Hi, my name is Jenna Fenton and I am a fourth-year doctoral student in the Osborne College of Audiology (OCA) at Salus University. I am originally from Massachusetts and I completed my bachelor’s degree at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., majoring in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies. For the fourth and final year of the audiology program, each student ventures off to full-time clinical externships in various locations across the country. After three years of courses, labs, and clinical rotations, we are ready for the final stretch before graduation. My externship is currently being completed at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in the Balance and Hearing Center.
Here’s an idea of what my typical day looks like:
6:00 a.m.: Rise and shine. I like to take my time in the morning and make sure I’m fully awake before getting to the hospital. I wake up, make the bed, brew some coffee and sneak a few minutes of reading or TV in before getting ready for work.
7:30 a.m.: Walk to work through Center City. I decided to move into the heart of Philly this year to get the full city experience.
7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.: Work. I’ve learned that you never really know when your day will start and end when working with patients. Part of my day involves my own diagnostic schedule, including audiometric evaluations, electrophysiology, and balance testing. Another part of my day includes time working with audiologists on cases including cochlear implants, osseointegrated devices, hearing aids, and tinnitus management. Working with each audiologist allows me to practice different approaches so that I can piece together what strategies work best for me. Lastly, each doctoral student is working on their own project to contribute to the department and mine pertains to research. During my time on campus at Salus, I had the opportunity to do some work with our research professor, Dr. Pienkowski, and it motivated me to continue working on research in clinical settings. I’ve been fortunate enough to help translate research into studies and meaningful protocols for our patients.
4:30 - 6:30 p.m.: Gym, a run through center city, or happy hour. Balance is key. Finally having free time after work is one of the greatest aspects of making it to fourth-year.
6:30 - 10:00 p.m.: Dinner, relax, and (sometimes) study. Even though I’m done with classes, I spend time reviewing information to prep for upcoming patients with more complex cases. Like any profession in the health field, ideas and technology are constantly evolving. It’s crucial to stay up to date with the most current practices for your patients. You’ll never really stop learning. I’ll unwind with some Netflix and phone calls with friends and family.
10:00 p.m.: Bedtime. I make a cup of tea and relax with a few pages of reading before falling asleep.
My daily routine is consistent but each day conveys new experiences and lessons that drive me toward becoming a better (soon-to-be) doctor.