We care about our staff at OutsideClinic, and we want to do all we can to support them through their career. We catch up with our Audiology Training and Commercial Manager, Sam Millen, who has taken the exciting decision to qualify as a Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser (RHAD).
Hi Sam, thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. What does your current role consist of?
S: I transferred into Audiology ten years ago as my career progressed within OutsideClinic. I manage the training requirements of the business, manage refunds and work on improving our customer experience. I also conduct clinical days throughout the country.
And now, you are studying to become a Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser - what inspired you to make that move?
S: OutsideClinic is sponsoring me through the distance learning course through the Anglia Ruskin University of Cambridge. Clinical progression is my focus. As a RHAD, I will be able to deliver our amazing service to our customers and provide a different scope to my training portfolio.
It all sounds very exciting and will be great for your career. How will you manage to study and work?
S: I will mainly study in the evenings and at the weekends. It should take around two years if all goes to plan. There will also be a lot of direct supervision from our Clinical Lead here at OutsideClinic, who is acting as my mentor. In the second year, I can work under distance supervision, meaning I can complete hearing tests and dispense and fit hearing aids as long as the Clinical Lead is available on the phone if I need anything. So, it will be great to combine my study and my work in the second year.
It's brilliant that you are getting support within the workplace too! Are you excited about being in education again?
S: I am terrified. The course was delayed from September 2020 to January 2021 due to COVID. There are only nine students rather than the usual 40+ they would typically expect. I am the oldest by some distance. I need to balance my study time with commitments from work, family with two teenage lads at home and life in general. But I have to remember why I am doing this - working with our customers is what I love, and the end goal is to provide an excellent service for them.
You will do great! How will your job change once you are qualified?
S: As my training progresses, I will need more clinic days per week to fulfil my logbook requirements. Once I am qualified, I hope to split the role between training, professional services and seeing our customers.
What are you most looking forward to once you are qualified?
S: Helping someone who has a hearing problem hear to the best of their ability and improve their quality of life. That's what it's all about. It's early days, and I still have a lot to learn. My knowledge has grown already for pathology and referable aspects. I knew I had a lot to learn, but I have been surprised by some of the areas I needed to research.
How are your colleagues supporting you through the process?
S: The department as a whole are very supportive. Guidance and advice are on hand from everyone I work closely with, and we always share thoughts. Everyone was very supportive when I was stressed about my exams - it's been a long time since I have experienced that torture.
Best of luck with your qualification Sam! I'm sure you are going to do great and do OutsideClinic proud!