Real-life story - Wendy Stevens
Before I got into the NHS I did a variety of jobs. I stacked shelves, worked in a greengrocer and was a bookkeeper.
Someone once said to me that I’m a very ambitious woman, and looking at my career path on paper you might think so. However, it’s only because of the support and encouragement of the NHS, Royal Hallamshire Hospital and my family that I’ve had the opportunities to get to where I am today.
Before I got into the NHS I did a variety of jobs. I stacked shelves, worked in a greengrocer and was a bookkeeper. Then, about 21 years ago when I gave birth to my youngest, I decided to learn sign language. As part of this class I did some volunteer work with people with hearing difficulties.
The volunteer scheme was in its infancy then, but my basic remit was to go into patients’ homes and to help them with their hearing aids. From this I was offered a three-month and subsequently a year’s contract to work as an audiology assistant. I was then given the role on a full-time basis.
After three years, I was encouraged by my manager to take a first certificate in science so that I could do a BTEC in Audiology. Once I’d completed that, I did a part-time degree at Leeds University in Audiology as well as a qualification in teaching. Again I was encouraged by my manager and had the Trust’s financial backing.
Finally, I took a PGCE at Huddersfield University and was qualified to lecture as an audiologist.
I am very grateful for the support and opportunities I have been given, and my story just shows that people with no medical background can enjoy a successful career in the NHS.