“The most important thing to me about being an audiologist is making a difference to people’s lives,”
said Jaspreet Bahra, the UK and European winner of the 2013 Audiologist of the Year Competition.
Jaspreet, BSc (Hons) Audiology RHAD, who works at Harley Street Hearing in London, scooped the industry’s top honour after being nominated by her patient, 29-year-old solicitor Warren Stapley, whose inspiring story helped the judging panel make the decision to crown Jaspreet Europe’s top hearing professional.
“I’m not going to lie – it was amazing! It was also a little overwhelming to win so early on in my career.
“It’s a great achievement to have under my belt and a big help in getting my name out there and recognised as someone who does their job well. It’s also really rewarding to be recognised for something I put so much effort into day in, day out.”
A year on from winning her award and Jaspreet is keen to encourage other audiologists to aim for the competition, which is run in partnership by Rayovac, Audio Infos Magazine and European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA).
“Winning has also had positives for the practice, in that it serves as a great endorsement of the work we do,” said Jaspreet. “When patients come into the practice and see the certificate it gives them more confidence that they are going to get a good service from us and many have congratulated me, which has been very nice to be on the receiving end of!”
Jaspreet is also happy to offer advice to anyone hoping they might be in with a chance to take the title in 2015 – the eighth year the competition has been running.
She said: “At our practice we left plenty of literature in our waiting room, so patients could read it through while waiting for their appointment and take it home if they wanted to.
“We didn’t try and push people into entering as this can be off-putting, but we made sure we knew all about the competition and the prizes on offer so if patients had any questions about it we could answer them straightaway.
“Of course, it helps that there are prizes to be won by the patient! The winning patient gets a cash prize and a package of electrical goods worth around £500.
“Aside from that, I think when I won, Warren, who nominated me, felt a sense of achievement too. He was always confident that I would win, whereas I wasn’t. So he certainly wasn’t as shocked as I was by the news! He was definitely very happy with my award though.”
Warren nominated Jaspreet for the Audiologist of the Year after suffering from hearing loss since he was just six years old. In his nomination he explained how since meeting Jaspreet his confidence has soared, with the new hearing aid devices he has been fitted with making a real difference to his life.
Jaspreet said: “Many patients often have lost a lot of confidence because of their hearing difficulties when they come to see you. It is a great feeling when you can see the difference you have made. To me, this is the most important thing; being able to make a real difference to the lives of my patients.
“Anyone looking to excel should think of your patient as a relative and treat them as you would want your family member to be treated. Do everything you can to build rapport and make sure they’re comfortable when you’re treating them – you want them to have the best experience they can.
“It’s building this rapport with my patients and changing their lives for the better that I find most enjoyable about my work. Winning the Audiologist of the Year award for something so rewarding was just the cherry on top.”