Hearing Services of Franklin | Hearing Center Interview
Dr. Elizabeth Welch, Au.D. thought she wanted to be a speech-language pathologist when she started her college studies, but a hearing science class her freshman year made her fall in love with audiology.
“I knew I wanted to make a difference and help people, but I didn’t really know what an audiologist was. Apparently I was headed in the right direction all along,” she said.
Dr. Welch began working for Hearing Services of Tennessee in 1998 and purchased the practice in 2009. Other audiologists who practice at the hearing center, now Hearing Services of Franklin, include Dr. Bridget Lee, Au.D., Dr. Rachel Tuberville, Au.D., and Dr. Erica Thayer, Au.D. Office locations include Franklin and Spring Hill.
“I feel our patients get a genuine sense of care when they walk in our office,” Dr. Welch said. “I believe every patient is unique and it’s our job to help that person in particular. Our patients feel our honesty and sense of loyalty toward them. They’re part of our family.”
One of her favorite hearing device success stories involves a five-year-old girl who needed hearing aids. “It breaks my heart to tell a parent their child has hearing loss but I love it when they can see they really weren’t hearing well and I was able to make it better,” Dr. Welch said. After she fit the little girl, her mom asked “Can you hear me better?” and her daughter replied “I can hear everything better.”
Dr. Welch said the most significant change in hearing technology since she joined the field occurred seven years ago when she was on maternity leave. “When I came back, three companies had launched Bluetooth technology,” she said. “It was like the whole industry changed in the eight weeks I was gone.”
Even with the technological advances, Dr. Welch said the most challenging aspect of working in hearing healthcare is affordability. “I want everyone to have the opportunity to hear better,” she said. Toward that end, she started a nonprofit organization which accepts hearing aid donations from patients who are upgrading to a newer model. Manufacturers and other companies refurbish the donations so Dr. Welch and her staff can fit them on patients who wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise.
Staff also conduct seminars at local assisted living centers and participate in the local chamber of commerce.
Dr. Welch said knowing she makes a difference in her patients’ lives is her favorite part of being a hearing healthcare professional. “I feel very confident in knowing I can help a patient,” she said. “I know it’s crazy to say this, but my favorite moment is when a person cries because I know they’re happy tears and I’ve truly made a difference. When a patient chooses not to move forward, it’s frustrating because I know I can help make their life better.”
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