Salmon Farming to Audiology
My early twenties were spent salmon farming in Canada, northern Vancouver Island to be precise. Pristine coastlines with daily visits from orcas, eagles and bears that were equally magnificent and fearsome. A magical time. With my visa expiring and marine related work opportunities limited in NZ, it wasn’t long before I became aware of mums problems with everyday hearing. I realised that we really didn’t know much about what was happening for her, even when we asked the right people the right questions.
I was frustrated with the lack of specialist engagement and complete lack of accountability for her disappointing outcomes. And it hurt to see her world closing in. She found that her career as an optical technician was requiring more and more contact with the public and communication was no longer easy. In fact, she was often humiliated by mishearing something - and ignorance is worse when you can’t see the issue. She resigned. She took a job in a noisy factory - the noise of the factory meant that much communication was by non-verbal body language anyway, so the playing field was levelled. She stayed working in that horrible environment for near 20 years until she retired.
But back in the late 90’s I made a decision to do it better - become the best Audiologist I could be, one that was engaging, interactive, always put the client first, to make a stand for their outcomes, whatever that takes. Ive been asked if my experience with the industry has shaped and changed that vision over time, but it hasn’t at all. I love what I do so much that I feel honoured to do this work.
So I had to cross-credit biological sciences into a medical school specialist degree, a Masters in Audiology at the Medical School in Auckland. Two years there plus a years internship to achieve Clinical Certification and I was out in the world ready to be the best. But now what? I had the framed paper on the wall but that didn’t automatically make me the best of course, so I deliberately travelled… [CLICK FOR MORE]