As a child, Carol Orsak, MA, CCC-A, spent a lot of time building model cars and airplanes with her older brothers. Today, as the chief audiologist of TOPs Hearing and Balance Center, she has a drawer full of hand-held grinders, super glue and tools she uses to personalize, modify and detail her clients hearing aids at her two Houston locations.
“Working with the small parts of hearing aids is a hobby that I really enjoy,” she says with a laugh. “I can be a mechanic without getting my hands greasy.”
Orsak has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Florida and a Masters Degree in Audiology from the University of Texas. Two medical directors, Raza Pasha, M.D. and Philip A. Motorin, M.D., join her in the small, independent practice.
“I’m the only audiologist there, which gives me a lot of freedom,” Orsak said. “I can work with any manufacturer I like in order to serve my patients in a way I think is best. The physicians are both skilled practitioners who give me 100 percent support and help with any medical issues I find. I’m so fortunate to work with both of them.”
Orsak attends corporate health fairs and performs screenings with her portable audiometer, which gives employees the opportunity to ask questions about hearing and hearing protection in a relaxed, familiar environment.
She says the most enjoyable aspect of being a hearing healthcare practitioner is seeing the ‘wow’ effect her patients display when they’re experiencing amplification for the first time. “You can see in their eyes – all of a sudden they’re tuned in and interacting with their family member in a way they couldn’t when they first walked into my office. It’s an amazing thing to watch.”
Orsak wants her patients to feel they’ve been treated like family. As a result, she is flexible with her trial policies and works with insurance companies on her patients’ behalf. “They’ve entrusted me with the care of one of their five senses and I do everything in my power to ensure they receive the best possible outcomes for their hearing loss. Their satisfaction leads me to feel like I’ve really contributed to their lives.”
She is also budget sensitive, working to find the best hearing aid technology at an affordable price – and she doesn’t skimp on service.
“I don’t rush through my visits with my patients,” she explains. “Each person is unique. When they walk in the door whether it be for their fitting or their follow up (every six months), I don’t know what I’m going to be facing. I spend as much time as it takes to make the right adjustment.”
One of her favorite success stories is a young adult she’s been treating since she was in middle school. When she first came to Orsak, she was wearing outdated behind-the-ear hearing aids with the thick ear mold and tubing. Orsak updated the hearing aids to a model which allowed her to participate in marching band and better control the noise level of the sounds around her.
“She always had so many questions when she came to visit me and never wanted to leave my office. In her senior year, she asked me to write a recommendation for her to attend school and study audiology. It was the ultimate compliment. I look forward to the day I go to a convention and hear her lecture. I know she’s really going to contribute to our profession.”