• Dr. Nichole Kingham

What Is an Audiology Assistant?


So, there I was, 10 years into my career, working in a successful Private Practice and I was absolutely exhausted. I was coming in early, then seeing patients during regular business hours, during my lunch and after hours. Then, at the end of the day, I'd start the not-so-fun but crucial duties of chart notes, checking in repairs, completing orders, doing the necessary paperwork that keeps the clinic functioning and then cleaning up to go home, usually around 7 o'clock. I had small children and I wanted to get home to them. I felt like I was missing out on their childhood. But, the necessary things that absolutely needed to be done in the clinic couldn't wait or my life became utter chaos. I would often ask myself, "what the heck am I doing?? This isn't what I signed up for!" I loved how successful the practice had become. I loved helping patients hear better! And I absolutely couldn't get enough of hearing the stories of how people were reconnecting to their family and friends and enjoying the sounds of life again. That's why I became an audiologist! But at what cost? Sound familiar? The busy practice can often come to the point that the successful clinician has to sacrifice personal time and space for the benefit of the practice. But what if there was a different way? A better way?

And then one day, the answer walked through my door.

His name was Ryan. He had just finished his undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences and was looking for a job. "How would you like someone to help make your clinic more efficient? How would it be to let someone do the back office work, the time intensive paperwork and the non-revenue generating appointments so that excellent patient care can remain the hallmark of the practice without having to hire and fund the expense of a new Audiologist?" My answer? "Oh my goodness, this Superman does not exist!" But there he was. And when we hired Ryan to become our Audiology Assistant, it was the best decision we ever made.

But what is an Audiology Assistant, exactly? There are so many people weighing in on what the person in the Assistant role does and does not do. Let’s talk about the “official” definition of an Audiology Assistant:

The definition of an Audiology Assistant, according to AAA, is "someone who is trained to "perform routine tasks and duties" that are "prescribed, directed and supervised by an audiologist." But, the role of an Audiology Assistant is dynamic. Although the responsibilities of each day may differ, the underlying tasks are the same. But, the basic definition of an Audiology Assistant is really very simple: The job, at its core, is to assist in improving the efficiency of the clinic. The Audiology Assistant will work side-by-side with the audiologists so that ultimately, they can see patients, which is what makes the clinic viable. But let’s look a little deeper.

When we talk about a successful Audiology clinic, it is one that provides patient care that cannot be matched by competitors. It is also a clinic that runs efficiently—patients with hearing loss do NOT want to wait for a repair if their hearing aids break down. They don’t want to wait 2 weeks to get their new hearing aids. We live in an immediate gratification society and people with hearing loss are no different. To become more successful, we must provide faster, more efficient service, all while providing an unforgettable experience. We also have to be aware of what will keep our business growing well into the future. The Audiology Assistant will be intimately involved with helping the clinic achieve its business goals. If you've been thinking about how to grow your practice but just don't have the time to see more patients, an Audiology Assistant may be one way to meet both your fiscal goals and your goals for providing excellent patient services. Find your Superman today. You'll be glad you did. If you would like to know more about how to easily train and incorporate an Audiology Assistant into your practice, please visit www.DrKingam.com.

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