Audiology

The Differences Between Hearing Aid Practitioners & Audiologists

Hearing Aid Practitioners

Hearing Aid Practitioners in Alberta are trained at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. The course requires two years of specific academic work and a 184 hour practicum. They are a regulated health profession by the College of Hearing Aid Practitioners of Alberta under the Government of Alberta’s Health Care Professions Act.

Once Hearing Aid Practitioners have finished their program at Grant MacEwan, they are required to write the College of Hearing Aid Practitioner’s Professional Exam. They are also required to write a National Board of Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences exam within two years of graduating. The College of Hearing Aid Practitioners of Alberta also requires a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education per year.

What do Hearing Aid Practitioners do?

  • Give complete audiometric hearing evaluations to adults and seniors
  • Refer patients to physicians when their hearing problems need medical or surgical evaluations
  • Educate consumers and professionals on the prevention of hearing loss
  • Select, fit and dispense personal hearing devices (hearing aids) and make recommendations on assistive listening devices, public and personal FM systems, and alerting systems
  • Implement hearing conservation programs and products to prevent work-related and recreational hearing loss
  • Hearing Aid Practitioners have an overlapping scope of practice with Audiologists as they do a portion of what audiologists do. In addition, in Alberta, both groups can prescribe and fit hearing aids.

When should I see a Hearing Aid Practitioner?

 

Hearing loss can happen at any age. If you think you or a family member has a hearing problem, you should consult a hearing aid practitioner.

Audiologists

Audiologists have completed 6-8 years of university level course work and practicum, leading to a Master’s degree or Doctor of Audiology degree. Audiologists are regulated through the Health Professions Act and must be registered with the Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA) to practise in Alberta.

What do Audiologists do?

  • Assess and diagnose hearing and balance disorders in infants, children and adults
  • Refer patients to physicians when their hearing problem needs medical or surgical evaluation
  • Educate consumers and professionals on the prevention of hearing loss
  • Select, fit and dispense personal hearing devices (hearing aids) and make recommendations on assistive listening devices, public and personal FM systems, alerting systems, and captioning services
  • Implement hearing conservation programs to prevent work-related and recreational hearing loss
  • Consult to schools, industry, health care professionals, local and government agencies
  • Conduct research on hearing, new testing methods, and new technology
  • Work with adults and children who need aural rehabilitation such as auditory training and speech reading

Where do they work?

Audiologists work in private practice, community health centres, hospitals, schools, rehabilitation clinics, speech and hearing centres, universities, industry and government agencies.

When should I see an Audiologist?

 

  • If you suspect your child may have hearing difficulties, or your child has speech and language delays
  • If you are experiencing dizziness, aural fullness and/or fluctuating hearing loss
  • If you have a history of ear infections
  • If you have had ear surgery

 


About

As a full service hearing health care provider, Living Sounds Hearing Centre Ltd. offers a variety of hearing aid products, assistive listening devices and hearing services from clinic locations in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Barrhead, Drayton Valley, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, St. Paul, Stony Plain, Vegreville, Westlock, and Westaskiwin.
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