Meet Dr Alison Vaughan, Hearcare Director at Specsavers Southampton who came to us from the NHS and hasn’t looked back!
What was your background before joining Specsavers?
After I qualified, I worked in two NHS audiology departments.
When did you realise you wanted to work in Audiology?
I always wanted to go to university, but didn’t really know what to study. I embarked upon a BSc in Audiology as a mature student after meeting a girl with a severe hearing impairment. Hearing loss ran in her family and she inspired me to want to help people like her lead as normal a life as possible with minimum barriers to communication.
What does a typical day look like?
My day always starts with supporting my team and getting things set up for the day. Thereafter, if I’m in clinic, I’ll be enjoying helping to improve people’s quality of life. I carry out hearing tests, fit hearing aids and solve any problems people are having with their hearing aids. If I have an admin day, my role is variable and includes updating the staff rota, providing my team with support (including day-to-day support with clinical issues, appraisals and one-to-one meetings), business reviews and planning, sorting equipment and IT issues, stock control, liaising with our RRM/RST and offering my support to other directors when I can.
What is the most meaningful part of your role day-to-day?
Ensuring that my team are happy and supported and know that I appreciate all they do for our business, every single day. Additionally, knowing that we all, as a team, improve the quality of our patient’s lives every day means an awful lot to me.
What advantages does life at Specsavers have over where you have previously worked?
It’s fantastic that we have control of our clinic diary and can adjust the duration of an appointment to benefit both the patient and ourselves.
We also have the freedom to see patients for ongoing appointments, which means we build personal relationships with our patients and develop a sense of trust that is vital in this role.
As Hearcare Director, I can run my business as I see best, whilst always involving my team in decisions. The Specsavers work environment is incredibly dynamic and innovative therefore avoiding the feeling of a regimented conveyor belt.
What have you discovered about working at Specsavers that’s been a positive surprise?
We only sell to people that wish to purchase our products and are ready to start wearing hearing aids. We are not under pressure to sell any particular products! We do have sales targets, as any business does, but hitting targets is not our focus and we take pride in looking after our patients first.
What makes you most proud of your time at Specsavers so far?
Becoming a Partner at Specsavers and working alongside a dedicated, caring, professional team of HADs, HCAs and administrators.
What are your future plans in your career?
To continue my role as a Partner and get even better at it!
What advice would you give to someone who is considering working in Audiology at Specsavers?
To be open-minded and give it a go. There are four people in my team (including myself) who moved from the NHS to Specsavers with a degree of trepidation, only to be pleasantly surprised when they joined!
If you would like to find out more about Audiology opportunities at Specsavers, including Partnership packages, click here!