Q & A with Kathy Swan

Adult Audiology team lead Kathy Swan with the largest bass ever pulled from her pond.

What is your current title, and how would you describe your role in the department?

I am the Team Lead for Adult Audiology at CAM, CID, and West County.  I train new employees and work with current employees on changes to work duties and work flow.  I am the “catch all” position.  I act as scheduler, biller, telephone triage, front desk personnel, administrative secretary, and anything else that needs to get done. 

How long have you been working in the department and at WashU?

I have been in the Department of Otolaryngology for more than 32 years.  I started as one of two front desk employees when our clinic was on the 8th floor of McMillan Hospital.  Wow, have things changed!  The whole department had only two computers, and they were just for entering patient demographics.  Within a short time, I was asked to interview for a position in audiology, and I have been with that group ever since.

Kathy and husband Ray on their way to a Western-themed birthday party.

What is the most enjoyable part of your current position?

I like to learn new things, and I like new challenges, both of which happen fairly frequently around here.  I also love the interaction I have with our patients.  Before the CAM expanded physically, I was at a back desk unless I was covering another employee.  Now I get to see our “older” patients again, and it’s nice that they remember me.

Who is Kathy Swan outside of the clinic?

At home, I like to keep busy.  I enjoy being outside as much as possible – fishing, swimming, taking care of my flower bed, or just relaxing on a beautiful day.  When weather doesn’t allow that, my husband and I will take a road trip and try to find roads in the metro area we have never driven on.  Believe it or not, during the winter months, I like to shovel snow.  I know, it’s weird, but it gets me outside. I get some exercise, and my driveway gets cleared.  I may be the only person who has ever admitted to that.