Q&A with Clinical Audiologist Jennifer Listenberger

Jennifer Listenberger enjoys the sand and surf in Virginia Beach, VA.

How long have you been with the Department of Otolaryngology?

Jennifer Listenberger, AuD

I started with Washington University Otolaryngology as a clinical audiologist in October 2002. I currently work at our clinic at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.

What do you like best about your job?

I LOVE to tinker!  Nothing makes me happier than sitting in our lab taking apart a hearing aid and fixing something (if I can).  If Tom Clement, our PSR, sees me working on a hearing aid, he will say, “Jen is in her happy place.” I like taking things apart to see how they work.  If I can disassemble a hearing aid and get it working, then I am glad I was able to help a patient and save them the cost of replacement.

What has been your most memorable work-related experience?

That is hard to answer.  I don’t really have one event or one patient that sticks out. This sounds hokey, but there is always a daily memorable event.  It might be a patient saying something funny; a unique audiogram; an appreciative patient or family member who has improved hearing; or a case that just leaves me thinking. 

Four-legged members of the Listenberger family, Nick and Aria.

What stands out most is being recognized or appreciated for the little things. It always amazes me when I receive a thank you card from patients for doing the smallest part of my job. I save all of my cards, and I have them in a cabinet in my office. They remind me the little things matter to patients – replacing a battery door, working in an unscheduled patient, fixing a hearing aid before someone leaves for vacation, or telling a family member about a special device. No task is ever too small.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am always doing something.  I think I am crafty so I usually pick a craft to do, and I am almost always reading a book. I am currently working on cross stitching a table cloth I bought my first year I was married over 24 years ago!

An ugly sweater Christmas with the Listenbergers: Jennifer with husband Paul (left) and son Xan.

My family and I are big day-trippers.  We don’t do well with sitting still. Do not be fooled. I have no problem sitting for ten hours binging movies or mindless television, but, in general we like to get out!  We camp and scuba dive, and generally like to find new places to explore.  My husband and I like finding local breweries and distilleries. 

As a family, we like to disappear to a small town or explore an area of the city we haven’t been to have lunch. Sometimes we just hop in the car and go to state parks and hang out, go for bike rides, or find a new restaurant. We now own an RV, and I am very much looking forward to exploring new parts of the state and country. 

What’s your favorite quote/movie/book and why?

I really don’t have favorites because I am too indecisive. I am always finding a new favorite! I read many types of books. I love movies. I listen to all kinds of music.