CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - 10

10
COL L EG E
Hearing tests
are extremely
important
for dental
students
CU Nursing's
Campus Health
Center offers
advice on hearing
protection,
wellness and
preventive
care.
Say " What? "
HEARING LOSS PREVENTION
DENTAL STUDENTS LEARN HIGH-PITCHED DRILLS DOUBLE THE
RISK OF HEARING LOSS AMONG DENTISTS By Deborah Sherman
W
CU College of Nursing | Fall/Winter 2021
hen Natalie Newton was a dental student on
the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical
Campus, she worried about damaging her
hearing as she and other students operated
high-pitched drills while they practiced
fixing teeth.
" I'm a musician. I want to be able to hear. I love hearing and
enjoying music and the sights and sounds of places, " said
Natalie Newton, DDS.
She was right to be concerned. Studies show dentists have twice
the rate of hearing loss and tinnitus compared to the general
population. The culprit is noise from the drills.
" It's not something you think about because it's pretty quick. You
know, you get your drill out, you do your drilling for the tooth
you need, and then it's done, " said Caylin McCallick, AuD, at the
University of Colorado School of Medicine. " Unfortunately, while
that's happening, your ears are also getting damaged. "
McCallick recently taught students at the School of Dental
Medicine about the danger of hearing loss in dentistry during a
lunch and learn session at the Anschutz Medical Campus. She
recommended they invest in custom earplugs like those
musicians wear to protect their hearing. Dr. McCallick
tested the sound level of just one drill and found it topped
90 decibels, which over time, is a sound level that can
impair hearing.
" With noise-induced hearing loss, it is a permanent loss. So,
it's a serious condition. It's something that you definitely
need to take very seriously, " said McCallick.
That warning led Newton to visit the Campus Health Center,
which cares for students, faculty, staff, employees, and their
family members on campus. The nurse-led clinic is one of four
clinics in nine locations in the Denver Metro area managed by
the University of Colorado College of Nursing.
" I met with my nurse practitioner Emily Cheshire, DNP.
I really love her. I knew that even though I still wasn't
really clear on where to go, that she was a good place to
start, " said Newton.
Dr. Cheshire checked into the new warnings for dental students
and dentists, then referred Newton to an audiologist
at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital to get her
hearing tested and fitted for custom earplugs. Now every

CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021

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CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - Cover4
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