'It gives me real hands-on experience which I find to be excellent for my development as an Audiologist...'
Audiologist, Triton Hearing, Gisborne
Andrew wanted his future career to help others affected by hearing loss, having experienced the impact hearing technologies can have from his father.
‘He recalled the first time he was fitted with hearing aids and how they enabled him to hear the birds sing again. This inspired me and gave me an appreciation of the capabilities of hearing aid technology, which is always improving,’ he says.
He first started studies with a degree in Audio Production, which focused on sound technologies and engineering, and also introduced a passion in the clinical therapy side to audiology.
‘We studied the basic anatomy of hearing and hearing function, and that sparked my interest into how we hear. After that it seemed like a no brainer to go down the path of Audiology.’
Choosing UC to move closer to family, Andrew started the Master of Audiology (MAud) focused on both hearing treatment and loss prevention research.
‘My thesis investigates the relationship between the constructs of the health belief model and hearing protection use among tradespeople in Christchurch,’ he says.
‘I used the Academic Skills Centre at the beginning of this year to help me familiarise myself with the thesis process. It really helped set me up in the right direction and made the task of writing a thesis seem a little less daunting.’
Throughout the MAud Andrew has also completed placements and clinical work around Christchurch and New Zealand, and through the on-campus Speech-Language clinic.
‘I really enjoy the practical clinic work that we get to do during our studies. I found the facilities at the speech and hearing clinic very useful for improving my abilities as a clinician, and the fact that the staff there genuinely want to help you achieve your study goals. It gives me real hands-on experience which I find to be excellent for my development as an Audiologist.
‘I would recommend to other students to step outside their comfort zones and chose placements that are at locations they aren’t that familiar with,’ he says. ‘I did my public placement at Gisborne Hospital, and my private placement at Sally White Audiology in Palmerston North. My time in Gisborne was great, even though I had only been there once before in my life. I even ended up with a job at Triton Hearing in Gisborne.’
Already getting opportunities to help clients has made postgraduate study worth it for Andrew.
‘If you enjoy working with or for people, I would recommend looking into studying Audiology,’ he says.