Meet our audiologist Candace Fischer

At Connect Hearing, we are privy to an amazing team of hearing professionals across the country. As a part of May Better Hearing Month, we sat down (virtually) with Candace Fischer – audiologist at Connect Hearing’s Regina Victoria Square clinic, to get a better understanding of what it means to be a hearing care professional today. Born and bred in Regina SK, Candace has been helping people with their hearing for almost 30 years! Read what she had to say about working in hearing health, why hearing aids are actually cool, and how her clinic is dealing with the impact of COVID-19 in her interview below.

1. Why did you decide to become an audiologist?

I first started out as a special education teacher and worked with a number of kids that had hearing loss, and I would say that had a big impact on my decision to go in to audiology. When I first started thinking of going to grad school, I initially was interested in speech pathology but pretty much immediately switched over to audiology and I haven’t looked back since!

2. What’s your experience with Connect Hearing been?

My experience with Connect Hearing has been terrific. I first opened this clinic on my own in 2009 and then last year in 2019 we worked with the team at Connect Hearing on the acquisition. It’s been great to be a part of the Connect Hearing family and they’ve provided some great support and training. I’ve honestly never had a bad job or boss and this continues to be an excellent experience.

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I think the most rewarding part of being an audiologist for me is that most of the time you feel you’re making a difference. It might be a big difference or it might be a small difference, but everyday there is a good thing to be done. Communication is so important to someone’s life, so anything I can do to make it easier for people to communicate and stay active in their life is something that is really so rewarding. On top of that, you get to visit with people all day and as a social person that suits me really well.

4. Is there a specific time you remember where you really felt like you made a difference for a client?
I first started out working in pediatrics, working with infants and toddlers that had hearing loss. When you see the face light up for a child that is hearing for the first time, that is certainly an experience I will never forget. But I’ve also had moments like that working with adults with hearing loss. As we know, someone with hearing loss typically waits 7-10 years before they start to do something about it. By the time we put that hearing aid on them, they’ve usually been struggling for quite some time. That feeling when they first hear through the hearing aid usually comes along with a lot of gratitude and it’s nice to be apart of that.

5. Why is hearing health important to you?

As much as I love interacting with my clients, I always say, “ we don’t want to see you here”. If we can work together so that you’re getting hearing aids at the age of 80 instead of 60, that’s what we want. A lot of hearing loss, particularly noise-induced hearing loss, can be prevented if you’re being careful with your hearing. In that way, educating people on hearing health is so important.

From another perspective, hearing loss is the third most common disease people suffer from. When you think about it, people treat their diabetes or their hypertension, so why aren’t we prioritizing treating our hearing loss? It can affect so many aspects of your life, so it’s important we treat it as thoroughly as we would any other health concern.

6. What are the common misconceptions your clients have about hearing loss and how do you help them confront these stigmas?

For me, it’s the classic misconception of “hearing aids make me look old”. That is the biggest thing I usually hear from my clients. But the reality is that the new hearing aids that are on the market now, especially the Marvel, actually look beautiful on and usually you can’t even really see them. Honestly, hearing aid technology is actually pretty cool these days. I get clients that come in and say “I can’t wait to show these off” or “I can’t wait to listen to my music through these”. We just have to get past the idea that hearing aids are for old people, because they’re not. They’re for people that want to keep communicating in their lives.  

7. How has COVID-19 impacted your clinic and your work?

Our clinic has always been a friendly and accessible clinic. And we still are now. Dealing with the new norm that we are all living right now has been an adjustment for sure. There are barriers that I never would have guessed we’d have to overcome, from keeping distance from our clients, to wearing masks. I would definitely stress that in any way we can we are certainly exceeding the levels of safety and sterilization. We’re a health clinic and we’ve always been really careful when it comes to things like that. Certainly I’d want people to know that we are a safe place to be.

8. Lastly, and just for fun, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Most of what I like to do involves being social. My husband and I like to get out and socialize, whether it’s on the golf course or with our friends. However, we haven’t really been able to do those things lately. During this time, I have to say my pantry and cupboards have never been cleaner! But at the end of the day, I’m really a worker so I was back at the clinic as soon as it was safe for me to do so. I feel lucky– almost 30 years in to audiology and I still love it everyday!