Qualities of Good Audiologists

ID: 4089
School: School of Human Services and Sciences
Program: Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences
Status: Completed
Start date: September 2020
End Date: August 2021


The purpose of this survey is to describe what audiologists view as characteristics that are reflective of a good audiologist, once they have attained the minimal competency necessary for license to practice. This is an exploratory survey in an attempt to identify themes and need for further studies. While the professional accreditation agencies (Council on Academic Accreditation for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology [CAA], 2017; Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education [ACAE], 2016) detail the professional competencies that graduates from accredited programs must achieve, and therefore leading to a minimum qualification to enter the practice of audiology, very little is discussed or published about audiologists’ perception of what marks one a good audiologist. This exploration of the audiologists’ perception of desirable and undesirable qualities as audiologists are important in least three ways. First, the knowledge of desirable qualities as professionals can help improve the overall caliber of audiologists, by assisting each audiologist in identifying and selecting specific professional improvement goals. Moreover, it may identify gaps in continuing education and training opportunities that target professional qualities that are expressed to be important in the field. Second, the expressed audiologists’ values can be examined to determine the areas of discrepancy and potential conflict with the perceptions and values of those served by audiologists (patients, students, families, communities). For example, noncongruence between audiologist and patient preferences for patient-centeredness has been found and reported (Manchaiah et al., 2017). This survey may identify other areas which may be further studied. . Third, values of audiologists directly or indirectly influence who among the professionals advance in the professional communities; including at a workplace as well as in the state and national organizations. Literature suggests that implicit biases in the healthcare field impact both the student experiences and career advancement for women (e.g., Girod et al., 2016, Rogus-Pulia et al., 2018) and people of color (e.g., Fallin-Bennett, 2015, Jackson et al., 2019, Kaplan et al., 2018, Yates et al., 2017). The concept of ableism in the healthcare field is also starting to get a foothold (Neilson, 2020); healthcare providers with physical or other disabilities are grossly underrepresented (e.g., Schwarz & Zetkulic, 2019), with the various technical standards limiting participation of those with disabilities into the healthcare professions While this particular survey does not target impact of biases, the exploration of the professional qualities that audiologists consider to be desirable or undesirable may yield potential need to study implicit biases.

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Tamaki C, Mack B, & Sparks, S. (2021). Beyond Minimum Qualifications: What Qualities Make Audiologists Admirable? Poster. AAA 2021 Virtual.

Tamaki C, Sparks S, & Mack B. (2021). Characteristics of Good Audiologists - Are We Biased? Poster. CAPCSD 2021 Virtual Annual Conference.