Tom - Paediatric Audiologist, NHS Lothian

My name is Tom, I work as a paediatric audiologist. I’m from Israel and I trained there as a speech therapist and audiologist.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I don't remember. I think I wanted to be a writer or a doctor. But audiology came later on in life.

Why did you decide to become an audiologist?

Back home I worked with deaf and blind people, and I originally wanted to be a speech therapist but my degree was a dual degree and surprisingly I ended up being more interested in audiology.

I then worked as a locum audiologist for a while to get some experience in the UK and then started working at my current position about 2 and a half years ago.

Can you describe your job in a sentence?

Helping children with their hearing.

Tell us about a typical day

I do hearing tests for children between the ages of 3 and 18 and perform hearing aid fittings and reviews for children with hearing aids.

What opportunities are there to develop your skills and experience?

There are the clinical meetings we have at work and training days we sometimes attend outside the department as well. There is also the learning I do every day at work, by seeing new patients and encountering new things I have never encountered before.

What have been your greatest career accomplishments to date?

I think coming from a different country and overcoming that hurdle is an accomplishment. Being able to work with hearing aids and helping children and families with my international qualification is something I'm proud of too.

What makes you smile during your job?

I get to play games with children all day and sometimes they say the funniest things!

What part of your job is the most challenging?

I see a lot of people every day but have limited amounts of time so that for me is the challenging part.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

Seeing that I’m helping make a difference for children and their families.

What are your future career ambitions?

Doing more complex clinics, working with hearing implants and just developing myself professionally. I am still learning every day.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming an audiologist?

With my personal experience, I can only advise people if they’re from another country. Just talk to people working in the UK and see what you need to do to be able to work here. Ask as many people as you can, ask for a lot of advice and just go for it.