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AFA's AuD (Response to Doug Wood)

Jeffrey Sirianni audioman at HCTC.NET
Tue Nov 26 21:47:17 EST 1996


woodd at dgabby.mfldclin.edu (Douglas Wood) writes:

>I recently attended a discussion moderated by AFA's founder, Dr. Goldstein. 
>He was attempting to explain his position and views with respect to the 
>current situation for audiologists & the future. It seems a few of the
>recent postings have been accurate in that the scenario you describe
(highly >trained audiologist vs hearing aid hanger) would not allow for both
of them >to simply "attain" the AuD for the $750.00. Rather, there is a
portfolio >review of education, training, experience, continuing education,
etc. that >is rather involved & not one for which Joe Blow, MS/CCC is ever
going to >pass muster. Yes, there are audiologists practicing in a variety
of ways in >a multitude of settings, not all of which any of us could ever
hope to be >versed. Yet, the AFA set about describing what they feel should
be included >in an AuD's scope of practice, & it is somewhat lengthy. To
think that >anyone, even well trianed, experienced audiologists, will simply
complete >the forms & get an AuD for the asking is absurd. At least
according to >Goldstein, the review process will not be an easy thing for
anyone. >Deficiencies noted after initial review will need be corrected in
order to >be awarded the AuD. The way I understand it, many deficiencies
will require >attending university based courses or attaining substantially
greater >experience, etc.

Thank you for shedding "factual" light on this topic.  I will admit that I
got swept up into the discussion due to protagonistic reasons.  A through
review process is a very realistic way of awarding such a degree, along as
the standards set are comprehensive.  And, of course, the review agency must
be able to charge for their services.

>Also...We do tend to be a rather judgemental group. When you look at another 
>audiologist and see someone who does not do what you do, nor attend the 
>continuing ed. YOU think is required, nor contribute in ways that YOU 
>recognize--please let's not trip over ourselves in a rush to judgement.
>Each of us has unique circumstances, training, family life, work setting, 
>professional needs & desires, etc that will necessarily drive the types of 
>professional activities we do. I have learned after several years and 
>positions that all is not always as it seems. In other words, let's give the 
>benefit of the doubt to our collegues out there rather than find ways to 
>criticize or belittle them.

It has never been my intent to belittle anyone for what they do.  All I am
pointing out is that there are audiologists in our community who fall short
in keeping up-to-date with developments in the field of audiology.  Reasons
withheld, I believe (IMHO) that it is a disservice to one's patient
population to be unknowledgable in new technologies and developments.  I
would say that 95% of patients I see know little or nothing about hearing
aids and what they can do for betterment of life.  Patients put their faith
in their audiologist to recommend and select devices best suited for their
hearing loss.  If an audiologist fails to keep up with new developments, he
or she cannot give good recommendations according to what we have available
today.

Let me use an example...  Suppose you and your family sit down this year
over a Thanksgivibg feast.  Your uncle Joe from far away comes in with his
new hearing aids.  He is a new user and financial considerations were in no
way an influence on his purchase.  You ask him how he likes his new aids.
He says, "Well they're OK, but they get too loud at times, and sometimes I
turn them down to a point where I can no longer hear".  You think "Gee, I
hope they're some sort of compression aid".  You ask your uncle "What kind
of circuit is in your hearing aids, and what kind of options did your
audiologist give you"?  Your uncle replies "Well, I don't know what kind of
circuit is in them, in fact, the audiologist showed me two pictures, one big
model (ITE) and one little one (ITC), and I chose the big one, since I could
manipulate it better".  You note the manufacturer and serial numbers and
call the manufacturer next week.  They tell you "It's our low-end linear
circuit in his aids."  You get pretty upset since a compression model would
be more suitable for your uncle.  You get the name of the audiologist who
dispensed the aids and ask him/her "Why did you chose a linear circuit for
my uncle's hearing aids"?  The audiologist replies "Well, I've been
dispensing linear circuits for many years and I don't really understand all
that technology involved in compression aids."

You think this story is not true.  I threw away the two pictures from my
office when I started on as the new audiologist, just 2 years ago.  Try
explaining to an unhappy hearing aid wearer, with aids just 2 years old,
that the cicuit in the hearing aids is not suitable for them.



***************************************************
* Jeff Sirianni, M.A., CCC-A                      *
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