Sarah Lundstrom, AuD
HearCare Audiology Center
As a new audiologist in Florida, this was my first experience attending FLAA in Orlando. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of course offerings each day. The schedule was well planned and the sessions were relevant. There was even an ABA tier 1 course available. I was fortunate to be able to attend the convention with a few of my coworkers and we enjoyed completing the scavenger hunt in the exhibit hall and getting a chance to speak with some of the manufacturers. It is always nice to put a face with a name when you work with these companies. The convention was also a great way to meet other Florida audiologists and build a local network. Most of us seem to face the same issues in our practices regardless of setting.
One of the courses I found to be most enlightening was the general session “Help! We are surrounded! Keeping audiology alive in an increasingly competitive marketplace” by Gyl Kasewum, AuD. As an audiologist in private practice I found this session to be very engaging and relevant. Dr. Kasewurm spoke about the challenges we face in today’s market with big box stores and competition around every corner (in Florida that’s literal). My main take-away from this presentation was not just for private practitioners, but could and should be applied in every audiology setting-customer care. She spoke extensively about making the patient feel like part of the family and all of the little things we can do to improve their quality of life and set ourselves apart from the competition.
Other courses we attended also focused on the changing demands of the marketplace and how we, as audiologists, need to adapt and change with it. Technology is improving and becoming more readily available to consumers. How we respond to these changes is what will drive our profession forward. Dr. Ian Windmill spoke about the affect of outside forces on our profession and how we need to come together and find a way to respond. The 2016 FLAA convention was a great reminder of how far audiology has come, and how we need to continue to adapt and grow in order to do what we do best-improve quality of life. The convention renewed my drive and enthusiasm for the year to come. Can’t wait to see what FLAA 2017 will hold.