CEENTA’s audiology department does more than care for its patients’ hearing. It is also committed to training new audiologists and giving students a chance to learn their skills in a professional environment through its externship program.

This 12-month program gives fourth-year audiology students a chance to work with patients in two separate tracks. One track allows the student to work in the SouthPark and Blakeney offices, rotating through clinics for cochlear implants, pediatric audiology, tinnitus retraining therapy, vestibular testing, and electrophysiology. The second track allows the student to work in the SouthPark, Concord, Huntersville, and Matthews offices, with focus on diagnostics, hearing aids and practice management.

CEENTA also works with second- and third-year students, but only at the direct request of schools.

The 2015-16 CEENTA audiology externs

The 2015-16 externs

Ms. Fels and Ms. Durkin are two of the externs completing their fellowships this summer. Laura is a fourth-year doctoral student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and Alicia graduates this month from the University of South Florida with her doctorate in audiology.

Ms. Fels chose CEENTA because the externship would expose her to a wide variety of audiologic issues and was in a city she would enjoy living in. Ms. Durkin chose CEENTA because it was clear on the application that they take student education and training very seriously.

Ms. Fels learned how to work with efficiency in a fast-paced private setting, which you might not get in a university clinic. She said she also learned the importance of being an active listener.

In addition to treating patients, this externship gave Ms. Fels the opportunity to work on things from a business standpoint. Reviewing how a practice runs is important to advancing the profession, which in turn benefits the patients they serve, she said.

Ms. Durkin got a lot of hands-on experience at CEENTA. She was able to form good provider/patient relationships, and it was rewarding to go through their hearing journey every step of the way with them, she said. She also said she learned how to work well with a team at CEENTA and how important it is to have a good working relationship with everyone around you.

Both would recommend this program to other students. In fact, another student from Laura’s program is in CEENTA’s 2016-17 externship class.

While working for a manufacturer of audiology technology is her dream job, Ms. Fels will miss the CEENTA community and how everyone works together to better the lives of their patients.

And for Ms. Durkin, her time at CEENTA doesn’t end with her externship. When it ends, she will start full-time as an audiologist here. She is very excited for the opportunity and looks forward to growing as a new audiologist in the field.

Alicia isn’t the only externship graduate to stay on at CEENTA. Audiologist Beth Burger, AuD – along with Allie Tighe, AuD – is one of the graduates who now works here full-time.

Beth Humphreys

Dr. Burger entered audiology because she wanted to help people and feels that audiology is a good mix of healthcare and counseling. She started working with CEENTA the summer following her graduation. She wanted to stay because she knew the workflow of the practice, and managing time and multitasking during a busy clinic flow was one of the important things she learned here. Dr. Burger said CEENTA taught her to be flexible and supportive in a large practice, which can be rare in the audiology field, and she’s thankful for how it shaped her professionally and clinically.

Like Ms. Fels and Ms. Durkin, Dr. Burger recommends the CEENTA externship program to audiology students.

The 2016-17 externs will be starting here soon, ensuring the development and training of excellent audiologists continues. Applications for the 2017-18 program are being accepted now through September 30. To apply, email Tracy Swanson at tswanson@ceenta.com.


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