Ben Woodall, 28, is an Audiologist who pursued a career in this field due to his own experiences of hearing loss.
Ben, who has been with the Trust for six years, said: “I decided to pursue a career in Audiology for a number of reasons.
“My own personal experiences of hearing loss made me realise how important Audiology services are for people with hearing difficulties. I felt that I would be able to use my own personal experiences to help others with similar problems.
“My role is to carry our hearing assessments and provide support to people who have hearing loss.
“During an assessment we will explore the nature of hearing difficulties and the impact in home, social and work environments. We will carry out a range of diagnostic tests to assess the type and severity of hearing loss.
“We provide hearing assessments at our two main sites – the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, as well as 14 different community clinics based throughout the county of Shropshire. For people who are unable to access services at one of our clinics, we also provide assessments for people in their own home or residential homes too.
“We may provide digital hearing aids, advice on equipment that is available whether it is for TV or telephone, or we may refer to other organisations that provide support for people with hearing loss.
“The best part of my job is the positive impact we are able to make for people with hearing loss.
“We know that hearing loss can lead to a breakdown in communication, which can impact on quality of life and is linked to isolation, depression and anxiety.
“In Shropshire, we have access to the latest hearing aid technology and a range of excellent support services to help reduce the negative impact of a hearing loss.
“In Audiology, we see a variety of different people of all ages and backgrounds. Every patient will face different challenges as a result of their hearing loss.
“My role is to identify how their hearing loss impacts upon their lifestyle and provide advice on suitable treatment options. As a result, Audiology can be challenging but is undoubtedly a very rewarding profession.”
Cheryl Bonney, 25, is a Biomedical Scientist based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital who joined SaTH in September 2014.
She said: “I have always assumed growing up that I would work in the NHS in healthcare in some capacity although I knew it wouldn’t be as a doctor or nurse. During my A levels I fell in love with Science so a job where I could do both was the obvious choice.
“Day-to-day, my role involves testing blood samples from inpatients and GP services across Shropshire. In haematology, we test patients’s blood counts to determine their haemoglobin, and white cell counts as well as the ability of the patient’s blood to clot.
“Blood transfusion involves testing the group of blood and determining if the patient has any antibodies in their blood that can cause a reaction if they were to have a blood transfusion. Another important aspect of blood transfusion is issuing blood and products to patients that may be anaemic or bleeding in a timely manner.
“For me personally the variation between departments from day-to-day keeps this job interesting and exciting. Knowing you’re using science and technology to really help normal people in a meaningful way is also extremely gratifying.
“One of the key issues facing the NHS is bed availability, being able to send patients home that no longer need to be in hospital is essential and working in the laboratory this is key – patients are often discharged once blood test results are available and so getting our work through as quickly as possible really helps this.
“A large number of diagnoses are made based on laboratory results too so knowing that you are helping confirm diagnoses quickly so that patients can begin treatment makes a huge difference not only to the patient’s peace of mind but also to the effectiveness of prompt treatment.”
Lorraine Frew, 29, is currently in year one of the Scientist Training Programme (STP). Her first year focuses on Reproductive Science, which has seen her based in the Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH).
She said: “I am a trainee embryologist on the Scientist Training Programme (STP); a three-year programme of work based learning, underpinned by a University accredited master’s degree managed by the National School of Healthcare Science.
“I began this post in September 2016 and as part of my first year training I am been given the opportunity to rotate through several departments at RSH, including histopathology and cytopathology, to help enhance my skills as a healthcare scientists.
“I have always been passionate about the field of reproductive medicine. I completed my undergraduate degree and MSc by research in Reproductive Biology at the University of Edinburgh before studying for a PhD in the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, working in a laboratory focused on pregnancy related disorders.
“Throughout my studies I was fortunate to be involved in patient-facing research. This fuelled my desire to transition to a career as healthcare scientist, working at the interface between science and medicine.
“My role as a trainee embryologist allows me to build on my scientific knowledge, learning new skills that can be utilised for the benefit of patients.
“I thoroughly enjoy getting to interact with patients and being able to translate what goes on scientifically in the laboratory for their treatment and care.
“On completion of my traineeship I aspire to progress to complete higher specialist training and ultimately obtain a Consultant embryologist position, where I hope to utilise my skills and knowledge to implement change in clinical practice alongside the development of research and technology ultimately to provide the best service and care for patients.”
Charlotte Gandy, 22, is training in our Cardiorespiratory Department at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.
She said: “I am currently in my first year of the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) here at SaTH. I am currently a trainee Healthcare Scientist specialising in respiratory and sleep science. My role involves rotations in cardiology and in vascular science during my first year and then specialism-specific work in the second and third year.
“The STP is made up of two components; the approved and accredited workplace-based training and also gaining a master’s degree in clinical science. Once I have completed the STP, I will be eligible to apply for suitable healthcare science posts as a clinical scientist. I have only recently joined the trust in September 2016 after graduating from York University in July 2016, but in this time I have had exposure to many different clinical tests and procedures.
“In respiratory I carried out full pulmonary function tests involving spirometry, gas transfer analysis and lung volume measurements, became competent in analysing overnight oximetry data and polysomnography (sleep study) data and also was involved in routine calibration, cleaning and setting up of equipment. I experienced oxygen clinics, exercise testing, pulmonary rehab and also spent some time with community respiratory nurses.
“In cardiology, I became competent in electrode placements, recording and analysis of ECG. I analysed 24/48 hour tapes and was also exposed to echocardiograms, trans-oesophageal echocardiograms (TOEs), pacemaker fitting, reveal fitting, and angiograms.
“In vascular, my role entails ABPI (ankle brachial pressure index) measurements, ultrasound Doppler scanning of carotid arteries and leg arteries and veins. In each of these rotations, due to my exposure to different clinical environments I have also gained a lot of knowledge with regards to disease pathways and outcomes
“It is my responsibility to learn about the technology, physiology and rationale behind each of such tests and to research and take initiative with new technologies and ideas, hence, I will undertake a final year research project to showcase novel data I have acquired over the three years. The best part of this job is being able to apply science and technology to directly impact patients’ lives and it was this that drove me to pursue the career; it was the perfect opportunity to utilise my biology degree in a patient-facing role.
“I think this role is important within the NHS as it allows for continual development of healthcare based on scientific research. This is the driving force behind new technologies which will enable better/earlier diagnoses, time management, cost and most importantly, public health.”