I am a singer and have to take a day job in a call centre all day to make ends meet. How can I prevent damage to my voice or having my voice too worn out to do any singing at weekends?
Many thanks for your time and help. Best wishes.
Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...
Kudos for seeking out advice as to preventative voice care... individuals who work in call centers are certainly at risk for developing voice problems! In general, practice excellent vocal hygiene; see some advice below, and visit our web page at http://www.gbmc.org/home_voicecenter.cfm?id=1558.
1. Drink half your body weight in ounces of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic fluids daily.
2. Maintain a "moist" atmosphere by using a warm-mist humidifier in your home.
3. Conserve your voice as much as possible during the work-day; try to practice vocal "napping" by avoiding prolonged talking while on breaks, at lunch, etc.
4. Warm up and cool-down the voice before and after your work day... see our web page at http://www.gbmc.org/home_voicecenter.cfm?id=1559 for ideas.
5. Most importantly, watch your volume! Individuals who work in call centers very often unknowingly use excessive volume when speaking on the job for many reasons, most often because of excessive background noise. If you find yourself unable to monitor your volume because of background noise, try this trick - use a single earplug! Wearing a single earplug gives you immediate feedback about your volume, so most people will immediately lower their volume when wearing one.