A career in hearing healthcare isn’t different from other medical careers: it requires a certain type of personality, a passion for what you do and a great education. But there are some other factors that make for a great Audiology Assistant.
It’s a given that in any practice, you will need to have the ability to work within procedures and protocols. But you should also be a great communicator, confident in how you relay the sometimes sensitive, sometimes complex information as it relates to patient care.
You should also have a passion for helping people. An interest in the organs of hearing and balance and the effects on people when those systems aren’t functioning well is a bonus, too.
And, if you’re interested in a career as an Audiology Assistant, you need to have the right personality or demeanor to work with patients who may not be thrilled about coming into the office for reasons that range from denial about hearing loss to irritation with a hearing aid that isn’t working properly. Don’t get me wrong, not every patient is a Grumpy Gus. It’s truly amazing to be a participant in someone’s journey toward better hearing and to see the changes in them (and their loved ones) when that journey is successful. The happiness can be truly contagious.
Throughout the patient’s journey, the Audiology Assistant is often the first smiling face that patients see when they’re in to the clinic. This means they will come to look at you as an integral part of the patient care team and will look to you for guidance, a listening ear and for a warm, caring attitude.
Showing warmth toward another person is something different than friendliness, which tends to be the first quality you learn in any hospitality job. Friendliness, as long as it’s not just smiling falsely, is a good quality for any Audiology Assistant to have, but warmth is something different. It is something deeper and much more meaningful.
Having a warm demeanor manifests in many ways, all of them valuable. Warmth is first and foremost authentic; a characteristic that conveys you’re a caring person. Patients should feel very quickly that they can trust you and the things you are conveying to them. Trust requires that patients believe that you are genuine and having a warm and inviting demeanor will help build that trust.
Warmth also exudes kindness as well as empathy and helps show that you have a real concern for the issue at hand. Whatever mood they’re in when they enter your office, you need to be kind to them, not just polite. That’s not always easy, since people are rarely at their most charming and patient when they’re hearing aid isn’t working, but warmth always works in your favor as an Audiology Assistant. It can diffuse bad tempers, and it will put people at ease.
Warmth is also non-discriminatory. Audiology Assistants who work in pediatrics know that children can be more in tune with the underlying energy in the room. If you’re warm and friendly with parents but adopt a different attitude with their kids, the child will notice and will often retreat. And then, good luck getting anything accomplished during the appointment! No matter the age, the issue, or the attitude of a patient, you should treat each patient with the same warmth you show everyone who comes into the office.
The practice you work in may be very busy or may be even-keeled. Most likely, the schedule varies from day to day and at some point, you’ll experience the calm of a quiet day to the chaos of a fully booked (and sometimes double booked) schedule. Add drop-in patients into the mix and you have the makings of a hectic day that can affect the entire atmosphere in the clinic. Having patience, being able to step back and take a breath when things get chaotic can help calm the entire clinic. Your demeanor can provide that.
Confidence is often confused with arrogance, even though they’re radically different things. Arrogance is a kind of pride; assuming you’re better than those around you. Confidence, on the other side, means you’re secure in yourself and your knowledge. It’s as powerful as warmth for building trust. If you’re the first person a patient meets at the clinic, you need to convey through your confidence that the patient has come to the right place and that they can trust the care that they’ll receive.
Having self-esteem is important for being confident, but believing in your skills and expertise as an Audiology Assistant is equally if not more important. Never forget: You’re a healthcare professional, and you have an important position on the team as an Audiology Assistant. If you’ve finished your training, you’re going to be good at your work and you will show it through your confidence. If you’re just starting your training, don’t worry. It will come. Keep practicing and learning. You’ll get there.
At Audiology Academy, we’re committed to preparing our Audiology Assistant students to work with confidence so that they become a successful part of the clinic team. Having the right personality will be a big part of that success. If you’re interested in becoming an Audiology Assistant, you can earn your Certificate of Completion in as little as 10 weeks. Visit us often for more information on important Audiology Assistant topics.