Janet Revelle, AuD, talks about 36 wonderful years at Bacharach
36 years ago, local girl Janet Revelle had graduated from Kent State in Ohio and was working in Youngstown, when she got a call from her mother that there was a job opening at Bacharach in the Speech and Audiology Department.
She said she was packed and in the car in no time to interview for a job that was “right in my back yard!”
What has changed the most since those days?
“At that time,” said Janet, “we saw every inpatient for a routine comprehensive hearing evaluation upon admission to ensure each patient’s hearing was adequate for communication to optimize outcomes of therapy. We were part of a therapy team, attending patient evaluation conferences to report findings, make recommendations, provide assistive listening devices and interact with families. There were no outpatient services for the Audiology Department then,”
“In those days, most audiologists worked in doctors’ offices or clinic settings more or less as diagnostic technicians, but Bacharach had an autonomous and progressive department. Fortunately, leadership had a vision for what audiology could be, advocating for and ssecuring state of the art equipment to expand services to the entire community.”
“When audiology became a free-standing department – that was exciting. Providing services to outpatients allowed us to broaden our diagnostic scope of practice to include evaluating newborns, partnering with the Speech Department to provide communication evaluations to pediatrics and assessing Central Auditory Processing Disorders for children and adults. Vestibular testing to assess balance disorders has been a vital service for patients who suffer from vertigo. The rehabilitative process of prescribing and fitting hearing instruments and assistive listening devices to improve communication has been most rewarding for me.”
“Today our scope of practice is much more diverse. Our entire staff of audiologists are doctoral level professionals who received advanced degrees to achieve and maintain the highest level of expertise in our field,” said Janet.
What do you say to people who think hearing aids from Costco are just fine?
“Hearing instruments are medical devices. The explosion in technology has meant not only better instruments but higher quality service for improving patients’ benefit and satisfaction. You need a specially trained professional to diagnose the hearing loss, assess the patient’s listening and lifestyle needs, recommend the proper technology and verify the fitting. Doctors of audiology are uniquely qualified to identify the patient’s needs and make the appropriate recommendation as well as provide the essential follow up for fitting and successful outcomes.”
One highlight of her career, according to Janet, was the opportunity to jumpstart a new hearing center in Somers Point. “There was such a need for service by the communities of Cape May, Ocean City and Downbeach. We could reach more people to provide much needed services.”
“The patients inspire us,” said Janet. “The relationships we build over the years keep us all motivated and at the top of our game.”