Hearing Instrument Practitioner

Code Course Description
HEAR 1100

Hearing Aids and Bioacoustics

This course provides an introduction to the bioacoustics of human hearing with relation to hearing aids in a non-electrical manner. The course covers the basic physical acoustics of simple sounds from simple pure tones through to complex sounds such as speech and ambient sounds.

HEAR 1101

Anatomy and Physiology of the Ear

This course is designed to provide a foundation of basic anatomy and physiology of the human ear. The three main sections of the ear will be explored with focus on significant structures of the outer, middle, and inner ear. Students will be introduced to terminology, function and identification of the different structures and their pertinence to the function of human hearing. Hearing aid fitting, selection, and effect on acoustics will be discussed in relation to the different significant anatomic structures.

HEAR 1111

Introduction to Hearing Aids

This course provides an introduction to hearing aids including styles, structure, internal electronics, troubleshooting, general repairs, and basic function. A variety of common fitting formulas and signal processing strategies will also be compared. Students will be introduced to common ear mold designs and how to select the appropriate style based on acoustic requirements.

HEAR 1112

Introduction to Hearing Testing and Clinical Practices

This course introduces students to the basic elements of hearing testing and clinical practices. An overview of the typical equipment used in a hearing clinic as well as the various functions will be explored. Standard infection control measures will be introduced to the student to ensure a sanitary work environment. This course will prepare students to begin performing the standard audiometric tests as defined by the provincial regulatory body. Pretest preparation and simulated testing will be the focus of this course.

HEAR 1200

Hearing Disorders

This course examines different types of hearing loss as well as their potential causes. Audiometric test results will be explored in relation to various classes of hearing disorders. Identification of red flags and appropriate referral to a physician for medical clearance to proceed with clients will also be reviewed.

HEAR 1211

Hearing Aid Analysis and Fitting

This course will introduce students to hearing aid fitting and industry verification standards. Students will learn basic fitting techniques and verification steps to confirm fitting accuracy including hearing instrument testing box (HIT), real ear measurement (REM) and visible speech testing. Students will understand the importance of verifying hearing aid fittings as related to client satisfaction and provincial regulatory body guidelines.

HEAR 1212

Introduction to Audiometry

This course will introduce the student to standard audiometric tests on a live model. Students will learn to perform introductory otoscopy, tympanometry, pure tone testing, speech testing, and results interpretation.

HEAR 1310

Clinical Practicum Introduction

This course provides workplace learning opportunities for students in the Hearing Instrument Practitioner Program. Students will apply knowledge and skills from related theory and laboratory courses to the hearing clinic. Students will be placed into an approved hearing clinic, and will observe and participate in the entry level tasks involved in daily operations under direct supervision of a licensed hearing healthcare professional.

HEAR 2100

Hearing Aids and Bioacoustics II

This course builds upon the topics covered in Hearing Aids & Bioacoustics I (HEAR 1100). Concepts previously introduced such as compression, channels, programs, directional microphones, and digital noise reduction will be greatly expanded upon in this course.

HEAR 2101

Hearing Instrument Practitioner Regulation

In this course the student will acquire knowledge regarding the Hearing Instrument Practitioner (HIP) scope of practice as it relates to Audiologists and Physicians. The ethics and bylaws of the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia (CSHHPBC) that regulates the HIP will be studied. Legal concepts of controlled acts and protected titles will be defined as they are by CSHHPBC. Students will learn the distinction between colleges and associations.

HEAR 2111

Fitting Methods & Real Ear Measurement

This course focuses on prescription fitting methods and real ear measurement (REM). An integral part of hearing health care is to determine how much amplification to provide for clients with specific amounts and types of hearing loss; this is the goal of fitting methods. A following concern is to verify that the goals of the fitting methods have indeed been achieved. The development of fitting methods and REM have been intertwined over the years.

HEAR 2112

Audiometry II

This course reviews concepts learned in the introductory course on audiometry, and expands on them considerably. Specifically, it covers not only the topic of when to use masking, but also how to perform masking. We will examine various types of advanced speech testing materials, such as speech-in-noise (SIN) testing procedures. We will also look further into the topic of tympanometry, including the acoustic reflex.

HEAR 2200

Hearing Impaired Patient Interaction

This course introduces the student to the psycho-social aspects and influences of hearing loss upon the individual client. Communication plays an important role in family and social life. The specific impact of hearing loss upon significant others will also be examined. Students will learn to refer those individuals to sources of information which can assist them in coping with hearing loss. Various commonly used scales or questionnaires to validate hearing aid satisfaction will be examined. The often misunderstood effects and causes of tinnitus, which were introduced earlier in the program, will be further explored in this course. Techniques for recording client case history and for writing letters to communicate results of assessment and recommendations to family physicians, ENTs, or others, will also be covered.

HEAR 2201

Peripherals and ALDs

This course introduces the student to the hearing aid fitting software that is commonly used in clinics today. Representatives from the various hearing aid manufacturers will be invited to present to our students to familiarize the students with the unique aspects of their fitting software. Students will also learn about peripheral devices, used along with hearing aids to stream inputs from telephones, televisions, iPADs, iPODs, etc., in order to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR); namely, increase the loudness of speech compared to background noise. This course will also introduce students to assistive listening devices (ALDs) that are used by the hard-of-hearing and deaf populations. These include alerting devices, telephone devices, and also devices that increase signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).

HEAR 2210

Clinical Practicum II

This course provides learning opportunities in hearing instrument dispensing at an advanced level. Students will apply knowledge and skills from related theory and laboratory courses in the 2nd year Fall semester to gain additional clinical experience and interaction with clients. Students will continue their clinical practice in the on-campus hearing laboratory, where they will take patient medical histories, complete intake forms, perform pretest otoscopy, and hearing tests as well as make recommendations based on the final test results.

HEAR 2212

Audiometry III

This course continues to develop concepts learned in earlier lab courses. It builds upon prior knowledge and experience with masking, speech-in-noise testing, acoustic reflex (AR) testing, as well as the testing of oto-acoustic emissions (OAEs). This course also introduces the student to specialized testing done mainly by audiologists to assess retro-cochlear pathology, such as AR decay, the auditory brain stem response (ABR), and testing for central auditory processing disorders (CAPD). While these specialized test assessments are not typically part of the HIP scope of practice, this course enables the student to gain some knowledge about the test procedures.

HEAR 2310

Clinical Practicum III

This course provides learning opportunities for students to consolidate knowledge and skills gained in all of the previous courses. Students will utilize their skills in audiometric testing, hearing instrument dispensing, analysis, and repair under direct supervision of a program approved licensed hearing healthcare professional. Students will be expected to carry the workload of an entry-level Hearing Instrument Practitioner by the conclusion of the course.