Friday, August 26, 2016

Seminar Day

Hola from Lima!

After a very busy two weeks working with Vive Peru, our team departed Trujillo last night on an overnight bus to Lima. We are currently waiting to check-in to our hostel, so we figured this would be a good opportunity to give you all another update!

Last Friday in Trujillo, we held a seminar at Universidad Cesar Vallejo to educate local healthcare professionals about various topics in audiology. The two previous Northwestern SAA groups that worked with Vive Peru learned that audiology is not a distinct profession in Peru like it is in the United States. Instead, some aspects of hearing healthcare are distributed among various health professions (otolaryngology and psychology) while other aspects are largely neglected. Therefore, the goal of this seminar was to exchange information about audiology as a profession as well as give information about hearing healthcare that can be incorporated into the existing hearing healthcare system in Peru.

Shannon and Greg outside of the lecture hall, ready to give some presentations!

We began the day with a lecture from Jenna Browning-Kamins on an Introduction to Audiology. This included an overview of the battery of tests used to diagnose hearing loss. After fielding some questions, she then delivered another lecture on the Anatomy of the Ear. This included information about the peripheral and central hearing systems. Jenna had the audacity to do both of her presentations in Spanish, and the effort was certainly appreciated by the local professionals! The rest of the team worked with a translator, David, to present our lectures to the audience. 

Jenna Browning-Kamins

Next on the docket was a joint presentation about General Hearing Healthcare by Greg Horton and Shannon Switzer. This included information about ear hygiene, cerumen (ear wax), avoiding dangerously loud sounds, and protecting your head from injury (since your brain is actually what "hears" the sound it receives from your ears!).

After a quick break, Clare Furuta gave a presentation about Pediatric Audiology. This presentation focused on the specialized behavioral testing associated with children as well as the importance of early detection/intervention when a child has hearing loss.

Clare Furuta 

Greg Horton then took the stage again solo for a lecture about the importance of hearing conservation. Preventing hearing loss is important for ALL populations, but especially so for ones who do not have as much access to treatment for hearing loss (i.e. hearing aids and aural rehabilitation).

Greg Horton

Following a leisurely lunch break, Shannon Switzer gave a presentation about Communication Strategies. This lecture focused on different techniques people with hearing loss and their communication partners can utilize to communicate more effectively and efficiently. Communication strategies are important tools for people with hearing loss to use, especially when they do not have access to hearing aids.

Shannon Switzer

The last lecture of the day was by Dr. Jennifer Phelan who presented several pediatric case studies and emphasized the importance of a multidisciplinary team approach regarding hearing healthcare.

Jennifer Phelan, AuD

The seminar day concluded with an hour-long round table discussion where all five team members fielded a range of questions from the audience. We were thankful for all of the thoughtful questions that were asked during the round table as well as threaded throughout the seminar day. A topic that drew many questions was tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Tinnitus was such a popular topic that we believe next year's team should make a special presentation about it. Additionally, the team members at Vive Peru have suggested live streaming next year's seminar so our lecture can reach an even larger audience.

Clare answers a question during the round table discussion

We also want to thank Rachel Jurkowski, the founder of Vive Peru, and David Lopez, our translator, for all of their help with communicating our ideas to our audience! 

David Lopez, our translator for the day! 

Our team with Rachel Jurkowski, founder of Vive Peru 

After the seminar day, we enjoyed dinner with our host family before boarding another overnight bus to Huaraz for our free weekend. Stay tuned for a couple more updates about our time in Huaraz and our second week in Trujillo!

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