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gandalf at infi.net gandalf at infi.net
Mon Dec 1 09:25:34 EST 1997

>Presently I am a first year graduate in audiology and I have an
>observation about our profession and a question:

>I have been taught that the history of our field has been based on
>rehabilitating individuals who are disabled by their hearing loss. 
>Because of the vast advances in technology, we are better able to do
>this with hearing aids, FM systems etc.  However, I have been taught
>that many audiologists feel that the focus has shifted in the past
>twenty or so years.  

Who are these "many audiologists"? Your professors? I have not seen anything 
in the literature for the past 20 years that would support such and 

That is, there is too much focus on the best>technologies (ie. 
fitting the best hearing aid) and not enough focus on>helping the individual 
with adaqute therapy , rehab etc.  I'm not sure>what I think cause I have not 
seen alot of the real stuff yet.  But I>can say that the audiologist I have 
watched evaluated a middle aged man,>told him he had a mild to moderate 
hearing loss, might consider a>hearing aid in the future and told him to come 
back in a year.  That was>it.  He spoke of wanting to avoid parties because of 
the difficulty they>presented. That was not addressed. 

How should it have been addressed? While this fellow was being listened to and 
was receiving therapy, what about the poor black woman whose child is nearly 
deaf. Are her needs being met? Should we take time from truly needy people to 
talk with someone who will never have much chance of hearing as he did 40 
years ago? When you are out of the clutches of the do-gooder professors, who 
have too much time on their hands, you will see that audiology, like every 
other profession, is a series of choices regarding time versus effectiveness. 
I suppose its ok to feel for the "needs" of such folks, but real life ain't 
like that.

I'm not writing this as 
a strike>against this particular audiologist, she truly cares about her
>patients.  I would like to know if you agree or disagree with the idea
>that rehabilitation, in the traditional sense of the word, is being left
>to other professionals and should it be?  

If you wish to be a rehabilitative audiologist, that is fine. I expect that 
the first time you ask a patient to pay you for the time you spend, you will 
get a rude awakening.

I asked a speech pathology
>student what kind of training they received for rehabilitating hearing
>impaired.  She said little to none.  My audiology program offers one 3
>month class.  Also, we need 25 hours in rehabilitation to graduate,
>however, we were told to include hearing aid fitting time in that
>section.  Otherwise, it would probably be left blank.
>Food for thought?
>sarah mason


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