If You Don’t Love What You Do, Don’t Do It LIFE CREEDS When I was in telecommunications, I had a great career, and I helpedmany people. But I was also in a transitional period of my life and wanted to find newways to help my community. My father was always a mentor tome, so I reached out to him for advice. He had a fulfilling career, so I wanted to knowmore about his career path. One creed I live by is if you don’t love what you do, don’t do it. It’s somethingmy father taught me. He had worked in the hearing field for 20–25 years, so I wanted to knowwhy he was so passionate about it. He described his joy as he brought hearing back to people on a daily basis, and he even saw some patients break down with tears of joy. That conversation changedmy life. I had spent most of my life in Middle Tennessee before moving to East Tennessee. From an early age, I learned the value of working hard and helpingmy community. I went door to door trying to get lawnmowing jobs charging $8–$10 per lawn. My passion for helping others inmy community didn’t stop there; when I was 15, I got a job at a dog kennel. Originally, my passion for helping others ledme to a fulfilling career in telecommunications. It is an exciting industry as you work with all kinds of different people with varying backgrounds. But that conversation withmy father really lit a fire for me, so I looked into how I could get involved in the hearing industry. For Hearing Instrument Specialists (H.I.S.), the state of Tennessee requires two years minimumof college credit hours with written and practical exams to even qualify for a license. I was able to achieve this when I attended Columbia State Community College and Middle Tennessee State University shortly after. Getting my license certification was a daunting task, to say the least. It wasn’t like getting your driver’s license. My licensure is issued through Tennessee’s Division of Health Related Boards, the same division that oversees the issuing of
all medical professionals in the state of Tennessee, so you can only imagine how grueling the process was. I also had to work as an understudy supervised by a fully licensed practitioner or Accredited Audiologist. I will say this,
though: After seeing the pure joy on my patients’ faces, the effort was worth it.
In school, every aspect of proper patient etiquette was not necessarily covered, but I wanted to give them the best care possible. Since my father was my biggest mentor inmy profession, he stressed the importance of patient care and what that really means because I wanted to absolutely ensure I would provide the best care possible. He explained howmuch our patients trust us because most people don’t fully understand the process. They rely on us to give them the best advice possible whenmaking these hearing decisions. My father was there for me every step of the way and taught me to treat patients the way I would treat my parents or other family members. It’s a creed I still rely on to this day. I’ve been in the industry for 16 years now. While I still love telecommunications, the joy I feel in restoring someone’s ability to hear is incomparable to anything else. I still rely on the advice my father gave me, and, with every new patient, I see the joy I give to them and their families. —Shayne Harrell
“Since my father was my biggest mentor in my profession, he stressed the importance of patient care and what that really means because I wanted to absolutely ensure I would provide the best care possible.”
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