Directory  |  Calendar  |  Forms  |  Contact Us  |  Login

Member Resources

Contacts

Forms

Related Links



A Professional Practice Profile for Hearing Health Professionals

Hearing instrument dispensing includes several professions that overlap. There are traditional hearing aid dispensers, Board Certified hearing health professionals, hearing aid practitioners, hearing instrument specialists, audioprosthologists, audiologists, doctors of audiology, otolaryngologists and other doctors of medicine. This document summarizes the scope of dispenser services as defined by the 1999 NBC-HIS Role Delineation Study of Hearing Aid Dispensers (D’Costa, 1999). It does not replace or supersede current state and federal regulations governing the practice of hearing instrument dispensing, but is specific to the training and legitimate professional activities of those practitioners licensed in hearing instrument dispensing.

Simply put, the purposes of this document are twofold: to provide a model hearing instrument dispenser practice plan for state/provincial licensing boards and to provide consumers, government agencies and other interested parties official information about the specific services and understandings a patient has the right to expect from a competent hearing health professional.

The following guiding principles and assumptions were used in the development of this profile:

The NBC-HIS 1999 Role Delineation Study analyzed the responses of survey responders to 100 tasks in terms of the frequency with which each task was performed, and in terms of the level of supervision occurring with each task performance. Sixteen broad procedures were identified using statistical clustering of the tasks and are listed below.

  1. Elicit patient/client case histories, including medical, otological, pharmacological, previous amplification history and patient attitudes and expectations.
  2. Administer otoscopy for the purpose of identifying possible otological conditions, including but not limited to the FDA red flag conditions that may indicate the need for medical referral or which may have a bearing on needed rehabilitative measures, outcomes and/or recommendations.
  3. Administer cerumen management in the course of examining ears, taking ear impressions and/or fitting of hearing instruments.
  4. Administer and interpret tests of human hearing, including appropriate objective and subjective methodology and measures.
  5. Determine candidacy for hearing instruments, assistive devices or referral for cochlear implant evaluation or other clinical/rehabilitative/medical intervention.
  6. Prescribe, select and fit appropriate hearing instruments and assistive devices including appropriate technology, electroacoustic targets, programming parameters and special applications as indicated.
  7. Assess hearing instrument efficacy utilizing appropriate fitting verification methodology, including all available fitting validation methods.
  8. Take and prepare ear impressions for prosthetic adaptation of hearing instruments, assistive devices, telecommunications applications, ear protection and other related applications.
  9. Design and modify earmolds and auditory equipment requisite to meet individual patient needs.
  10. Provide rehabilitative advice and counseling in the use and care of hearing instruments and assistive devices and in effectively utilizing communication coping strategies and other approaches to foster optimal patient rehabilitation.
  11. Counsel family member(s) and other interested parties relative to psychosocial and rehabilitative considerations for optimal patient outcomes.
  12. Provide long-term patient care, including periodic audiometric updates and recommendations for modifying rehabilitation programs to help meet patients’ changing needs over time.
  13. Refer and cooperate with other allied professionals in meeting the needs of the hearing impaired.
  14. Provide supervision and in-service training of those entering the dispensing profession.
  15. Maintain and update knowledge and skills in current and future diagnostic and technological advancements within the hearing industry.
  16. Consult with industry in the development of products and services relating to aiding hearing impairment.

The sixteen procedures listed above were then grouped into six major areas as follows:

  1. Assess patient presenting problem and needs
  2. Test and analyze patient hearing
  3. Prescribe and analyze hearing aid
  4. Fit, adjust, program and service hearing aid
  5. Counsel and help rehabilitate patient
  6. Manage office and practice

The following section addresses the expected outcomes, indication for procedure and procedure methods for each of the six categories.

ASSESS PRESENTING PROBLEM AND NEEDS

Expected Outcomes:

Indication for Procedure:

Procedure Methods:

TEST AND ANALYZE HEARING

Expected Outcomes:

Indications for Procedure:

Procedure Methods:

PRESCRIBE AND ANALYZE HEARING AID

Expected Outcomes:

Indication for Procedure:

Procedure Method:

FIT, ADJUST AND SERVICE HEARING AID

Expected Outcomes:

Indications for Procedure:

Procedure Methods:

COUNSELING AND AURAL REHABILITATION

Expected Outcomes:

Indications for Procedure:

Procedure Methods:

OFFICE AND PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Expected Outcomes:

Indications for Procedure:

Procedure Methods: