Audiologist @ Northern Health & Social Care Trust
Sinead is an Audiologist, she uses specialised skills and equipment to access and treat patients with hearing, tinnitus and balance problems.
Hi Sinead, Can you tell us about your job and what you do from day to day
I conduct a variety of tests to determine the nature of hearing loss and balance disorders in adults, infants and children of all ages. Dispense and fit hearing aids and tinnitus maskers based on the test results and on the specific needs of the individual. I work with the individual to develop a treatment plan that takes into account the impact the disability has on the patient. Part of my job is to maintain and repair hearing aids; adjusting then to best suit the individual’s hearing loss. I also refer patients to other specialities eg ENT when their opinion is required.
What experience/education is required in order to perform this role?
You need a Graduate degree in Audiology there are no courses currently in Northern Ireland therefore you will need to apply to a University in England, Scotland or Wales.
What is the biggest challenge in your role?
Despite huge improvements in hearing aid technology in recent years, as an electronic device, a hearing aid falls short of fully restoring natural hearing. Good counselling skills are essential to empower the patients to manage their hearing impairment and to manage their expectations of what the hearing aid can do. This is the most challenging aspect of my role.
What advice would you give to others looking for a job in your field?
As with any healthcare professional you need to be a people person, willing to listen, patient and flexible. Every patient and every hearing loss will have their own unique needs.
What do you like best about your role and working in HSC?
Hearing loss can lead to frustration and isolation for many people. In my role I feel that I can make an improvement to the quality of life for many of my patients. Working within an experienced team with like- minded colleagues is invaluable as I am still learning not only from my own experiences but also from theirs.