Category: Practice News


2015 – A Year In Review

2015-a-year-in-review

The end of December is a natural time for reflection.

2015 has been such a great year at ENT & Audiology Associates.  Our practice has grown in size, and we have grown together as a team.

Dr. Holmes began performing in-office balloon sinuplasty surgeries, effectively turning our office into a fully functional operating room with his expert nurses, Andrea, Cheryl, and Amanda.  This has meant collaborating with new clinicians (mobile anesthesiologists and nurses), in addition to reformatting how our office runs on those days.  The audiology team has started working with new technologies, and we completely restructured our billing procedures for hearing aids gearing up for 2016.  We are looking forward to working in an “unbundled” pricing model, offering our patients instrument pricing and service transparency and lower cost hearing aids, with the hope of improving the lives of more people.

On a personal level, 2015 has brought great happiness to our employees.  Amanda had her third child, a beautiful baby girl named Elliotte Grace.  Julayne’s daughter, Natalie, finished her first year in college and returned as a very helpful summer intern for the office.  Our medical assistant, Marla, added a new puppy, Mazy, to her family.  Dr. Kyman was selected by the American Academy of Audiology Foundation to travel to Brazil to spend two weeks at a rural clinic fitting donated hearing aids.  And just a week ago, Carrie got engaged and will officially be the third Gee in our office.  Dr. Holmes’ mother moved up to North Carolina from her home in Florida, and his RN daughter, who is enrolled in a nurse practitioner program in TN, has been observing Dr. Holmes in the ENT clinic during her winter break.

The family connections are so strong in our office.  Randi and Dr. Holmes are so amazing to work for and with, and they really set the tone for a family environment.  Laura, her daughter Stacy, and future daughter-in-law, Carrie, always bring fun and flare to the office.  Tanya’s daughter, Dejah, has recently been providing much appreciated help at our front desk on her winter break from her senior year at Barton College.  Marcia, Dr. Quiller’s mother, has been a lovely addition to the front desk team.  Dr. Head’s daughter, Jessica, came in to help us out a few times last summer, and Dr. Kyman’s partner, Navarre, did some photography work for a dinner presentation Dr. Holmes gave.  We are all so blessed to work in such a friendly, family-oriented environment.

In conclusion, we want to wrap up 2015 with a huge thank you to our patients, our staff, our families, and our friends.  There is something special about our practice that is hard to put into words, but it keeps getting better and better; and we are looking forward to a great 2016!  Things to keep an eye out for: increased expansion of in-office sinus surgeries, unbundled hearing aid prices, HyperSound demo set up in our waiting room, and continuously evolving technology and improvements in patient care.

Audiology Abroad

This July, I was blessed with the opportunity to return to Antigua, Guatemala, on a volunteer audiology trip.

I first went to Antigua as a graduate student in 2010, and was able to visit schools and clinics, perform hearing screenings, and make referrals to appropriate sources for further evaluation.  Five years later, I had the opportunity to return and continue this work.

This trip, I was able to visit a local elementary school and perform hearing screenings on the children that teachers had concerns about.  Further, I was able to provide batteries, and do cleanings/listening checks on two students’ hearing aids.  Later in the week, we were able to visit one of the Universities, and instruct speech and hearing students on audiology basics, and how to perform otoscopy and hearing screenings.

Visiting another country is such an opportunity to learn and experience a different culture.  While I was there to provide a service, I definitely feel like I received more from the people there. We are so fortunate to have sound proof booths here, sometimes in other countries hearing screenings are performed in classrooms without doors, noisy hallways, and even in showers!  One of the children with hearing aids who I worked with had a broken battery door.  I did not have a replacement door with me; however, I was able to make one out of packing tape at the school.  A temporary solution at best, however it made the difference between hearing and not hearing.

Amongst all that work, I was able to have some fun too!  Antigua is a beautiful city, and I really enjoyed walking the streets and visiting the central park.  I got to hike Pacaya, an active volcano, and take a jade workshop at the home of a long-time jade miner.  An amazing experience, to say the least.

I look forward to returning again next year, hopefully with more donated supplies, and a larger team of students.  I want to thank ENT & Audiology Associates for their generosity in donating batteries and ear plugs, and allowing me to travel during such a busy time of the year.  Global audiology is a passion of mine, and I hope to make a difference, one ear at a time.

Changing Perspectives

I recently had a unique experience in the ENT & Audiology Associates office, as I went from being a clinician, to being a patient.  While I can talk all day about how great it is to work here with Dr. Holmes and our amazing staff, I didn’t fully understand how amazing this practice is until last week.

I had just returned from a whitewater kayaking trip in northern California.  It took me three flights to get back home, flying overnight and coming straight to work Monday morning.  I had a sore ear at work on Monday, but attributed it to sleep deprivation, the black eye I had gotten from paddling, and all the pressure changes on the flight, so I didn’t think much of it.  The next day though, the pain had increased.  I did a tympanogram on myself, saw that my eardrum was still moving normally, so tried to still brush it off.  Later in the day however, it had gotten worse, and I asked Dr. Holmes to look in my ear.  He noted that my eardrum on that side was red and inflamed, and gave me some drops for what looked like the start of an outer ear infection (made sense, as I had just spent a week on a river).  Unfortunately, what looked like the beginning of an external ear infection was actually the onset of acute otitis media, and that night my middle ear filled with fluid, so that by the time I got to the office on Wednesday, my eardrum was bulging.  (I have never had an ear infection my whole, life, and now that I’m almost 30, I get my first one!)  Dr. Holmes came to my side of the office first thing in the morning, to see how I was doing, immediately diagnosed the problem, he and the nurses were able to call me in an antibiotic to start right away.

Later in the day, it had gotten to the point where it was so painful and there was so much pressure, it was determined that a myringotomy was the best option to relieve the pressure and remove the fluid.  While I was nervous (as I was about to have a incision cut into my eardrum), I tried my best to act tough, knowing that some of my colleagues wanted to watch.  The nurses were incredibly empathetic, and made me feel very comfortable. Dr. Holmes talked me through the whole procedure (all two minutes of it), and I was immediately feeling better.  That night I slept better than I had all week, and by the next day, I was feeling completely healthy again.  Every time I saw a nurse in the hallway, they would ask to make sure I’m feeling better.  I felt so supported and cared for by everyone in the office.

I definitely have new empathy for the patients I see, and can say without hesitation that Dr. Holmes and the staff at ENT & Audiology Associates provide excellent care, difficult to find elsewhere.  My eardrum is already healed, and I’ll be back on the water in no time thanks to Dr. Holmes.

Lena Kyman is a clinical audiologist at ENT & Audiology Associates, and patient of Dr. Holmes’.