As OutsideClinic Audiologist, John Leahey celebrates ten years with the company; we ask him about his passion and devotion to the industry.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, John and congratulations on ten years with OutsideClinic. Can you tell us a bit more about your role?
J: Of course, thank you. As with all the other audiologists in the company, my day-to-day role is providing home hearing care to OutsideClinic customers. I also have the additional responsibility of providing hearing care to the inmates of five prisons in the Bristol area. It has been an eye-opening experience, and if I ever needed extra motivation to stay on the straight and narrow, then seeing the insides of prisons will do it.
Wow, that sounds like exciting work. What inspired you to get into Audiology to begin with?
J: I originally went to Southampton University and got a BSc in Chemistry and Pharmacology. After 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry, the growth of NICE made my role much less relevant as doctors were able to make their own prescribing decisions. The question was what to do next? After seeing an advert offering training to become a hearing aid dispenser, I decided to swap careers. Audiology seemed an opportunity to do some good and still be able to pay the mortgage. My training to become a hearing aid dispenser was completed at the Amplivox training centre in Manchester in 2006 over six months. I finished the training and got through the hearing aid council exams. I then worked for what became amplifon until 2011, when I joined OutsideClinic.
That's brave to change your career, but we are pleased that you did. What made you choose a hearing career in domiciliary?
J: I was the manager of a hearing centre in the middle of Birmingham for three years - and the commute every day was unbearable. Working for OutsideClinic gets me out and about in different parts of the country - quite often, the scenery is worth seeing while travelling between patients. I prefer domiciliary because the high street meant a lot of waiting around when people failed to turn up for appointments, and I like that I get a schedule of appointments and I can get on with them and improve the quality of people's lives.
It's definitely a rewarding career. What do you enjoy about working for OutsideClinic?
J: I do something that improves the quality of people's lives. I get people hearing and interacting with their families again, preventing arguments over TV volume and reducing people's chances of having physical and mental ailments. I also appreciate that my days are scheduled for me so I can get on with the job of helping those who want to hear better do just that.
You are privileged to see your patients in their homes - how does this help you improve their hearing?
J: The home environment means when problems are presented, you can make adjustments within the actual place where the problem is occurring and ensure that it is resolved.
What is your proudest moment in the ten years at OutsideClinic?
J: Qualifying to remove wax was my proudest moment. It was nice to focus and expand my practice and not send my patients to see their GP for wax removal. I can offer them the best service possible with this extra qualification.
What advice would you give audiologists starting out and considering a career in domiciliary?
J: Work out a good solid consultation style, be prepared to improvise and celebrate the good days and laugh at the bad ones.