Can you tell me how much training Costco hearing aid people are given for testing and adjusting hearing aids? And the difference between them and an audiologist?
I have spoken many times with my manager (Audiologist) about this. She does not feel that there is any difference at the clinical level. As a hearing aid practitioner, I am unable to sign the prescriptions for insurance companies & VA, that is the only difference within Costco between an AuD & a HAP. There is no paediatrics, nor is there vestibular/balance testing, no tinnitus evaluations and no APD testing. We do not typically get patients w/ recent medical issues i.e. stroke, brain tumor, etc., as these patients are typically seen by an AuD within the hospital they were treated. If these patients require amplification, we often see them. Both HAPs and AuD are trained to identify red flags for referral during case history and throughout the entire comprehensive hearing testing battery.
I was required to complete a two year university program along with an extended internship (2+yrs) to gain the title of a State Licensed Hearing Aid Practitioner. This is not Costco terminology. There is no “Costco Technician”. It is a either an audiologist or a hearing aid practitioner (also called HIS, hearing aid dispenser, etc.), that has been hired or put through schooling by Costco to obtain state licensure.
That was a really good reply. Audiology is actually a different field and training. When they learn to fit hearing aids, they do it the same way that hearing instrument dispensers do… and then they take the same test. The complimentary fields help the hard of hearing public with a slightly different view of the same problem. Hopefully, assisting them in ways that make it easier for them to accept help and to succeed in wearing hearing help.
Hi there! Thank yo so much for a such good answer! I’m hearing impaired person myself who wants to become hearing aid dispenser. Can’ find much information about that. What classes should I take if I have associates degree? If I would go for that through Costco how to start? Do I have to work there first? Thank you in advance!
I’m also hearing impaired and just about to be licensed here in California as a Hearing Aid Dispenser. You should first investigate your state licensing requirements to understand your path and needed next steps. I used the International Hearing Society coursework (many states actually use the IHS exam for their licensing examination). You can learn more about it here: https://www.ihsinfo.org/IhsV2/dlcourse/. I believe that Costco also uses this coursework in their training for associates.
I have also worked for a year in an Audiology practice for more exposure and on-the-job training.
Thank you so much for your response!!! It explained and helped a lot! I ‘ve found one more hearing impaired person who already works as audiologist assistant. So happy to know that I’m not alone in that matter and it’s possible!!! ‘ Dear sir, could we be in touch, because it’s so important to me to have someone who already went through the challenges to become HAspecialist! Have a great day!
Hi there ! I wonder if you have already passed your exam? How is it going for you? I had just 1 interview at “ Georgia Outlet Hearind AIDS” and I was told that with my speech I wouldn’t pass the exam. I wonder if it really can be a problem? Sorry to ask, but I feel so discouraged. Thank you in advance!
Yes, I have passed both the written portion of my exam (April) and the practical (August) and am now starting to see patients on my own.
One of the things that I did early on was contact my Audiologist (I have had a 20 year relationship with him) and offer to take him to lunch to pick his brain about the career change I was contemplating (to become a Hearing Aid Dispenser). We had a great conversation - he was very encouraging and actually helped me with contacts that led to the job I have now.
I’m wondering if you have some good contacts/relationships that you could also turn to for both advice and possible connections? It is really nice to have some advocates/champions helping you as you work on your career!
I wish you the best of success.
Hi! Accept my warmest congratulations on your success!!! It is very encouraging for me! Unfortunately, I don’t have any support, I’ve tried to find someone like you did, but still no success. I’m so sorry to ask you that question, but I need to know how good are your hearing and speech? I’m an immigrant with severe hearing loss, who can’t adjust to digital hearing aid. But an audiologist from VRC thinks, that i speak pretty good. My case at VRC is closed, because my counselor didn’t know how to help me to find an internship for me and I know that she really tried. I had one interview and hearing aid dispenser said, that she can’t imagine how I will stand at practical exam with my “ strange” speech. So I want to know how examiners take a little bit different speech . Let me know, please what you think! So sorry about that and thank you for your answers to me!