Distinctions Concerning The Work Descriptions Of Hearing Instrument Specialists And Audiologists

Those with any form of hearing problem will often require help from either an audiologist or a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) or both. However, there is a notable difference between the two professions, which appear to be similar. It seems as if only those that have hearing problems seem to truly understand what this difference is. Hopefully, the following information will help you to understand what the difference actually is.

An audiologist works within primary health care. Both adults and children can use the services of an audiologist. Their main focus is around the evaluation and diagnosis of hearing problems, which includes balance (vestibular) disorders and loss of hearing. Additionally, the prescribe, fit and dispense patients with hearing aids. Other hearing and sound amplification products also form part of their remit. They also work with a range of other specialists whenever a patient requires cochlear implants. In case of surgery designed to improve hearing, they are part of monitoring their patients. They also have responsibility for designing and implementing procedures surrounding hearing conservation. Newborn babies often see an audiologist immediately after birth to take part in screening programs. They are also therapists as such, teaching listening skills and other types of auditory training. Lastly, they treat and assess those people that have central auditory processing disorders.

Then, there are the hearing instrument specialists. Their role is to test a person’s hearing and their goal is to be able to sell a hearing aid. Although the HIS does receive a lot of training, it is far less specialized than that of an audiologist. They generally only work with adults and have only been trained in testing hearing. Through their training, they can recognize the presence of different conditions, for which they can refer to specialists. Lastly, when they have recommended a hearing aid, they will also fit this on their client. Although they are medically trained to some degree, this is mainly experienced-based rather than formal courses. Their role is not to be a part of a holistic health care team. Clearly, a huge difference between the two is that a HIS focuses on generating profits for their business. An audiologist, on the other hand, works within health care, which means their role is to work on the population’s health, which, in principle at least, does not involve creating profits or any other form of monetary gain. A single patient may, however, work with both an audiologist and a HIS. They will see the audiologist in a hospital or health care center to discuss their issues, and then visit a HIS for their hearing aid. A HIS is also able to deliver a greater variety of designs for hearing aids.