VitalSchool of Health Professions
‘I’m not Broken’
No Limits for Audiologist with Hearing Loss

After months of exhaustion, failing to interact with peers, and craving a nap instead of participating in after-school activities, sixth grader Angelica Rodriguez was diagnosed with hearing loss. The year before she had sustained minor injuries from a car accident, but there was no indication she would suffer long-term consequences.

The diagnosis told her what was wrong, which helped, but that’s all it told her. Rodriguez began to dread the doctor appointments where they would tell her, yet again, how her hearing loss was equivalent to that of a construction yard worker who had been around heavy machinery for 20 years. Doctors and specialists continually told her what she couldn’t do and what her limits were.

It wasn’t until she was a junior in high school that she met an audiologist with a different point of view — she wasn’t broken and hearing amplification devices didn’t make her weak. After refusing to use amplification for years, she began to enjoy life again with the help she needed.

Rodriguez, AuD, (Health Professions ’11, ’07) later became an audiologist, knowing she could make a difference in the lives of people who may think they have no hope. She now owns Dr. Rodriguez Audiology and Hearing Center in Roswell, New Mexico.

“I wanted to be that ‘aha!’ moment for somebody else,” she said. “I wanted to be able to reach children and let them know they don’t have to struggle like I did.”

At her private practice, she assists people of all ages with hearing evaluations, hearing device fittings and adjustments, and balance testing. Her own personal experiences with hearing loss make her in high demand with people in the area.

“I want my patients to know they’re not alone on this journey,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been through it and I’m doing well, so that gives patients a positive outlook. Having that commonality, where you feel like you’re part of a group, helps you deal with hearing loss.”

-Tessa Meriwether
Angelica Rodriguez fits a patient with a hearing amplification device
Stephanie DeFranco
Angelica Rodriguez, AuD, (Health Professions ’11, ’07) fits a patient with a hearing amplification device.