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NP Spotlight

We may be new to the profession, but there are many New Professionals doing really amazing things! Check out some of your fellow colleagues here to see what they’re doing with their careers.

Interview with Kaitlyn Kennedy, AuD

Interview with Kaitlyn Kennedy, AuD

Kaitlyn Kennedy, AuD is currently a pediatric audiologist at Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. She received her AuD from Missouri State University in 2016 and is the current committee chair for the New Professionals Committee.


1. What did you find most challenging about transitioning from student to professional?
The most difficult part of transitioning from student to professional was realizing I had to make clinical decisions alone. I was in an ENT clinic as the sole audiologist and had to decide which intervention a patient needed or if I should bill for a specific code on my own. Luckily, I was prepared for these decisions. That did not make it any less nerve-racking. Additionally, because I was the only audiologist in this practice, I had to make proposals on pricing for testing and services. Creating those proposals based on available resources took a lot of research and thought, but it has prepared me for things I may have to do in the future.

2. What is your most rewarding experience since becoming an independent professional?
The most rewarding experience so far has been establishing a practice on my own. My first job was starting the audiology clinic in an ENT practice. The equipment was there, but nothing else was in place. It was my responsibility to establish our protocols, pricing, and train the staff on who needed audiology appointments. Being able to see how that paid off after a year was amazing. I was able to directly impact patients with the protocols put in place and help a lot of people who were not helped prior.

3. Why did you get involved in the Academy?
Initially, I was involved in SAA. It was something that a student a few years ahead of me recommended. She was on the national SAA Board at that time and recommended I apply for a committee. I did and really enjoyed that work. Ever since, I have been involved with the Academy on SAA committees, the SAA Board, and now the New Professionals Committee. Throughout these experiences, I've seen the importance of advocating for our professional on state and national levels. Additionally, I've been able to see the impact we can have on our organization by volunteering. It gives me the opportunity to have my views heard and act upon them.

4. Are you involved in any other State or National activities? 
In addition to being the New Professionals Committee Chair, I am a member of the Leadership Council and on the New Professionals in Audiology Conference (NPAC) Steering Group. NPAC is for professionals with 0-10 years of experience and offers information on approaching the hurdles we can face as new and newer professionals. It will be offered at AAA 2018 in Nashville on Wednesday and is included in conference registration.

Additionally, I had been a member of the Missouri Academy of Audiology and plan to join the Texas Academy now that I'm in Texas.

5. What is your advice to a student or new professional looking to get involved with the profession of Audiology?
If you want to get involved, you should. There are always more things that need to be done to help promote and advance our profession. If you're unsure of how to get involved, ask a mentor or reach out to the New Professionals Committee. We can help you with finding ways to get involved that fit what you like and want to do. State organizations are a fantastic place to start. Even though some are not very active, you could help make it a more active group.



Interview with Margaret Koeritzer, AuD 

Interview with Margaret Koeritzer, AuD 

Margaret Koeritzer, AuD is an audiologist at Fairview Health Services in the greater Twin Cities area of Minnesota. She graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MOin 2016. Margaret works with individuals across the lifespan from infants to geriatrics. She provides ENT support and manages patients with hearing aids. Margaret is focused on serving each patient with compassion, empathy, and excellence.

1. What did you find most challenging as a new graduate?
Crossing state lines. My training occurred in Missouri and Michigan, coming home to Minnesota was amazing, but state laws and insurance rules changed when I crossed the state lines; learning these different rules/regulations has been the hardest part of starting my career.

2. What did you find most surprising?
The most surprising thing for me, has been not checking in or going over my diagnostic/treatment plan with another audiologist before seeing a patient. I was so used to talking through my "plan of action" with my supervisor prior to seeing a patient, it feels very weird to not go though everything with another audiologist.

3. What has the Academy been able to help you with since graduation?
I love the job search tool on the Academy's website, it was a great tool when I was looking for my first job. Also, the transition from being a student member to becoming a fellow was very easy; the process is streamlined, well explained, and easy to complete. I was a fellow before I received my state license.

4. Are you involved in any state or national activities?
I am an Awards and Honors Committee member in the Minnesota Academy of Audiology, and I love it. I am honored to be a part of this committee, thanking our outstanding colleagues for their dedication to our profession is truly a privilege.

5. What do you feel that you bring to your workplace as a new professional that someone who is further from graduation cannot?
As a new professional, I have recently studied best practices, the most current research and theories, and have been trained across our scope of practice. As a new professional, I am able to ask questions about protocols, by asking the questions, protocols are re-examined and best practices are updated.

6. What issues do you feel are most important to audiology at this point in time?
The most important issues within audiology right now are combating the negative stigma of hearing loss/hearing aids, and continuing to work toward greater autonomy for audiologists.

7. What do you think could be done about them?
I believe we need to continue to educate our patients, their families, and the public about hearing loss and what hearing aids can/cannot do in order to slowly change the negative stigma surrounding these issues. We need to continue to work with our representing bodies (ASHA, AAA, and ADA) to push for greater autonomy. Obtaining the ability to prescribe hearing aids for our adult patients, without medical clearance from a physician, is a giant step in the right direction.

8. What are your hopes for the future of the profession?
I hope that we can gain more autonomy, respect, and financial equality within the medical community.