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Stella - Senior audiologist

Stella Ioannou
Stella - senior audiologist

Non-urgent advice: Profile

Full name

Stella

Job title/role

Senior audiologist

Department/area

Audiology Clinic 10, Addenbrooke’s Hospital

Healthcare science specialism

Audiology

What does your job involve?

Assessing patient’s hearing. I usually see adults in my role, and cases can vary, from age-related hearing loss to more complex cases

Giving advice on hearing loss/communication tactics/tinnitus.

Arrange and fit hearing aids if required

Refer patients for auditory implants if required.

Working with/assisting ENT

Assist in repairing faulty hearing aids

What role did you and your team play in the COVID-19 response?

Our department has responded and adapted really well to the Covid-19 pandemic. The changes include:

Undertaking telephone appointments in order to reduce footfall -Where possible, we take a history of the patient’s needs/problems over the telephone. Of course, it is not possible to have hearing tests performed over the phone, so they are invited for a face-to-face appointment for this when outpatients was able to reopen. However by taking the history over the phone it has helped us in preparing for the patient in advance and allows us to shorten the appointment time and thereby patients are seen quicker. A lot of the hearing aid and tinnitus follow-up appointments have also been made into ‘telephone appointments’, which has been very successful. My colleagues who assess and manage patients with balance problems often use video calls to undertake the appointments. I believe the pandemic has really opened our eyes to working remotely, which a lot of busy patients prefer.

Postal repair services- Under normal circumstances, we have walk-in sessions where patients would come in if there hearing aids were broken or in need of a service. Now, our patients have been asked to post their hearing aids to us. We have 2 dedicated members of staff who will usually fix the problem on the day and then post them back. Hearing aid batteries are also now being posted to patients. This has proved very successful and I believe a lot of our patients will continue to have their hearing aids serviced through this way due to the convenience.

Redeployment- some of my colleagues have been redeployed. Some full time, others half a week. Their roles have varied and include being a ward runner to helping out in the scrubs/uniform department!

What’s the best thing about your job?

Knowing that I can make a real difference to someone’s quality of life whilst working within a lovely team.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I feel very lucky to be working in this field and I would highly recommend it as a career. It is a growing field with different areas to specialise in, including paediatrics, balance, and hearing therapy. You can even be involved with research if you like!