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My Not-so-Simple Job Description

When you ask most people what they do for a living, they usually have a pretty straightforward answer. When I get asked, I struggle. As head of the Beltone Training department, my role is to design and implement training for our network of practice owners and hearing care practitioners. Simple enough, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. In order to work with patients who have hearing loss, a practitioner must have broad product knowledge, excellent software skills to program the hearing instruments exactly right, extensive counseling experience to give comfort, care, education and realistic expectations, and the ability to work with highly sophisticated digital technology. In addition, practitioners must work well in a medical-office setting, work within a team to deliver the best possible patient experience, and demonstrate their competence to a governing board to receive licensing. Oh, and by the way, be nimble enough to work with a full range of personalities! Therefore, “designing and providing training” doesn’t quite describe my activities. I am very proud of the team of trainers we’ve assembled here at Beltone. All of them are professionals with experience dispensing hearing instruments in a retail/clinical setting. They provide advanced training in all aspects of working with people experiencing hearing loss, using the most extensive and cutting-edge training in the industry, including the use of multi-media. We offer training in the field and on-line; training for groups and one-on-one; we deliver lectures, sponsor discussions, and provide hands-on instruction; and we work with all levels of practitioner experience—from novices to multi-year veterans. Our programs cover products, software, trouble-shooting, counseling, and understanding the impact hearing loss has on individuals and their families. We embrace testing protocol, the physics of sound, audiogram interpretation, use of accessories, and how to provide ongoing care, among numerous other subjects. And, because our products get more and more advanced very quickly, we are constantly changing and updating Beltone practitioners’ knowledge base. The end result is that when a patient visits a Beltone office, they are working with a professional who is the most knowledgeable and most prepared to address virtually any issue pertaining to hearing loss, as well as, offer the best products and hearing care for that person and their family. So, back to my answer when asked what I do for a living. Usually, I say, “I work for Beltone”. I think that says it all.
Ken LaFerle, Au.D.
Ken is Beltone's Director of Educational Services and has been "bleeding Beltone Blue" for the last 26 years. He has been working in the hearing industry for the last 31 years and thoroughly enjoys the hearing care field and is looking forward to sharing his thoughts and experiences on the blog. More about Ken

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