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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 108  |  Page : 11--20

The audiologist’s role in university hearing conservation programs: Gaps and opportunities in U.S. universities

School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), Wisconsin, USA

Correspondence Address:
Tonya M.H Veith
School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), Doctor of Audiology (AuD), CCC-A, UWSP School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 1901 Fourth Avenue, Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54481
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nah.NAH_60_19

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Introduction: All universities that meet state and/or federal requirements for employees’ noise exposure must have a hearing conservation program (HCP). Universities with HCPs and Doctor of Audiology (AuD) programs could reap a range of benefits from interprofessional collaboration between these programs, including enhanced learning opportunities for AuD students; however, it is unclear whether this collaboration occurs consistently in different university settings. Despite a relatively robust literature around occupational audiology and the audiologist’s role in hearing conservation in general, few studies examine this subject in the university setting. Aim: This study seeks to provide insights into the role of the university audiologists in university HCPs that could help inform further exploration and potential pilot studies to enhance university-based occupational HCPs, ultimately supporting more rigorous professional training in occupational audiology in AuD programs. Method: This study’s primary method was a survey questionnaire delivered to audiologists at U.S. universities. Survey questions explored university audiologists’ role, involvement with their universities’ HCPs, and benefits and barriers to collaboration with the HCPs. Results: The results indicate that although audiologists report that they have participated in hearing conservation generally at their universities, the majority of respondents were not actively involved with occupational HCPs. Conclusion: Further research is needed to understand how university HCPs are managed and how effective they are. With greater awareness of audiologists’ contributions to university HCPs, their role in this important workplace program could merit expansion.


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