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    I Am Navy Medicine – and Audiology Technician – Tabetha M. Sanders at NHB

    I Am Navy Medicine – and Audiology Technician – Tabetha M. Sanders at NHB

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | Now hear this... Tabetha M. Sanders, audiology technician, assigned to Navy Medicine...... read more read more

    Now hear this!

    With October designated as Audiology Awareness Month, now is the time for everyone to listen up, heed the call, and harken to the need for healthy hearing.

    Amid the noisy industrial working environment of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, hearing conservation is considered mission essential for operational readiness.

    Helping to prevent hearing loss and provide auditory needs is Tabetha M. Sanders, audiology technician, assigned to Navy Medicine Readiness Training Command Bremerton Detachment PSNS.

    “Taking care of your hearing is really important because once your hearing is gone, it’s gone,” said Sanders, a Monroeville, Alabama native – “Roll Tide!” - Monroe County High 1994 graduate, who achieved her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management from Colorado Tech University in 2018.

    Sanders began her Navy career as a material handler and supply technician at Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport before her current position.

    “I have been interested in the medical field since an early age,” commented Sanders, who started working as a medical assistant in 2000.

    “Navy Medicine has given me the opportunity to hold a position that is rewarding,” added Sanders, who handles the audiometric test booth used to conduct approximately 50 to 60 hearing tests on a daily basis. “I look forward to running the hearing booth each day and counseling each patient on their results and the importance of hearing protection.”

    Her duties also include handling noise hazard worksite assessments, providing insight and educational advice on hazardous noise and prevention strategies and helping ensure correct fitting for hearing protection devices.

    “Patients who have tinnitus, often described as ringing in the ears, may need additional time to complete the hearing test because it can be difficult to hear the difference between the tinnitus or the tones being presented for the hearing test,” explained Sanders. “I always tell each patient to protect their hearing by wearing the proper hearing protection when around or near hazardous noise.”

    Sanders advocates to all her noise exposed patients that they should have their hearing checked annually to determine if there are significant changes in their hearing over time as a result of hazardous noise exposure.

    I have the best supervisors. [Audiologists] Lt. Shanece Washington and Dr. Mark Miller are available to assist us with anything and whatever it takes to make sure PSNS employees are educated on the proper hearing protection.”

    Sanders noted that with any hearing test conducted, she is specifically looking for considerable alterations in a patient’s hearing compared to their baseline or reference hearing audiogram.

    “We counsel on changes in hearing, go over the auditory and non-auditory effects of hearing loss, how it can effect a patient’s quality of life, and discuss the importance of wearing hearing protection, as well as show the patient how to wear it properly,” Sanders said.

    With the Navy’s hearing conservation program predicated on preventing Noise Induced Hearing Loss and tinnitus, it can be a challenge just being in a noisy military environment.

    “No matter how hard I recommend hearing protection, patients may experience hearing loss due to improper fit of their hearing protection, and/or not using hearing protection properly when around hazardous noise,” said Sanders, who does acknowledge being gratified by those patients who listen and learn. “Making sure patients know that self-care is very important and it should be a priority! Taking time for self-care has so many great benefits to healthy living.”

    When asked to sum up her experience here with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Sanders enthusiastically replied, “Phenomenal! I love working at PSNS branch clinic, my co-workers are the absolute best and we could not do our job without Occupational Health tech crew!”



    Date Taken: 10.26.2022
    Date Posted: 10.26.2022 15:55
    Story ID: 432051
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US

    Web Views: 202
    Downloads: 0