Working with deaf children is an “inspiration”
It might sound like a cliché, but Robyn Moriarty loves her job.
“The fact you can give someone hearing…..I just find it incredible.”
Robyn is a registered Audiological Scientist and has been working at The Hearing House since August 2016 after moving here from England.
She had been working with paediatric hearing aid patients at Nottingham University Hospital and says it was a big decision to leave the UK, but everything fell in to place easily, so she figured it was meant to be,
Robyn says being able to follow a child’s progress is a particular highlight of working at The Hearing House.
“I came from the NHS (National Health Service) where we were so big and we had so many patients. After recommending someone for an implant, or after they recovered from the surgery, we’d never see them again. You’d never hear how it went.”
Robyn says working in a small charity like The Hearing House has a “much nicer community feel” to it.
“Here you get to know everyone – the kids and the families. It’s nice to be able to see the changes and see how they are doing.
“It’s given me some inspiration about what kids can do with their implants. I look at them and think ‘wow’.
“I find it incredible that I can help do that, to be a small part of that.”
As an audiologist it is Robyn’s job to test a child’s hearing and speech perception to see if they are a suitable candidate for a cochlear implant.
After surgery, and the device has been switched on, the audiologists must check, measure and test to make sure that the device is working properly and at the correct volume for that child.
In the first year, the audiologists see a child at least nine times to adjust the settings and check that everything is in working order. As a child gets older, the appointments are less frequent.
Like every job, being an audiologist who works with children has its hard parts.
“The toughest bit is working with the kids who can’t tell you if it’s too loud or too quiet. That unknown part can be frustrating.”
However, working with parents is a highlight, and a special part of the job.
“For a lot of the parents, we’re almost a bit of hope. We’re their last resort and they just want anything that will help. As they watch their kids get better and better, the excitement overcomes them,” she says.
“But it can also be hard managing their expectations. They want to see changes quickly, but it can take a bit of time.”
Robyn says she has a lot of respect for the parents who come to The Hearing House considering the commitment that is involved.
“They have to put their trust in us and that must be quiet tough for them.”
Robyn spent 6 years studying to get her to this point – she did her undergraduate in neuro-science at The University of Nottingham and went on to do her masters in clinical science at Aston University. During her training she worked with children and adults.
She specialised in audiology, which she says was “fascinating”, and she was excited about what advancements in science and cochlear implant technology meant for the future.