Iman Adan is an Audiology graduate from The University of Manchester. Despite originally studying Chemistry, Iman decided that a career in audiology was what she wanted after a couple of shadowing sessions with a professional. Find out her highlights from the course below and discover what’s involved in the day to day life of a Paediatric Audiologist…
My name is Iman and I am a Paediatric Audiologist in the NHS. My role primarily involves conducting hearing assessments for children and providing management plans depending on the severity of their hearing impairment.
Though I have always wanted to work in healthcare or in a healthcare-related role, I did not first consider audiology as a career. I originally studied chemistry as my undergraduate degree before choosing to study audiology for my master’s. I enjoyed my undergraduate degree but had decided that I was no longer keen on a lab-based career hence the decision to move away from chemistry.
Before deciding on which postgraduate route to go down I selected a few courses that interested me and did a lot of shadowing to find out more about each course and the career paths that they fed in to. After initially learning about audiology at a Scientist Training Programme introduction session, I shadowed an audiologist a few times before deciding that this was definitely what I wanted to do.
The audiology department at the University of Manchester was one of the first in the country and it has just celebrated its 100th anniversary. Research conducted at the university continues to revolutionise clinical practice and provide better outcomes for patients. Lectures are taught by experts in the field, including Dr Kevin Munro, and we were always encouraged to engage with lecturers, researchers, PhD students and other audiology professionals.
Our cohort was very small, just 25 students, so this made our seminars, practicals and tutorial sessions much more engaging and we were able to freely ask questions. This made it easier to understand the content and to seek support when needed. My placement was definitely a highlight as I was placed in a very supportive team and it was an opportunity to consolidate my theoretical knowledge. Another highlight was the frequent careers events which were extremely beneficial.
Studying at Manchester prepared me well for my current role as I had a paediatric placement during which I learnt how to apply my theoretical knowledge into practice. The careers events and placements enabled me to network with employers while mock-interview assessments prepared me for job interviews. The audiology course at the university is also accredited, which means that graduates are immediately eligible for registration with both the RCCP and the HCPC.
As mentioned earlier, a big part of my job is conducting hearing assessments for children and providing them with management plans. Hearing testing for children is very different from testing adults. There are a variety of tests and the test is selected based on the age, ability and development of the child. For younger children aged under two years old, a sound is presented into the room from speakers located on either side of them and their response to the sound is recorded. If the child shows a lack of interest in this test, or if they are not developmentally ready to perform it, more familiar sounds like rattles are presented behind them.
For older children, they are encouraged to take part in a game when they hear the sound, or to press a button. These are subjective tests, where a child’s response is needed. There are also objective tests that can be performed when a child, for any reason, is unable to respond to the sound. No two days are the same and I love my job.
Going forward, I would love to progress into a Senior Audiologist role. In order to do this, I will have to gain more clinical experience and will need to take part in more specialised clinics such as tinnitus or auditory processing disorder. I also currently work as a teaching assistant at the University and I would like to progress in this role also.
My advice to current students is to work hard. Audiology is a full-time course; therefore, good time management is critical. I would advise students to seek help when they need it, as lecturers and academic advisors are readily available to offer support when needed. I would also advise current students to engage with the extra activities provided by the university, such as journal clubs. These clubs are an incredible opportunity to network with PhD students and other research staff as well as an excellent learning tool.