ABOUT AUDIOLOGY ASSISTANTS
What Is An Audiology Assistant or Audiology Technician?
The role of an Audiology Assistant is dynamic. You’ll find that each day is different from the next, even though the underlying tasks are the same. But, the definition of an Audiology Assistant is really very simple. The job of an Audiology Assistant or Aud Tech at its core is to assist in improving the efficiency of the clinic. He or she will work side-by-side with the audiologists in the clinic so that ultimately, they can see patients, which is what makes the clinic viable.
As one of the main contacts for patients, be it by phone or in person, the Audiology Assistant is responsible for ensuring that every contact with the clinic is a positive one and that each experience helps in the differentiation of the clinic from other experiences the patient may have had with other similar hearing healthcare providers. He/she is responsible for identifying and troubleshooting emergent hearing aid issues and, under the supervision of the audiologist, for recommending solutions to resolve hearing/hearing aid issues. The Audiology Assistant also supports the office staff in all marketing, operational, customer service and administrative functions.
Why Do You Need 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. He asked some very thought-provoking questions: "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.
Are you running out of time to work on your business because you're too busy working in your business? Are employees grumbling because they are overworked? Are you scheduling more than 2 weeks out for important money-generating appointments? Do you not have time to determine your ROI on recent marketing events or how to run your practice more efficiently because you're too busy just trying to keep your head above water? Not sure that hiring another audiologist is the answer? It's time to consider an Audiology Assistant. You deserve it and so do your patients.
How Can I Utilize An Audiology Assistant In My Practice?
How an Audiology Assistant or Audiology Technician is utilized in a clinic has a lot to do with the scope of practice in that particular clinic. To put it simply, the Audiology Assistant's main purpose is to assist in providing excellent patient care. It is this that makes your practice stand out from the crowd of competitors that your patients must choose from when seeking excellent hearing healthcare. How exactly you have your Audiology Assistant help to improve patient care will depend largely on the laws of your state and the scope of practice as defined by your state's Board of Health. Click here for more information on your state's regulations.
Need help defining your Audiology Assistant's scope of practice? Give us a call. We'd be glad to help.
Here are some things to consider when determining how to best utilize your Audiology Assitant:
What clinical tasks are important to the success of the practice but do not require your expertise?
What tasks require considerable time but do not require patient contact?
What would you like to do to move your clinic to the next level? Do these things require your education, expertise or training?
If you could increase the number of Hearing Aid Consults by just 4 appointments a month, how would that affect your bottom line?
If you could decrease the time you spend in the clinic by even a few hours per week, how would that affect your life?