Faye Hall first discovered Audiology as a career path when she started working at Specsavers as a Saturday girl. Now a qualified Audiologist, she delights in sharing the details of her professional success and how her passion for hearcare has helped her find her purpose in life.
Hi Faye, how long have you been at Specsavers?
I’ve been at Specsavers for 13 years since leaving school and have worked my way up from a Saturday girl to a fully qualified Audiologist. I was an Optical Assistant for a long time after college and then Specsavers paid for me to do my Hearing Aid Dispensing foundation degree, which was so lovely. I did the course and then paid for myself to do the BSc top up, in case I ever wanted to work in paediatrics, but I’m not planning on going anywhere else for a long while, I’m very happy here!
Why did you choose the Audiology route?
I just absolutely love the Audiology side of the business. My dad is a retired contact lens specialist, and I always said to myself I didn’t want to go into the Optometry side of the business, I was traumatised from looking at his books when I was younger! The Audiology aspect of the business was always my main goal and I love it and couldn’t ask for much more.
How have you found working as an Audiologist?
The majority of patients I see are in the older age bracket and I really love and respect them. I love talking to them and treating them. The last year especially has shown the extra need for care and empathy. Being able to help them on a daily basis is wonderful. All the people I see are just gorgeous, and I love the thought that I may be the person your parent or grandparent would like to see. I also love all the brands of technology we have available at Specsavers. It’s great to have new tech to work with regularly.
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What key skills have you learnt so far?
Patience is a big thing; you need to have a lot of patience as you’re dealing with complex cases. There can be a big stage of denial, and probably 90% of my job is supporting people through this. It can be really difficult to break the news to someone that their hearing is getting worse, or that they need to have hearing aids. I’ve had access to extra courses to learn how to break news to people. It can be a lot to deal with, and sometimes a lot of tears, but they’re really happy when you help them.
It’s a magic moment when you turn on the hearing aids of someone with a severe hearing problem. It can be really emotional, which is the beautiful side of the job.
There have been some difficult moments which I hadn’t expected. People get really upset when they can’t hear music anymore, and even with more expensive hearing aids there will be limitations for some people.
Having to counsel their expectations can be quite difficult, but you do get a lot of training to support you. It has been a big learning curve for me. When you first start the job, you think “yeah I can do everything for you, I can solve every issue” but unfortunately some issues for some people you can’t, but you can definitely help, and you can at least improve their situation.
What advice would you give to budding Audiologists?
Grasp the opportunity with both hands as there’s a huge need for Audiologists right now. Once you’ve got the qualification, either the foundation or bachelor’s degree, you will stand out. In time the market will be flooded with Audiologists, and that’s one of the reasons I topped up my foundation degree to a bachelor’s and have completed all the other training courses. Going down the Audiology career path is the best thing I’ve done as I feel I’ve found my purpose.
You may doubt yourself and think it is too hard to go to University alongside working in store, but I found you can still have that work life balance.
Specsavers are great at understanding individual needs, and they will always help you through them. Even someone like me who’s not amazing academically can succeed.
If you’re a qualified Audiologist or Hearing Aid Dispenser and would like to find out more about careers at Specsavers, share your details below and one of our friendly consultants will be in touch.
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