Rachel Davies, BSc Audiology

What did you do prior to studying at Swansea University?

I studied Biology, Psychology and Welsh A levels at Neath Port Talbot college. I also volunteered with Action on hearing loss to have a better idea of the services provided to hard of hearing people and talk to them about their experiences and challenges they face with hearing loss.

Why did you choose to study at Swansea University?

The course was really appealing to me as I knew I always wanted to do something within healthcare. From having hearing tests as a child and seeing my niece and nephew go through the same process, I always was sort of intrigued about the world of audiology. Also I always saw myself studying at Swansea University as it was so close to home!

Can you tell us about your course?

This course teaches you all about hearing, balance and things that can affect them. The course is taught through university and practical experience within a hospital environment. You learn how to diagnose, assess and treat hearing loss and other associated disorders as well as learning how to fit and adjust hearing aids.

In the first year you also get to learn a bit other systems closely linked to the hearing and balance pathway and visit ophthalmology and neurophysiology departments for an insight into what their job entails.

What part of the course do you/did you enjoy the most?

I really enjoyed the placement aspect of the course as you got to practice what you were learning as you progressed. By the time you qualify you have already gone through loads of hands on experience of the job making you much more confident and capable than if the course was all taught in university. You definitely learn more out in the hospitals dealing with real life cases and having to think on your feet which I really enjoyed! It’s nice to know you won’t get thrown in to the deep end the minute you qualify!

What are your plans/hopes for the future?

I am planning on moving back to Wales shortly for a permanent audiologist position within the local health board. Within this I hope to help other students on placement and maybe become a mentor for them in the future helping sign off their academic logbooks.

How will your studies help you pursue your chosen profession?

Everything you learn on this course helps you when you’re qualified. You may not use certain snippets of knowledge everyday but you will get a small number of curious patients that want more information or advice, that’s where you can step in and offer help. The practical side of the course definitely prepares you for the real world as you come face to face with patients on placement every day.

Would you recommend Swansea University to other students? (Please explain why)

Yes, it’s a lovely place to study.  You can really appreciate the great location right next to a beach and not far from the city centre either! For audiology the training facilities are excellent allowing you to practice your skills anytime and one of the training hospitals is right next door!