When I was younger, I suffered with ear infections and hearing loss which made school particularly difficult.
Following an operation my hearing improved dramatically and for my school placement I chose to observe audiologists at my local hospital. Their hard work, kindness and concern for their patients inspired me to pursue audiology as a career.
The Audiology degree at Swansea University has included valuable practical opportunities including volunteering at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend two days a week, seeing around 25 patients a day.
A lot of patients with hearing loss can become socially isolated. As a volunteer, I saw this quite often. It gave me huge satisfaction to see a patient’s joy at hearing the voices of their family and friends on having a hearing aid fitted.
I am a Swansea University open day ambassador acting as an advocate to prospective students explaining what audiology is and how the recent implementation of audiology into primary care practice in Wales means there is a greater need for audiologists.
One of the course highlights was the chance to observe a paediatric patient. She was six years old, diagnosed with cytomegalovirus with cochlear implants which were surgically implanted 12 months before. Her parents had been anxious as she was not producing full speech and was misbehaving in class. After the period of 12 months with implants she was able to produce full words, and her behaviour and academic ability improved dramatically. I was amazed at how the devices had significantly changed this little girl’s life.
Once qualified, I would like to start spreading awareness of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) in Wales. I also have a passion for physiology and would like to pursue research into tinnitus.
Without the ability to hear, our behaviour and ability to interact is profoundly affected. When people light up after I have fitted them with a hearing aid, it gives me an amazing sense of fulfilment. I want to spend my career practising audiology, as it is so wonderful helping to change people’s lives for the better.