How did you arrive at your current post?
I accidently fell into audiology when I left the now Glasgow Caledonian University in 1993. Training for Audiologists was Modern Apprenticeship style with professional exams – I loved the idea of training and getting paid at the same time! We attended Stow College weekly and I even won Student of the Year.
Training in the busy Glasgow Royal Infirmary site prepared you well and I got to work alongside the team at the Medical Research Centre and the late Prof Stuart Gatehouse who is world renowned in audiology.
It was while working there that I met my audiologist husband, who now manages audiology services in Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
After qualifying, I went to work across the South Side hospitals. We moved to North Lanarkshire in 2005 and I joined the team in Forth Valley the same year. After a couple of exciting secondments with NES and the Scottish Government, I was successfully recruited to the current post of Highly Specialised Audiologist. I am responsible for the day-to-day adult services, complex adult cases and I support hearing impaired teenagers through transition into adulthood.
A case of bouquets or brickbats?
Definitely bouquets. Since moving here, the service has won the BAA Audiology Team of the Year, twice. Recently we were the first department in Scotland to operate a fully open access service for existing hearing aid users and as such eradicated our waiting list for reassessments. We were also runners up in the 2015 Healthcare Science Awards for our innovation.
Back when I started we had just three aids to choose from – mild, moderate and strong. We now have sophisticated digital devices with 16 channels of frequency modulation that are custom fitted. Devices are adjusted similar to using a graphic equaliser and computer software, so the skills for the role have certainly changed over the years.
Audiologists are more than just technical, with counselling and rehabilitation a substantial part of the job.
What are the biggest challenges in your job?
We tend to be ‘fix it’ people and it can be frustrating if we are dealing with often complicated/severe hearing disorders for which hearing aids will only offer limited support. Also, as the population ages, there is a worry about how we will cope with future demand.
What makes you smile?
Helping people to hear. I think I may have prevented a few divorces in my time!
If you could be any figure from history who would you be – and why?
No one, the future is better.
What’s your favourite place in the world?
Any Thai restaurant.
Best time of day
Straight after the gym, I do five classes a week and love the post workout buzz.
Which living person do you most admire and why?
My husband became a paraplegic at two years old and has never let his disability stop him. He is a great audiologist, dad, best friend and even dying 11 times following surgery for cancer, he beat all the odds to be clear now for nearly three years.
Belly dancing in front of a sell out crowd at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, I am part of an Arabic Dance troupe. I also do Burlesque dancing but that is whole other interview…….
My family’s inability to find anything by themselves.
Biggest regret in life
If you had one wish?
That my children grow up to have very happy, healthy long lives or that hearing aids had homing devices so we could track the lost ones!