Ears the news: Southwest Hearing Aid Center's Raymo earns certificationWORTHINGTON — Nicholas Raymo didn’t have much interest in ears. But Glad Henning at Southwest Hearing Aid Center changed all that.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Nicholas Raymo didn’t have much interest in ears.
But Glad Henning at Southwest Hearing Aid Center changed all that.
“She’s the one that brought me into this business,” Raymo said. “I had absolutely no desire to look into people’s ears and deal with hearing. I, myself, was the kid with big speakers, running around making noise for the community of Worthington. Today, I will be one of the punished because of it in regards to I didn’t care about my hearing back then. Shortly, I will.”
Raymo began working at the store at 907 McMillan St. in Worthington two years ago.
Two days later, he began his quest to become certified.
“It’s been a two-year process to go through all the testing required and go through the state boards. It’s been a long road,” Raymo said. “You get a workbook with 36 tests in it. You read four books and then you come back and work it a little bit. You do a test and send it off. They send you back, ‘Ok, you did all right on that section, go to the next.’
“It’s kind of like an online college,” he continued. “If you don’t see it firsthand — like here I got to watch and observe Glad and what she did — you can read all you want but you don’t understand it. I got to watch Glad practice it and that was a huge, huge benefit for where I am today.”
On Feb. 23, Raymo took his final test. On April 26, he received his certificate, becoming a certified hearing instrument dispenser in the states of Minnesota and Iowa.
“With the dispensers you have to be fully licensed and trained because you are dealing with the medical field,” Raymo said. “You’re dealing with helping people hear again and giving them that new life. Glad and I are the two here in this office who are certified to do this.”
Raymo was hesitant at first to come to Southwest Hearing Aid Center. But all it took was one evaluation.
“Glad was going to do an evaluation one day and she just asked me to come look at it,” Raymo said. “We had been in talks about coming to join here and I had no desire. It’s not a nice place to look at most of the time. I didn’t want to get my hands dirty with that.
“She invited me down while she was doing the evaluation of somebody, and I sat on the stool in the back corner of the room. I sat there trying to figure out where this was leading. When she fit that person with the hearing aids, I saw the wife start crying. That was the first time she could whisper, ‘I love you,’ and he responded directly back. It was moving for the whole group. That’s when I knew I needed to pursue this.”
Now, he can be the one who is helping the patients in a whole new way.
“This is going to change everything,” Raymo said. “This is going to give me the freedom to personally fit you, personally test you and take you through what we call the journey to hearing. Take you through that whole journey to becoming a different person by hearing different things.”
One way he will be able to be more involved is by going to the 41 service centers throughout the area.
“I’m going to help Glad out with going to these service centers,” Raymo said. “But most importantly, we’re going to try to have somebody who can program, test, dispense and everything five days a week here in Worthington. If I’m gone, she’s here and if she’s gone, I’m here to provide better for the community right here in Worthington.”
Since he started two years ago, Raymo has seen all kind of patients — and has seen the technology improve, too.
“Our youngest we help out with is 6 right now,” he said. “But the generation is coming down. The people with the iPods, the iPads, the headphones, that generation is going to come up right with me. It’s going to be very lucrative as far as what the technology can do for these people.”
While it was a long two years for Raymo to become certified, he had support throughout the entire process.
“The staff here has molded me and pushed me toward getting this,” Raymo said. “Since I came in, they’ve always had a belief that I could do it and that’s huge. This is a grueling process. Anyone you talk to in these types of fields, it’s a workout. But the staff here, it’s all girls, I’m the only male here, which is interesting, but they have pushed me the whole way. Without a backing, this license means nothing. You can only do so much. With us traveling and servicing these places, if you don’t have a good group in the main office, you can’t succeed.”
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Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.