What is a hearing instrument specialist or HIS? A HIS is a skillfully trained specialist whose expertise lays in hearing loss, hearing testing and the dispensing of hearing aids.

What does it take to become a hearing instrument specialist?

There are many aspects that go into making a well-rounded hearing instrument specialist. An individual interesting in becoming a trained HIS typically earns an associates degree through an accredited and recognized program through a junior college.

Once school is completed, a HIS student must complete an on-site practical program in order to graduate. The training is intense and covers not only the ear and hearing loss, but other areas related to the hearing health industry, such as counseling and rehabilitation of patients, fitting and selling of hearing aids, programing and repairing hearing aids and testing and earmold impression taking. In the practicum, a student will put everything they were taught in school to practice under the care and supervision of an already full accredited HIS. The practicum typically takes six months to complete, but may take longer depending on the program and work arrangements made with the clinic.

What do hearing instrument specialists do?

With certification completed, a HIS is able to practice, see patients, test their hearing, make recommendations and diagnose hearing loss, dispense hearing aids as well as counsel and rehabilitate patients and their families and friends. A patient’s relationship with a hearing instrument specialist is typically long term. Many patients consider relationships with their HIS to be as important as their relationship with their primary healthcare provider.

Hearing instruments specialists help to monitor and maintain a person’s current hearing and test a person’s hearing yearly and note any changes that occur over time. They are able to dispense or sell hearing aids as well as help to maintain and repair hearing aids over time as well. An HIS is able to counsel and rehabilitate their patients as they are reintroduced to the hearing world. After all, over time a person can become isolated, depressed and frustrated due to hearing loss and begin to withdraw from the public. However, through the help of an HIS many patients are able to begin to become a part of society again and enjoy the life they once knew and loved.