International audiology alumni Jackson Chin’s childhood visits to an audiologist have made a lasting impact on his career.
Jackson, who grew up in Singapore, has a common hearing impairment in both ears called sensorineural hearing loss, a condition he has experienced for as long as he can remember.
“My grandmother started to notice four-year-old me putting my ears on the television speaker which made her question my behaviour,” he says.
“That led my parents to send me for a hearing test and found out that I have a mild to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears.”
Jackson remembers the care given to him by his audiologist back in Singapore and reflects on his curiosity for the profession and his own hearing impairment.
“I had a curious personality and I asked him about my hearing condition, what caused it, where exactly the loss is, and about the severity of the hearing loss,” he says.
“I think I took about one-and-a-half hours of his time that day asking lots of questions regarding my hearing.
“He encouraged me to pursue a career in audiology and now I am helping others who face the same challenges as I do.”
In 2016 Jackson made the decision to pursue his dreams of becoming an audiologist and help those with hearing impairments just like him.
He travelled to Australia and took on the Master of Audiology degree at Flinders, graduating in 2017.
The Master of Audiology encouraged Jackson to gain knowledge on the “complex anatomy of the working ear”.
“Studying at Flinders was one of the best educational experiences in my life,” he says.
“The problem-based learning structure allowed for brainstorming and contribution towards the study session in a friendly and encouraging way.
“The lecturers were audiologists with real world clinical experiences themselves hence they were able to explain concepts in simple language which facilitated our understanding.”
After graduating from Flinders, Jackson began his audiology career at Tan Tock Seng Hospital back in Singapore in 2018 and was promoted to Senior Audiologist by the end of 2019. In addition, he voluntarily provides hearing services with SoundHub and Partners to support hard-of-hearing people, as well as speak at public events to educate and raise awareness about hearing impairment.
Jackson’s experiences through Flinders encouraged him to “empower and inspire others to take control of their own hearing loss and bring back the sounds of life”.
“Doing placement with different clinics in Adelaide and Cairns helped expose me to the different disciplines that audiology itself offers – adult hearing and implants, paediatrics and infant hearing, vestibular (balance) assessment, electrophysiological tests and more,” he says.
“Not only am I able to put myself in the shoes of the patient, I am able to guide the patient to see challenges and benefits from a clinicians’ perspective.”
Jackson is still practising as a Senior Audiologist at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and says he hopes to one day “establish a chain of clinics in Singapore dealing with audiological, vestibular, and speech with emphasis on patient centric care”.
This will further dedicate his work to the wonders of sound for those who struggle to hear.
For more information on studying Audiology at Flinders visit the webpage.
For more information on Jackson’s Audiology story click here.