Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Classroom Presentations and Hearing Screenings (First Batch)

Hola from Trujillo! Northwestern's student clinician team has been hard at work this week preparing for and conducting our classroom presentations and hearing screenings. We are all a little tired from our busy week, but so excited and grateful for the opportunity to practice audiology here in Peru. We are also currently feeling slightly nervous because today is the day we give a seminar on audiology to healthcare professionals (check back later for a blog post about it)! Here is a recap of what we got up to from Tuesday-Thursday this week.

Tuesday, August 16th

Today was spent preparing and reviewing materials for our classroom presentations, hearing screenings, and university seminar. Since we have spent the last nine months preparing for our time here, our preparation here in Peru has been very efficient and smooth. We worked alongside members of the Vive Peru organization to make our visions a reality. These pictures are just a quick snapshot of the many hours we spent on Tuesday, Wednesday evening, and Thursday evening working towards our goal of expanding awareness of hearing health across many ages and conducting efficient hearing screenings.

Outside Vive Peru Headquarters

Getting to work inside Vive Peru Headquarters

Greg and Jenna work with Janice from Vive Peru 

Jenna polishes her Spanish skills with Janice
To keep in step with the locals, we broke up our day of work by going back to our home stay for a large lunch prepared by our host mom, Mercy. It was unbelievably delicious, as are all of her meals as we have come to learn. On our way back to Vive Peru, we passed a poster containing all of our smiling faces, which was advertising our university seminar day.

After an evening of work, we left headquarters feeling ready to hit the ground running the next day.

We also took a trip to the grocery store in Real Plaza after dinner to get some local snacks. The store was enormous, brightly lit, and still bustling at 10pm.

Shannon's snacks

Jenna and her snacks (including chicken-flavored Lays chips)

Wednesday, August 17th

We woke up bright and early for our first day of putting our audiology plans into action! We spent the day at a local school Institucion Educativa Antonio Torres Araujo.

Our team! 
Our plan for the school was to teach the kids about how hearing works and why it is important to protect their ears from loud sounds. While these classroom presentations were occurring, small groups of kids were pulled from class to have their hearing screened. Today, Jen, Jenna, and Greg tackled hearing screenings while Clare and Shannon taught a room of enthusiastic 4th graders.

Jennifer Phelan, AuD instructing some kiddos for hearing tests

Greg conducting otoscopy

Jenna conducting otoscopy

Clare and Shannon use a tuning fork to teach about the energy in sound

Clare and Shannon use a thermometer to show how different sounds have different loudness levels
Shannon, Clare, and classroom 4A

Thursday, August 18th

Today, we arrived at the school even earlier to ensure we had enough time to screen every child in classes 4B, 5A, and 5B. Shannon and Clare got right down to work teaching classroom 4B while Greg and Jenna conducted hearing screenings.

Shannon and Clare with classroom 4B
We then reversed our team roles, with Clare and Shannon conducting hearing screenings while Greg and Jenna taught two 5th grade classes.

Shannon conducts otoscopy
Clare conducts otoscopy
Greg shows how sound creates vibrations that bounce off of the eardrum, like rice on a plastic-wrapped bowl
Jenna helps a kiddo match the everyday sound to the loudness on the thermometer
Greg and Jenna with classroom 5B

At the end of the day, we were all very happy with how much progress we made and the kids' great attitudes.

Our entire team with classroom 5A

We celebrated meeting our goals for the day by going to a nearby seaside town called Huanchaco for lunch. Huanchaco is known for its great surfing and hand crafted reed boats on the beach.

Enjoying the beach breeze

After walking down the beach and exploring some souvenir shops, we settled in for a leisurely lunch. In fact, it was our "goodbye lunch" for Dr. Jennifer Phelan since she needed to return to Chicago to keep providing hearing healthcare for her patients there. We had a great time eating ceviche made from fish caught from the ocean that afternoon and chatting about how much we had experienced in such a short amount of time. We are so thankful she was able to supervise our first week of clinical work and make extremely helpful recommendations for streamlining our screening protocol. We will miss her during our second week of work but will make her proud!!

After lunch, we piled in a taxi and returned to Vive Peru headquarters where we spent the evening preparing for our university seminar the next day. We had an early bedtime to ensure we were rested up for our next big day! We will cover the seminar in a separate blog post. Also, after all our work is done, we will make a blog post detailing exactly how many people we helped, what we learned about hearing healthcare in Peru, and how we will incorporate our findings from this trip into future Northwestern audiology teams at Vive Peru!

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