In this industry, we have two people who seem to be on the same playing field when it comes to patient care. Hearing aid dispensers licensed in the state of Oklahoma have the following requirements: They receive less than six months of training under another dispenser, not an audiologist, and they must pass a state license test on hearing aids and a practical exam.
Audiologists at Hearing Solution Centers, on the other hand, have doctorates in audiology with a huge amount of training on hearing aid technology. When I first started in this field in 1989, we only had analog technology—hearing aids had a maximum of two controls. Now the hearing aids I wear have more than 105 separate controls. Ask yourself who you’d rather have adjusting your hearing aids: a very kind hearing aid dispenser or a doctor of audiology. There are some wonderful people on both sides of the fence, but in most states, the number of audiologists being registered is triple that of new hearing aid dispensers. That is because most of those dispensers are retiring from the field.