Hello everyone, my name is Elizabeth Labib and I am a third-year Audiology student. I am from San Francisco, California, and came to Philadelphia for Salus University’s Doctor of Audiology program. While I do miss home, I am enjoying my adventure here on the East Coast. I am currently serving as the president of our Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) Chapter at Salus. Here is a day in my life on a typical Tuesday in clinic at an Outpatient Veterans Affairs Clinic.
6 a.m.: This is when I typically wake up and start getting ready. I am a morning person and love waking up to prepare for the day while everything is still peaceful. I make sure to pack my lunch, which I prepare the night before, and review my planner. At this time I eat my breakfast, which consists of almond granola and almond milk and drink my favorite morning drink, which is currently matcha green tea from Lipton. I also make sure to have my VA badge on before I head out.
7:20 a.m.: I have been very blessed this semester to have a site that is only a 30-minute drive from where I live. I open up my audiobook app and start listening to a new audiobook that’s called “Own Your Everyday” (which I highly recommend) by Jordan Lee Dooley, which is basically a book about becoming the best version of yourself and she’s the narrator. I’m all about personal development and love finding little ways to promote self-growth even when I’m on the go!
7:50 a.m.: When I get to clinic I always put my lunch in the refrigerator and say good morning to all the staff who are super friendly. This clinic has different professionals ranging from psychologists to physicians that are all present for the purpose of making a difference for our veterans. I also make sure to check in with my preceptor on what is needed/necessary to prepare for the day. At this point, any rechargeable hearing aids are plugged into the wall outlet so that they are ready for the afternoon hearing aid fittings.
8:15 a.m. – 10 a.m.: On Tuesdays, I start with doing an audiologic evaluation so I make sure the sound booth is stocked with the necessary items and everything is organized and ready. By 8:30 a.m. I take the first veteran back to the booth to fill out the case history. Once completed, I sit down with the patients and go over their case history form. I love getting to the part about their professions in the military and listen to their experiences, which is always inspirational. Afterward, I set them up to perform the audiometric test. After the test, I counsel them and provide recommendations.
10 a.m. - Noon: I usually at this point see multiple follow-ups and make sure to address patient concerns with their hearing aids. I see all types of patients, from those with TM perforations to those that have experienced TBIs. I also get to work with all six hearing aid manufacturers, which has helped me to become more adept.
Noon - 1 p.m.: Lunch time. The staff at the VA is very close and they always bring food in for potlucks, so I always join in and engage. Today they have something called “Salad Day” where everyone created different colorful salads and healthy snacks to share. I sit and eat with them and enjoy listening to their stories. Some of the staff are also veterans and they always have something to share. We share similar experiences because my significant other is also actively serving in the U.S. Army. I usually check a few emails as well during that time.
12:50 p.m. – 4 p.m.: I typically get back from lunch early and start preparing for the fittings. I take a patient back and set up for real-ear speech mapping and verification, I also counsel the patient on how to use their new hearing aids (which are top-of-the-line) and realistic expectations. Then I have a few follow-ups with my last appointment at 3 p.m. with another fitting.
4 - 5 p.m.: At the end of the day, my preceptor (who truly has a heart of gold) gives me feedback and tips on how to continue to grow in my clinical skills with each patient. I have come to appreciate this time very much as I come back from clinic each day with a stronger skill achieved. I also make sure everything is set back into place and organized for the following clinic day.
5 p.m.: I usually get home around 5:30 pm and eat my protein bar on the drive back from clinic.
5:30 p.m.: When I get back home I change and go to the gym. I usually do a weight workout and then go for a run. I’ve always loved running ever since being on track & field team in high school. When I run, I usually listen to an audiobook or a podcast, which really helps to relieve the stress that comes from grad school and clinic. I am currently training for a marathon called the “2nd Annual Freedom’s March Marathon” in Valley Forge in October, which supports those that are actively serving in our military.
7 p.m.: This is when I eat dinner, which is already prepared because I meal prep on Sunday nights, and then go over emails from the Student Academy of Audiology as well as my personal email.
7:30 - 10 p.m.: During this time I usually focus and study, especially by putting my phone away. I make sure to review any notes or information from classes that week as well as the feedback my preceptor has given me so I can continue to grow as a future audiologist. I also study and prepare for any upcoming exams. In addition, I am currently applying to fourth-year externships so I work on those as well. The last thing I do is review some of my wedding planning details, which I work on a little each day (My wedding is in May of 2020, which I still can’t believe).
10:15 p.m.: I start getting ready for bed. I usually refill my diffuser with some lavender oil and diffuse it throughout the night, which is really good for both sleep and relaxation. I also make sure to take my multivitamin. I unwind by reading a chapter of a book before I go to bed as it helps me fall asleep. Currently I am reading “Live, Love, Lead,” which has truly been helping me grow in my leadership skills. I make sure to prepare myself for the following day, which is clinic on Wednesday. By 10:30 p.m. I am asleep, which is necessary for me to perform to the best of my ability at clinic. I typically get eight hours of sleep daily in order to do well each day in whatever the day may bring whether it’s in school or clinic.
Thanks for walking in my shoes for a day!