In High School, Christine Simms did not know what she wanted to do for a career. She enjoyed science courses and helping in the lab as a Biology prefect. Fortunately, a university professor working at the High School asked her what she was interested in pursuing in University. She knew she wanted to work with the deaf and hard of hearing and he recommended audiology.
Attending Memorial University, Christine’s university career began with two years at Grenfell Campus followed by two years at the St. John’s Campus. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Knowing she wanted to settle in Western Newfoundland, Christine approached Western Health and received a bursary to attend Dalhousie University, signing a return in service agreement. She then attended Dalhousie to get her Masters in Audiology.
After graduation, Christine returned to Corner Brook, started at Western Memorial Regional Hospital in a temporary contact, and has been working there ever since. She appreciates the fast-paced environment of Western Health and feels her input is valued. This September, Christine will celebrate her 30-year anniversary of service.
Before starting her career, Christine wished that someone had told her that she would not have all the answers. Sometimes with hearing loss, hearing aids cannot fix communication issues. As with every career, there are challenging cases and you cannot help them as much as you wish.
Christine says, “Audiology is a people profession, you need to be a people person in order to connect with you patients and make a difference.”
Audiologists provide services in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hearing, balance, or ear disorders to clients in a large age range, from infants to seniors. Audiologists provide professional and personalized services to minimize the negative impact of these disorders, leading to improved outcomes and quality of life. Audiologists also administer the provincial hearing aid program that provides hearing services and hearing aids for all children regardless of income and for low income adults.
In the audiology department, there is a wait-list for routine adult hearing assessments. Recruitment of audiologists is the greatest challenge to the profession. Christine believes more people need to know about the profession of audiology as a career choice in order to help with the current vacancies and increasing retirement of Audiologists.
Christine attributes the satisfaction of knowing she made a difference as the reason she loves her job. Diagnosing and helping with medical diagnoses of hearing related issues can improve or maintain peoples’ communication abilities and therefore their quality of life.
Christine was born and raised in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. She lives here with her husband, children, and grandchildren. In her spare time, Christine enjoys spending time on the water at her cabin, travelling, and hiking. Western Health appreciates the valuable work Christine does to improve the lives of her clients, and for her dedication to the profession of Audiology for the last 30 years.
Written by: Heather Simmons, Human Resource Consultant