International Women’s Day 2018 – Sophie Drew

We’re marking International Women’s Day 2018 by putting BSHAA members in the spotlight. You can see all 11 member profiles on the main page HERE

SOPHIE DREW

“I decided at the age of 17 that audiology was the career I wanted to pursue”

What’s your current role in audiology?

For half of the week, I work as a hearing aid audiologist for Boots Hearingcare in Devon. I assess individual’s hearing, recommend a solution, if needed, and provide the appropriate aftercare for this solution. The second half of my week, I work within Learning and Development. This role involves providing support and training for current hearing aid audiologists within Boots Hearingcare, new starters, graduates and students. I support the delivery of our induction programme and the foundation degree. I also help create learning materials for the learning and development team, such as our online academy resources. 

When did you first know you wanted to be an audiologist?

Audiology was not a career I ‘always knew I wanted to do when I grew up’ – I was not hugely aware of it! I was always interested in science and anatomy but knew I couldn’t work in a laboratory. I needed to work with the public. I also knew I wanted to continue with further study after school. I looked through university prospectuses and found audiology. It looked very interesting and, following a weeks’ work experience, and some exposure to hearing loss whilst working for MENCAP, I decided at the age of 17 that audiology was the career I wanted to pursue.

What’s the best thing about being an audiologist?

I get to help people communicate! So many individuals with hearing loss feel isolated from their friends and family. Hearing loss causes many frustrations for both the individual and those around them. They end up giving up with trying to get involved. It is when these people return with the confidence and happiness that they can hear their grandchildren, they can go out for meals and they can feel involved that I feel most satisfied with my job. It is life changing for them and I have the privilege of seeing this and helping them to achieve it.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

My customer care. I strive to give the best customer care possible. Accepting you have a hearing loss can be really difficult. Many people have said that I made it an enjoyable experience for them and I am really proud I am able to do this. Progressing to a training role allows me to pass on these experiences with other audiologists.

Any advice for other women who want to become an audiologist?

Go for it! I have been able to progress so far within this role. I have female colleagues who are in a managerial position, who are full-time or part-time HAAs, or are in a training position, like myself. Audiology can provide a vast range of experiences and roles.