Frequently asked questions
Q: What’s the difference between an Audiologist and a hearing aid practitioner?
A: An Audiologist is a health care professional who is university trained to the Master's degree or higher, and specializes in hearing-related communication disorders, including the physiology of speech and hearing organs, physics of sound, hearing loss, hearing loss prevention, aural rehabilitation, and treatment of hearing loss through the use of hearing aids.
In Canada, Audiologists will typically complete a four-year university undergraduate degree, followed by a two or three year Master's (graduate) degree. The minimum educational requirement for an Audiologist to practice in Canada is a Master’s level degree. In addition, Audiologists are required to complete a full-time internship and pass a demanding national competency examination. In BC, an Audiologist must obtain the RAUD designation from the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals (CSHHPBC) to practice in this profession.
Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioners (RHIP) who are not Audiologists have training in hearing testing, hearing aid fitting and servicing. Their level of education can vary, but it normally includes a minimum of two years of college-level education (usually a correspondence diploma program) as well as courses in hearing testing and hearing aid dispensing and fitting.
Audiologists have a larger scope of practice. Audiologists can make a diagnosis identifying the anatomical cause of a patient's hearing loss, Hearing Instrument Practitioners cannot. Many third parties that require a diagnosis of an individual's hearing loss require that the testing be performed by an Audiologist, not a Hearing Instrument Practitioner.
Consumers are free to choose who they see for their hearing aid needs.
Q: Is it true that some hearing aid clinics are actually owned by a hearing aid company? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
A: Yes, this is true—there are ‘chain’ hearing aid clinics that are actually owned by a hearing aid manufacturer. There are no provincial or federal regulations that govern whether this is ethical, so it is up to the consumer to determine if their hearing aid provider is looking out for their best interest.
Gordon Hearing Services is independently owned—that is, we are not owned by a hearing aid company so we can offer the latest hearing solutions from ALL of the world’s top hearing aid suppliers, not just one.
Call to have your hearing tested today! 250-941-TEST or 250-941-8378