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Hearing Instrument Specialist Ontario College Diploma

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  • Objectives
    This program curriculum includes courses in: acoustics and perception of sound, anatomy and physiology of the ear, measurement of hearing sensitivity, digital and analog hearing aid electronics, acoustic signal processing, hearing aid programming and fitting, manufacturer fitting software, counseling and professional ethics.
  • Practical experience
    A clinical field placement will enable students to apply knowledge and skills to the reality of the work environment.
  • Academic Title
    Hearing Instrument Specialist Ontario College Diploma
  • Course description
    Level One
    COMM1860     Applied Writing Skills

    Description: Students will be introduced to a variety of vocationally-specific formats and further development of their paragraph writing skills leading to the creation of more comprehensive documents.
    Hours: 15
    Credits: 1

    HEAR1100     Professional Ethics for the HIS

    Description: In this course, the student will acquire knowledge regarding the Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) scope of practice, especially as it relates to those of the Audiologist, and Physician. Legal concepts of controlled acts and protected titles will be defined as they are in the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) of Ontario. The Assistive Device Program (ADP), Workers Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), which currently cover part of the cost of hearing aids in Ontario will be described, and the procedures of authorizing their applications will be outlined. They will learn the ethics and bylaws of the professional body that represents the HIS; namely, the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners (AHIP). They will also integrate concepts of knowing when to refer to related health care professionals, and synthesize audiometric findings and hearing aid recommendations in written reports. Lastly, advertising and marketing will be addressed in terms of types utilized in the HIS profession, as well as ethics to bear in mind. It is assumed that those wishing to acquire the specific concepts of running their own business will enrol in a small business course.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3

    HEAR1165     Acoustics and Psychoacoustics

    Description: This course provides an overview of basic physical acoustics of simple sounds, such as pure-tone sinusoids and complex sounds, such as noise, and speech. Psychoacoustics will also be covered in this course; this is the perception of sound, or the interaction of physical acoustics with the human sense of hearing that receives sounds. The course also includes basic non-electronic acoustic aspects of hearing aids and earmolds.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4

    HEAR1175     Anatomy/Physiology of the Ear

    Description: This course provides detailed coverage of the anatomy and physiology of the normal outer, middle and inner ears, including the balance (vestibular) system. Basic concepts relating to the peripheral and central nervous systems are also included, so that the roles of the auditory or VIII cranial nerve and central auditory nervous systems can be appreciated. The various pathologies of the abnormal ear and vestibular system, as they relate to those of the normal ear, will also be covered in this course.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4

    PSYC1110     Life Span Development

    Description: This course makes use of independent learning with tutorials as the delivery methodology. It is the study of the human growth process, including physical, social, intellectual, emotional and behavioural development and covers the period from conception to death. The material is covered in terms of the total social context (family and community). Along with the normal growth process, the way in which unusual or abnormal developmental or behavioural patterns are developed is studied. Tutorials will be held to allow students time to discuss and question content. These tutorials also allow the opportunity to explore how the course content can be useful to the workers in the human service field.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3

    Level Two
    HEAL1020     Wellness: The Better You

    Description: This course will introduce the students to the concept of wellness and provide practical strategies for developing a healthy lifestyle in all aspects of their lives. The students will, through lectures, group associations, practical experience and self-evaluation explore such issues as stress-management, self-responsibility, physical fitness, nutrition, social interaction, the relationship between feelings and thinking and the rationale for holistic health alternatives.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3

    HEAR1110     Hearing Aid Components, ANSI Testing and Assistive Listening Devices

    Description: Components and styles are introduced in this course, as well as the electro-acoustic measurements of hearing aid function (ANSI testing). The course begins with coverage of basic electronic features of hearing aid microphones, amplifier classes, receiver components, and introduces methods whereby to troubleshoot and repair hearing aids. Students will learn to take earmold impressions of the outer ear, which are normally done in the clinic for subsequent hearing aid fittings. Students will also learn the specifics of ANSI tests that are routinely performed, in order to determine if a hearing aid is functioning normally or not. A hands-on lab forms part of this course.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: HEAR1160 or HEAR1165, HEAR1170 or HEAR1175

    HEAR1130     Introduction to Audiometry
    Description: As the course name suggests, this course introduces the student to the basic elements of the routine audiometric test battery: pure-tone testing, speech audiometry, and middle ear impedance testing. Students will learn to perform the basic audiometric test battery, interpret the resultant audiogram, and relate audiometric findings to the various pathologies of the ear. as were covered in Anatomy/Physiology of the Ear. Client counselling is an integral part of HIS practice; this incudes explaining the implications of hearing loss on the client and significant others, mentoring the client on dealing with personal issues of self-image and reservations towards wearing hearing aids. A hands-on lab forms part of this course.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: HEAR1160 or HEAR1165, HEAR1170 or HEAR1175

    HEAR1140     Counselling Techniques for the HIS

    Description: This course is designed to introduce the student to the psycho-social aspects and influences of hearing loss upon the individual client. Students will explore the psychological elements that accompany hearing loss, and the typical psychological barriers encountered by their clients. Communication plays a significant role in family and social life; to this end, the specific impact of hearing loss will be examined. Students will learn to refer families and significant others of the hard-of-hearing client to sources of information to assist them to cope with the loss of hearing. Particular attention will be applied to taking a case history of the client and also, to writing letters that communicate results of assessment and recommendations to family physicians, ENTs, or others. In summary, the intent of this course is to equip the student with specific strategies for counseling clients in their private practices.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3

    HEAR1155     HIS Field Orientation
    Description: This course will provide the student with the opportunity to become familiar with the Hearing Aid Manufacturers, their processes of hearing aid production, and the role of their Sales Managers & Customer Services, as they relate to the HIS in practice. The course will also expose the professional roles and responsibilities of the Hearing Instrument Specialist in a variety of workplace settings. Through this experience the student will be required to record their observations and findings according to criteria established in the course outcomes.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 3

    Level Three
    HEAR2100     Hearing Aid Compression and Digital Features

    Description: Types of signal processing used in digital hearing aids are covered in detail in this course. These types range from linear amplification to the myriad types of compression, such as: output limiting, wide dynamic range compression, and expansion. Electro-acoustic testing measures (ANSI testing) will be covered again in this course, but particularly as it relates to objective measures of these signal processing types. Successful completion of this course relies heavily on absorbing concepts, as well as listening to examples of commonly prescribed hearing aids. Course delivery consists of classroom lectures and laboratory demonstrations. A hands-on lab forms part of this course.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3
    Pre-Requisites: HEAR1110

    HEAR2110     Advanced Audiometry

    Description: This course covers concepts beyond those learned in the introductory course on audiometry. Specifically, it covers the importance of taking a thorough client case history, topics of masking, various types of advanced speech testing materials, and client counselling as it relates to the impact of hearing loss. The course also introduces concepts of specialized audiometric tests performed by Audiologists, and important for the HIS to recognize, such as: Acoustic Reflex Decay, Oto-acoustic Emissions, Auditory Brainstem Response. Client counselling continues to be an integral part of this course. A hand-on lab forms part of this course.
    Hours: 60
    Credits: 4
    Pre-Requisites: HEAR1130

    HEAR2170     Hearing Aid Fitting Methods

    Description: 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. The hearing aid selection process is specifically addressed in this course. We discusses the historical development of hearing aid fitting methods leading up to the most commonly used fitting methods used today. As can be expected, a corollary to hearing aid fitting methods is the objective means whereby to verify that the hearing aid fitting is optimal for the client. To that end, a co-requisite for this course is Probe Tube Measures and Manufacturer Software.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3
    Pre-Requisites: HEAR1110, HEAR1130

    HEAR2180     Probe Tube Measures and Manufacturer Software

    Description: The student is exposed in this course to the specific hearing aid fitting software programs which are created by the various hearing aid manufacturers for the purpose of adjusting their digital hearing aids. Since the software programs are many and varied, representatives from various hearing aid manufacturers will be invited to teach and demonstrate their own software. One purpose of this course is to prepare students to utilize the fitting software they will encounter in their clinical placement. A second purpose of this course is to show how the hearing aid fitting goals, as outlined by the fitting methods, have indeed been achieved for the client. Probe tube measures are an objective method whereby to verify hearing aid fittings as predicted by manufacturer software, and to determine how much amplification is being provided. To that end, a co-requisite for this course is Hearing Aid Fitting Methods. A hands-on lab forms an integral part of this course.
    Hours: 45
    Credits: 3
    Pre-Requisites: HEAR1110, HEAR1130

          Electives: General Education

    Description: Student must complete a minimum of 36 Hours

    Level Four
    HEAR2160     Clinical Pre-Graduate Consolidation for HIS

    Description: The purpose of this second placement is to introduce the student to a different hearing instrument specialist private practice workplace site from that of the first clinical placement. At this second placement, the student will put into practice, additional concepts that were learned in the second year of the program; namely, counselling, audiometry requiring masking, selection of hearing aids, and the use of manufacturer hearing aid fitting software.
    Hours: 495
    Credits: 17
    Pre-Requisites: HEAR2100, HEAR2110, HEAR2170, HEAR2180
          

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