Claire Danks – Senior Clinical Scientist in Audiology

Claire Danks thumbA person’s hearing is such an important sense, with things like music and a loved one’s voice bringing much joy to people. Claire Danks’ life is all about bringing this to people in both her career and hobby.

Claire is a Senior Clinical Scientist in Audiology and has been with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust for 10 years after receiving her qualifications in Science.

“I did my Biology degree at the University of Birmingham and knew that I wanted to work in Science, but I didn’t want to be in a lab all day because I like working with people.

“I was then, after graduating, able to get a place on a scheme within the Trust to train as an Audiological Scientist and gained my Master’s Degree from Southampton as part of this training” Claire said.

As is the case with many healthcare scientists, Claire knew that she wanted to work in the NHS but had trouble deciding which route to take.

“I did think about going into Optometry or Ophthalmology before choosing Audiology.

“I was always going to work above the neck, but I just chose ears over eyes.”

Clinical Scientists look at your test results and play a big part in finding out what seems to be the problem.

“The vast majority of my job is diagnosing hearing or balance problems and then providing rehabilitation for that.

“I see all ages, from around three weeks old up to over 100 years old, but I do most of my work with paediatrics, mainly testing pre-school children for hearing difficulties, fitting them with hearing aids and monitoring them while they grow up.”

In her spare time, Claire sings with the West Midlands Police Choir, Vivat!, where she gets the chance to blow off some steam by bringing more joy to people’s ears.

“I do like to sing because I see it as a total break from Audiology and lifts my spirits after a long day.”

Claire and her fiancé, who are getting married in July 2016, also have Border terrier called Toby who they like taking for long walks around where they live.

Claire was one of the first people who went through the NHS Leadership Academy which has given her the opportunity to progress in her role, and work towards what she wants to achieve in the future.

“In September, I will be attending a new higher training scheme for Clinical Scientists which will help to become a Consultant Scientist. It’s a 5 year course where you do a PhD and extra clinical skill qualifications.”