“Audiology requires emotion and passion, technical savvy, creativity and patience”
I’m currently running my own clinical practice and audiology consultancy business in West Malling, Kent. I work as a clinician, as well as providing consultancy services to external companies for service development, education, training and research. I also am part of an NHS primary care ENT team where I perform micro suction and audiology. In addition to this, I am a trustee for the Soundseekers charity, and a sections editor for ENT & Audiology News.
I was a dual-trained audiologist and speech language therapist, and throughout the four years of my training at university I always preferred audiology. My very first role post-qualification was as an SLT. After that first year, I knew for certain audiology was for me!
Where do I start? It is extremely rewarding on so many levels! I have had the very good fortune of working in different countries: high, middle and low-income countries, in the private sector and NHS, employed and self-employed, and more recently in the academic arena lecturing and conducting research. The happiness on a parent’s face when you confirm their child can hear properly or that there are options for those with hearing loss, to the joy at being able to hear conversations and participate in life for someone you have just fitted hearing aids to for the first time, the appreciation of students and their loved ones on graduation day, or just seeing the joy and relief when you remove impacted wax from someone’s ear… the list is endless. And sometimes it’s the smallest things we do that can make the biggest difference.
That’s a really tough one. I can be very hard on myself sometimes thinking that I should have done better with something I have undertaken. I guess if I had to choose one, it would be volunteering in Nepal for EarAid Nepal. I was able to call on my wonderful network of colleagues, friends and family, and spent a week with an incredible team of people sharing information and ideas, and learning so much from them in return. The people that supported me donated so much in the way of hearing aids, equipment and consumables that I could barely transport it all! Gives you faith and hope in the human spirit!
It’s a great career for women. You get to flex all the brain muscles you have! It requires a bit of emotion and passion, some technical savvy, creativity and patience. You can work the hours you want and need, and still have a good work-life balance, especially if you want to raise a family and not work ridiculous hours (though I think some audiologists would beg to differ!).