Hello and welcome to the first Sarah McCullough Audiology blog post which is about why I am creating a hearing blog. I know – seems a little odd right? But hopefully it also explains what you might get out of this blog if you are wondering why you would follow yet another blog. Afterall, there are a heap out there!
As with most ‘why am I doing this?’ questions, the answer lies partially in my background and partially where I see there being a need for the Sarah McCullough Audiology Hearing Blog. So what is my background?
My name is Sarah. I am a person who lives with both hearing loss and tinnitus. I have also spent most of my working life within the hearing industry. I am an audiologist who has moved around over the years which has given me the opportunity to see the industry, including its changes and its challenges, from a range of perspectives. I graduated uni and started my working life in a clinic for several years. Clinic work is great for getting to know the challenges faced by all sorts of people with hearing loss – who have different stories to my own and to each other.
From there I spent several years working for manufacturers. First in hearing aids and then in cochlear implants. Getting to really know technology and the process involved in bringing technology to market so it can be used by consumers was really valuable. It provides a different perspective to the hearing industry and the work that goes into trying to meet the needs of people with hearing loss.
Following my stint with manufacturers I went to work for the Hearing Services Program with the Australian Department of Health. In my time there I got to see what is involved in administering a national government program, developing policy and navigating change from within the government. The process involved a truly different perspective on hearing healthcare within Australia and its challenges. We are lucky in Australia to have the Hearing Services Program (HSP) – it allows services to be provided to many people who would otherwise go without those services. But I don’t know anyone who would say it is a perfect program – it definitely has scope for improvement on multiple fronts. But change in a program like that does not generally happen quickly.
After HSP I went back into clinical work for a couple of years and things had definitely changed. For one, clinicians now spend a LOT more time dealing with interfacing hearing aids with other devices used by their clients such as their mobile phones. It was good to get back to the basics of helping individual people, but after a couple of years it was time to move on.
Somewhere in amongst all of that was the Covid pandemic during which I created a jewellery business which specialises in handmade jewellery as well as jewellery that you can attach to your hearing devices (hearing aids or cochlear implants) to make them more secure but also add a bit of your own personality.
Recently I have moved more into writing. I write blog posts, social media posts, emails and website pages for other people. But with the encouragement of numerous people close to me I have decided to also create this blog. One of the major reasons for this is I see a gap in the large number of blogs that currently exist. I am lucky in navigating my own hearing journey these days in that I understand the technology, the industry and how to navigate my pathway. But, not everyone has this. As a person with hearing loss experience who has worked as a clinician helping clients with their hearing challenges but has also worked for hearing device manufacturers and as a government hearing program administrator and policy officer, I think I can offer a unique perspective to you.
This blog is designed to be helpful. It will decode the language and challenges of navigating a world with hearing loss. It will also provide you with information that will help you navigate your own hearing journey.
Do you have a topic that you would like to hear more about? Get in touch!