possible with their hearing needs. As office manager, I deal directly with staff members and try to help whenever possible. I have been in the hearing health industry since 2000 as part of Sault Ste Marie Audiology and part of Connect Hearing since 2003.
Connect Hearing: How about you Laurie? Do you find the job really interesting?
Laurie Smith CCR: My job can be routine but there is a lot of variety since I deal with all sorts of people. Something as simple as changing a wax guard can bring a smile and sigh of relief for a client can be a wonderful reward. It also still surprises me how quickly an eighty-year-old can catch on to working of blue tooth devices and the joy it can bring them to listen to their music and television shows.
Donna Coudert Office Manager: Connect Hearing has been a great place to work as we have the resources to help clients all over the world.
Connect Hearing: Heather, you've been with Connect Hearing for four years. Has there been a moment that has really moved you?
Heather Jessome Audiologist: I love meeting new clients and their families daily and being able to share in their hearing journey. Hearing health is vitally important for all of us, and I always enjoy that "wow!" moment when my client starts to benefit from better hearing with their new hearing aids or communication strategies. One instance that stands out for me is the mother and daughter that were crying for joy in my office when the mother could hear her daughter and grandchildren again. It truly made a difference in the lives of this family and I feel privileged to have been able to have a hand in that.
Connect Hearing: My goodness. That must have been incredible.
Marilyn Kelly Hearing Instrument Dispenser: Since working with Connect there have been many inspiring moments. I think the most wonderful experience for me was when a gentleman who has had hearing aids for many years and has a severe loss was able to hear on the DECT phone in the office. I'll never forget the look of awe and joy on his face and tears on his cheeks as he said "Thank you."
Connect Hearing: Amazing. What a story. It's for moments like this that we encourage people to visit our clinics for a free hearing test. Ginny, we haven't forgotten you. You have an inspiring story as well, don't you?
Virginia (Ginny) Muirhead, Audiologist: Yes! One of the most rewarding interactions was when I fitted a professional fiddle player with a new set of hearing aids that had the latest technology. It had always been a struggle to find a program in previous hearing aids that he could play his fiddle to and have it sound natural. With no extra programming on the new hearing aids he can play his fiddle and it sounds like he is on the stage as every sound is enhanced. He was ecstatic. I am very happy with the new technology in hearing aids and all the wireless accessories that now work with hearing aids.
Connect Hearing: There have been some really interesting innovations in hearing aids, hasn't there?
Jessome: There sure has. Recent innovation in Bluetooth technology has helped young and older patients alike to connect wirelessly for more safety with things such as cell phones and hands-free devices.
Coudert: Agreed. There are so many products available for the hearing impaired but I think the greatest is Blue Tooth, which enables people to be hands free.
Connect Hearing: That's very interesting.
Jessome: And it isn't just breakthroughs with technology that's making a difference. With our SoundCare Assurance program clients can also be reassured of ongoing hearing aid support and hearing health evaluations. The enthusiasm and commitment to ongoing care at all levels of Connect Hearing is also one of the things I love most about being associated with this company.
Connect Hearing: Thank you ladies. Now, I have to ask. What's life like in Sault Ste. Marie?
Coudert: Our community has many activities people can attend if they put their minds to it. You just have to get out there: camping, skiing, skating, boating and lots of social activities are offered in our downtown area all summer and throughout our winter.
Kelly: Our community is a GREAT place to raise children and if you enjoy the outdoors there is skiing, ski-dooing, tobogganing, and ice skating. All the summer fun from camping to swimming, hiking, and boating. A family can spend many hours together exploring and having fun.
Connect Hearing: You guys get along so well, it must be a lot of fun working together. And speaking of community success stories, I should congratulate you on your open house!
Donna Coudert Office Manager: It is great working with these ladies! We all get along, it's great. We all have the same mentality and we love ears, which is important if you're going to work here! (laughing) And yes, we had an open house last Thursday (19th). It was pretty good. We had a very good turnout.
Connect Hearing: In closing, do you have any advice for people who are looking for ways to maintain their hearing health?
Donna Coudert Office Manager: My advice is that everyone should always have a baseline for your hearing, and keep it so you'll know if your hearing has decreased. Baseline hearing tests are good because as you get older, you can see if it's decreasing. We offer this test at Connect Hearing.
Connect Hearing: Thanks for your time ladies! It was a pleasure to meet you. Best of luck and continue the great work!