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Earlens Lifestyle - December 2019

Pirate Hearing Care - Best Practice Guidelines

Cannon fire #1 cause of hearing loss in pirates

San Antonio, TX. September 19, 2008.
Avast there, Matey! Today marks International Talk Like a Pirate Day, a day dedicated to jabberin' about in piratese and celebratin' the unique linguistic characteristics of our keelhaulin' comrades lootin' and plundrin' the seven seas! This year, audiologists - even the lily-livered kind - are urged to support ARGGHH! (Awareness o' Gut-bustin', Grog-drinkin' Hearin' Healthiness!), a professional association whose mission is to provide quality evidenced-based care for the often overlooked and underserved pirate population. Not that the wenchin' swabs deserve it!

Dr. Kenneth Sutton, one scurvy dog of an Audiology professor at Columbia University, and previously featured on David Letterman, has begun a nationwide campaign aimed at improvin' the quality of pirates' lives by addressin' all their hearin' needs! Hard a-stern! Hard a-stern! Quotes the professor, "Yo ho ho! I be doin' research that shows in addition to age-related hearin' loss in pirates - piratcusis, that is - them scallywags be sufferin' a greater degree of noise-induced hearin' loss than the general population! The number one cause bein' cannon fire, followed by parrot squawkin' close to the ear (measured at 145 dBA for most species), swashbucklin' see-tos, and takin' part in too-loud pirate shanties. Shiver me timbers!"

A special ARGGHH! steerin' committee, led by Dr. Sutton, has issued Guidelines for Best Practices in Pirate Hearing Care, to assist hearin' care professionals in providin' consistent care, and ensuring the best pirate outcomes and greater poop-deck effectiveness.

"Hearin' professionals can't just be applyin' landlubber-based knowledge and expect to serve the needs of today's privateers. The Guidelines were developed to help professionals meet the specific hearin' and lifestyle needs of this group. Pirate hearin' care is one area that professionals definitely aren't learnin' about in graduate school."

The Guidelines were based on Dr. Sutton's extensive research with pirates, including his PirateTrak surveys.

The guidelines cover a broad scope of practice:

  • Pirate Case History

    • Includin' mateys and lasses in the intake process

  • Diagnostic procedures for pirates

    • Phonetically balanced pirate word lists (gold, knife, port, aye, hook, coin)
    • Spondees for pirates (bloodbath, doubloon, hogshead, blackjack, scurvy)

  • Amplification for pirates

    • Waterproof hearing aids for Davy Jones' Locker
    • Bluetooth for Buccaneers
    • Verification techniques - keepin' the parrot quiet durin' probe mic measures

  • Rehabilitation

    • Dizziness/Balance rehab - Walkin' the Plank and other pirate-based exercises

  • Counseling

    • Beyond Blackbeard - Treating the Whole Pirate
In support of ARRGGH's guidelines, Yvette Duran from AudiologyOnline will be establishing a special live e-seminar series dedicated to assistin' professionals with implementation of the recommendations. Ms. Duran states, "In addition to improving the quality of care for pirates, our series is designed for the pirate practitioner serving this population. We've brought in the latest experts discussing their research in the following areas: "Increasing Pirate Referrals - Marketing Your Practice on the High Seas", "Ethical Dilemmas in Pirate Care: Hornswaggling and Accepting Booty" and "Pirate Pediatrics - RECD (Really, we CoulDn't take this joke much further)". CUUs (Completely Useless Units) will be offered. Ms. Duran takes special pride in coordinating this program, since International Talk Like a Pirate Day also happens to fall on her birthday. "Although I'm not a pirate myself, I've always felt a special bond with this population. I'm very excited about this dynamite, excuse me, I mean super, pirate-based curriculum." Stay tuned to the AudiologyOnline home page for more details!

Patch Dybala, Pirate-in-Chief, AudiologyOnline

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