Tips for Taking Vacation
Taking a vacation can be challenging when you are a one-clinician business, so here is how to make it happen!

Written By: Susan Flynn

Susan is a practising audiologist and works as the manager of clinical operations and training at the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility and as a freelance content creator. Susan has further education and experience in social media management, search engine marketing and writing for content marketing and works with such client as Diatec Canada, e3 Diagnostics and Pacific Audiology Group. 

21 August 2021

As the owner or the sole hearing healthcare professional (HCP) in a clinic, taking a vacation can be challenging. The main issue of course is, “who will take care of my clients while I’m away?” The benefits of vacation are many, including reducing stress, decreasing the risk of heart disease, and increasing productivity and creativity. If you plan on taking care of yourself and your clients for years to come, you need to getaway.

As experienced clinic owners and sole hearing healthcare providers, our founders Dr. Amy Trusler and Kristopher Hewitt offer some tips to get away when you’re a one-person show. 

The breaks you take from work pay you back manifold when you return because you come back with a fresher mind and newer thinking. Some of your best ideas come when you’re on vacation.

– Gautam Singhania

Work the Schedule

As a busy clinic owner on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, Canada, for Kris Hewitt, planning was everything. “Before going on vacation, I would work longer days and stack hearing evaluations,” says Hewitt. To get the most out of your time off, Hewitt suggests planning one week’s vacation three (or more!) times a year, with weekends on either side. “Nine days almost feels like two weeks then,” says Hewitt. And according to a study by the University of Tampere in Finland, eight days off is the perfect vacation length. Just enough time to relax but not enough time to get bored, rusty, or homesick.

Schedule a Time to Check In

As a busy clinic owner on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, Canada, for As a clinic owner, the thought of completely disconnecting from work can be stressful or simply not possible. “I would go away and tell Jocelyn (support staff) I would check my emails very quickly each morning for ten minutes,” says Trusler. “If there was anything that needed attention, I would provide guidance on it, and then I’d be off for the day.” If it offers you peace of mind, check-in, but schedule it with your support staff and then unplug for the rest of the day.

Train Support Personnel

A colleague helped Dr. Amy acknowledge that she didn’t have the support in place to take a vacation, but she could create it. “I always wanted to take two weeks, and when I couldn’t, it felt like a big disappointment,” says Trusler. The solution: Dr. Amy started training her support staff. It’s important to acknowledge the role support staff can play in supporting you and your clinic. From clean and checks to hearing screenings to earmold impressions, there is much that support personnel can do under your guidance to help support your clients while you are away. For more information on this read our recent blog, The Role of Support Personnel in Hearing Healthcare.

Network and Seek Coverage

A colleague helped Dr. Amy acknowledge that she didn’t have the support in Do yourself a favour, don’t be an island. Whether you’re a clinic owner or employee, choose to network and maintain relationships with other HCPs. There may be a hearing healthcare provider in your area who has recently retired or a newly graduated student who hasn’t accepted a job yet. Even one or two days of coverage may be enough to ease your mind and caseload. Maybe you can trade for their future coverage needs!

Set Boundaries

We understand you want to help, but at what cost? It may seem like a good idea to give your clients your personal email and mobile number, until the day you want to unplug. Keep your relationship with your clients professional and only give out your business phone number and email. One tip that Amy Trusler uses is to turn off her “show my caller ID” to keep her number private when phoning clients.

In Closing

Here at Pacific Audiology Group, we practice what we preach. Here are our Co-Founders Amy & Kris along with the author of this blog, Susan, all enjoying some rest and reset time with their significant others. If you’re an HCP in need of support, don’t be an island, contact us. Here at Pacific Audiology Group, we offer expertise to private practice owners through business support.

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