A Thorough Training

Nurse Agnes Flood frequently helps Canvasback mission teams on Majuro, Marshall Islands. She works at the Leroij Atama Zedkaia Memorial Hospital, Majuro's public hospital, and she coordinates patient visits and pre-screenings for our specialty medical teams.

Agnes is excellent at her job; this is why she works with our teams. The hospital assigned Agnes to our latest ENT team, which recently partnered with Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide hearing aids on Majuro. Starkey has a set plan for sustainability, requiring local healthcare workers be trained in screening hearing patients, organizing regular support meetings, and maintaining hearing aids. The Ministry of Health and Canvasback needed to pick a hospital staff to go through this training.

Who better for this job than Agnes?

During this recent ENT mission, Dr. Chris Herget trained Agnes in audiology techniques, from taking ear impressions to conducting hearing tests. She got expert training and hands-on experience during clinics—a solid start to training.

From February 15-18, Starkey Hearing Foundation held its Asia Pacific Training for AfterCare workers. The training took place in Gensan, Philippines, and healthcare workers from Starkey project locations around the Pacific and Asia came together to learn how to care for patients and their hearing aids for years to come.

Agnes said her experience was great. She said, "It was a very productive week, and I learned a lot."

Agnes and the other healthcare workers studied the four phases of Starkey Hearing Foundation's Community-Based Hearing HealthCare program. They also learned how to run Voice Tests, or field hearing tests to determine who needs hearing aids, without the need for expensive lab equipment.

This ensures the impact is at its greatest—if we can guarantee recipients' hearing aids work well for years to come, we'll know we've done quality work.

Agnes will soon start a monthly get-together with patients who have already received hearing aids. She has also already started fitting hearing aids and educating patients in their use.

Starkey let us know that Agnes was excellent in her training. They were happy to host her. She will return to Majuro with the skills necessary to make the Starkey and Canvasback hearing aid distribution sustainable. She will run monthly support meetings for hearing aid recipients, screen candidates with field audio tests, take ear impressions, and clean and maintain hearing aids.

This is just one more step toward sustainable work. We can't wait to see how this education affects the community for years to come.

The last thing Agnes said? "I appreciate being involved with these two awesome foundations: Canvasback and Starkey."

For more information on joining a specialty mission, visit our volunteer page. You can also donate to support the mission here.