We have added to our team by appointing a new associate audiologist. Lorraine Johnston.
She started in health care many years ago, working as a health care assistant in the community. “I knew straight away that this role was for me as I enjoyed the patient interaction and felt that I was making a difference to people’s lives,” Lorraine said.
“I progressed into a clinical role, working for a private ultrasound company, supporting the sonographer. We worked in hospitals and GP surgeries all over Kent. I loved this role and didn’t imagine that I would do anything else but when Coronavirus hit we were all made redundant which came as a big shock.
“Then I saw a trainee job for a retinal screener, I applied and was successful. This job involved seeing diabetic patients, dilating their pupils and taking images of the retina, looking for retinopathy. I was seeing 20 patients a day. When the restrictions were lifted, and life went back to normal the company increased the patient numbers to 30 and then 36 a day with talk of increasing patient numbers to 40 a day.
” I stopped enjoying the role, my colleagues and I were constantly under pressure. I felt that I was not giving my patients the best care and this was not why I went into health care.”
A real difference
When Lorraine saw the associate audiologist role she immediately knew she would like to apply for it.
“My mum had used hearing aids and before getting them, she would sit quietly in a conversation smiling but not joining in,” Lorraine said. “Her world opened when she got her hearing aids. She went from sitting at home not socialising to joining all kinds of clubs and becoming more confident and independent. I felt that this role would give me the job satisfaction that I want. I want to feel that I have made a real difference. I look forward to finishing my training and running my own clinics again.”
Lorraine lives in Sittingbourne with her husband Rob and her three children Molly, Robbie and Connor who are triplets.
“We have a little dog called Frankie who is a cross breed terrier and Chiwawa,” Lorraine said. “He was so nervous and timid when we first brought him home, but once he settled in, his true character came out. He makes us laugh every day. He rules the roost, letting us know when it is dinner time, it’s like he can tell the time.
“He is 16 years old now, and slowing down, recently having some health problems. He still enjoys going for walks but lets us know when he is tired by lying in the field and refusing to walk any further, so we carry him the rest of the way.
Everyone loves Frankie and he, along with our children, are the joy in our lives. I enjoy spending time with my husband and adult children. My husband and I have enjoyed making lots of changes to our home, which include a loft conversion and a two-storey extension to the back of our house. We enjoy our garden which has been hard work but very rewarding.”