KSHA Connection, the newsletter of the Kansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association, recently featured Dr. April McCaslin in its monthly “spotlight.”
McCaslin, who lives in Arkansas City and is married to Arkansas City Police Department Capt. Mark McCaslin, has worked as an audiologist for William Newton Hospital in Winfield for the last three years. Some of her patients travel more than 100 miles to receive her care.
She credits her desire to become an audiologist to her experiences caring for family when she was young.
“In high school and community college, I was a caregiver for my cousin, who has autism,” she said. “In the four-plus years I assisted and cared for him, I had the opportunity to learn more about those with special needs and the professionals that work with them.”
McCaslin said she connected on a deeper level with and wanted to learn more about the health care professions, and how she could help those with special needs.
“With my cousin undergoing reoccurring ear infections through his childhood, I became interested in learning more about health professions related to the ears and hearing, and that is when I started researching audiology and related fields,” she said.
Audiology is the science of hearing, balance and disorders related to those functions.
Audiologists are experts in the non-medical diagnosis and management of disorders of the auditory system, as well as balance functions.
“Ultimately, I pursued further undergraduate coursework in communication sciences and disorders,” she said. “Following undergraduate studies, I entered the doctor of audiology program at Wichita State University and (completed a) one-year residency at the Topeka VA Medical Center.”
McCaslin graduated in May 2013. “I then started my career in audiology at William Newton Hospital following my graduation … which is where I have practiced to the present time,” she said.
“It has been great serving and giving back to the community that I grew up in, and that has supported me through my childhood,” McCaslin added.
That community support was especially evident earlier this year on the Prayers for Mark McCaslin Facebook page, where well-wishers flooded the couple with prayers and positive comments during Capt. McCaslin’s diagnosis with and recovery from Opsoclonus Myoclonus Ataxia Syndrome.
“She schedules her patients out … months at a time,” he said. “She’s a loving, caring person. She takes care of her patients.”
Some of the services Dr. McCaslin offers include otoacoustic emissions screening, tympanometry, visual reinforcement audiometry, conditioned play audiometry, comprehensive diagnostic audiometry, video otoscopy, cerumen management, real ear analysis and limited bedside vestibular assessments. She also supervises WNH’s newborn hearing screening program and completes follow-up screenings for babies when required.
McCaslin is in the clinic with an ENT (ear, nose and threat) physician one day a week and also has an on-site hearing aid clinic at a local retirement home.