April 04 2016 0Comment

SPICE – Helping people connect

Courtesy of the Daily Mercury.

MAKE eye contact, be a good listener and find a common ground.

While these things are often the cornerstones of good communication, without hearing, how do you talk to your loved ones?

How do you express yourself?

The consequences of hearing difficulties can be life-altering and can lead to depression, anxiety and social withdrawal. For audiologist Jodie Miles, having an impact on someone’s health and well-being is why she is passionate about helping children and adults to hear.

“Your hearing is your connection to loved ones and the world,” she said.”My life’s work is to maintain and enhance that connection.”

Mrs Miles knew from a young age that she wanted to work in a profession where she could help people.”I love that connection you can have with someone.

“I’m probably quite an introvert myself. I like to have deep connections, so when I see people being isolated (by hearing difficulties) I can help them.”It feels good to know I’ve done that,” she said.

Mrs Miles studied a Bachelor of Speech Pathology and a Masters of Audiology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. While she was studying she fell in love with a Mackay boy and would often visit the region during her uni holidays. “I fell in love with Mackay. I loved the place. The relaxed lifestyle and the friendly people,” she said.The couple decided to settle in Mackay and Mrs Miles worked at several audio clinics around the city. She found that her customers were not really getting the chance to develop a relationship with their audiologist, and would often see a different audiologist each time they visited.

“A lot of my clients have become friends,” she said.”They need to trust you. I give my clients plenty of time. The biggest indicator of successful treatment is how motivated they are.”

With 10 years of experience behind her, Mrs Miles opened her own clinic, Mackay Hearing, three weeks ago at Ooralea GP Superclinic.

“Continuity of service and care is our main focus,” she said.

“I want to improve hearing health in our region and give local people the attention and care they need. We work with adults and kids and we are approved to offer free services to pensioners and veterans,” Mrs Miles said.

Hearing tests begin shortly after birth and Mrs Miles also does workplace testing, and works with schools and teachers to develop strategies for students with hearing difficulties.

Article appeared in the Daily Mercury on the 4th April 2016.

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