Hearing Aid Tech

A Deep Dive Into The World Of Hearing Instrument Specialists

Local hearing aid professional in an office smiling.

A Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) is a qualified hearing care professional who specializes in hearing health evaluations, administering hearing tests, and providing solutions for your hearing loss, which may include hearing aids or assistive listening devices. 

Other terms for HIS in the U.S. are:

Hearing Aid Specialist
Hearing Aid Dispensers
Hearing Aid Dealers/Fitters

After performing a hearing test, your hearing care professional will determine the range of hearing loss and if hearing aids are the best option to treat your hearing loss or if you should look into different options.  

If you need an option other than hearing aids, our office will refer you to a physician for another opinion.  

If you need hearing aids, your provider will fit you with the proper technology during a hearing aid trial. There will be a follow-up planned. This plan includes best practices for successful hearing benefits, your HIS making appropriate adjustments tailored to your needs, and receiving hearing aid checks regularly to ensure they are cleaned and working properly. 

Your HIS keeps up with learning the latest best practices while adjusting the devices to your daily environments, hearing difficulties, and personal hearing profile to find a plan you will benefit from. Interactions and communication with family, friends, colleagues, healthcare professionals, and anyone else you encounter can be less challenging. You can generally find more HIS in suburban and rural areas than other hearing care providers. They may have a satellite or community-based office, help with people in assisted living facilities, or even visit your home.   

What Qualifications does a Hearing Instrument Specialist have?

Your hearing instrument specialist should be licensed and registered by their state. In order to attain and keep their licensure/registration, they must complete a hands-on apprenticeship program or have an associate degree in hearing aid sciences, and pass a written and practical hands-on examination. This ensures they are competent and practice safety in their professions. Maintaining their license/registration includes completingadditional hours of continuing education. The U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Policy and Management, and state Medicaid Programs recognize them as hearing healthcare services. 

Board certification is another way to showcase their commitment to advancing their practice. This is an award that the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS) gives to someone with at least two years of independent practice, who passed the National Competency Examination, has completed 24 hours of continuing education every three years, and abides by the NBC-HIS Code of Ethics. This designation is maintained by those who are certified through a recertification process every three years. 

Additional Services provided by Hearing Instrument Specialists

They have been educated, trained, and licensed to:

  • Administer hearing tests
  • Screen for conditions that may need a physician’s intervention
  • Identify common forms of hearing loss
  • Make recommendations, order the use of/dispense, adjust, clean, and repair/troubleshoot hearing aids.
  • Choose the hearing aids that best suit the patient
  • Test the fit and comfort of the hearing aids – includes taking impressions of the ears
  • Guide the patients and family members so that they are using the devices at their optimal levels and practicing the best communication methods
  • Remove earwax from hearing aids (some state and province regulations may limit these types of services)
  • Perform tinnitus management (some state and province regulations may restrict these types of services)

If you or a loved one experiences hearing loss, please contact Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation. 

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