Before Hanan Merrill became a certified hearing practitioner, he spent many years as a pastor. The two careers have more in common than you might think — particularly the need for strong people skills and experience working with seniors.
“Working in the medical field has always appealed to me, both understanding how the human body works and certainly being able to help people,” says Hanan, who co-owns Nanaimo Hearing Clinic with his wife Shelagh.
When Hanan’s personal beliefs changed and it was time to switch careers, he and Shelagh started dreaming about the life they wanted for their family. They wanted to put down roots in a community where their four children could make lasting friendships at school. They dreamed of owning a family business where they could work side by side. And they wanted to continue helping people.
“I met someone who worked in the hearing industry, and we hit it off. He ran a hearing business with his wife, and that piqued my interest too,” Hanan says. “When I completed my studies, I did my practicum with him in Campbell River.”
The Merrill family planned to leave the Island once Hanan’s practicum was complete, but it already felt like home.
“This is a great place to raise a family. When I was growing up my family moved a lot, and being a pastor I moved every four years. Then we got a taste of putting down roots in the community and really wanted to stay on the Island, so we chose to settle in Nanaimo,” he says. “I like to joke that Nanaimo has everything you need, except an IKEA!”
High tech, and putting people first
Hanan and Shelagh opened Nanaimo Hearing Clinic in 2011, and a decade later they continue to love the work.
“In many medical professions your interactions with patients are very brief, but I get to spend several hours with my clients — the first appointment is an hour and a half, and if the client decides to go ahead with hearing aids I’ll see them several times during the coming months, then at least once a year after that. We get to hear their stories and feel a strong connection to their lives,” he says.
Hanan also enjoys technology, and being a hearing specialist means he gets to go to product launches and learn about the latest hearing aid tech. He brings back the best technology for his clients to test drive, and enjoys learning where it’s most successful.
If you or a loved one is concerned about hearing loss, book an appointment with Hanan and Shelagh today. Call 250-585-4100 or get in touch online at nanaimohearingclinic.com/contact. Find the clinic at 501-5800 Turner Rd in Cactus Club Plaza.