Module - Introduction to Audiology (SPS201)


Aim of this module

This work based module will provide the trainee with an opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding of Audiology.

This module will provide the trainee with the knowledge, understanding and awareness of the diversity of patients attending audiology services. Trainees will undertake a range of investigations and assist with the assessment and management of a wide range of patients of all ages experiencing hearing, tinnitus or balance difficulties.

Work-based learning outcomes

  1. Perform the daily checks of equipment used in adult rehabilitation, e.g. audiometers, tympanometers, in a safe manner in accordance with standard procedures.
  2. Obtain accurate and reproducible non-masked pure tone audiograms from adult patients.
  3. Perform a subjective listening test and comment on the performance of a hearing aid.
  4. Apply the fundamental principles of aural rehabilitation.
  5. Assist in the assessment and management of routine audiological caseload, in particular adult rehabilitation.

Work-based Competencies

Learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1

Undertake the stage A daily checks of equipment used in adult rehabilitation, including audiometers, tympanometers, etc.

  • The range, purpose, basic principles and importance of equipment calibration.
  • Health and safety requirements, including cross-infection techniques.
2 1,2,3,4,5

Control infection risks in accordance with departmental protocols.

  • Protocols and requirements for hygiene and infection control related to the relevant range of investigations, including preparation, conduct and completion of investigation.
  • Protocol for hand washing and how effective hand washing contributes to control of infection.
3 1,2,3,4,5

Minimise risks and hazards in compliance with health and safety policies.

  • The relevant health and safety regulations specific to audiological and vestibular assessment.
  • The potential hazards and risks and the actions to be taken to minimise these.
4 2,3,4

Obtain a basic history of hearing difficulties in a routine adult patient, their use of hearing aids where appropriate, using communication strategies appropriate to the patient and the situation. (NB patients seen in this section will often be new patients and are therefore unlikely to already have a hearing aid.)

  • The range of communication strategies with people with a range of hearing and communication difficulties, including the use of verbal and non-verbal communication skills such as voice intonation, eye contact, use of gesture, questioning and listening skills.
  • The importance of identifying the source of referral, including formal or opportunistic screening.
  • The proportion of new to follow-up patients, and any differences in age range or in different diagnostic groups.
  • The different referral routes and the range of diagnostic, assessment and management pathways.
  • The range of diseases and conditions pertinent to history taking.
  • Factors relevant to history, including communication need, social factors, if appropriate, speech and language.
  • How to judge the reliability of information provided and the importance of recording these judgements.
  • The range of symptoms relevant to the clinical question.
  • The importance of obtaining information at a sufficient level of detail and the implications of insufficient or inaccurate information for diagnosis and management.
  • Identify the most common reason for attendance in at least one age range.
5 2,3,4,5

Perform the appropriate room set-up for different appointment sessions.

  • The need for a conducive environment for a safe and efficient appointment.
  • The combination of tests to be used and their efficacy.
  • The type and range of measurements to be taken, their correct sequence and the importance of following relevant protocols.
  • Protocols and procedures relevant to tests to be performed.
6 2,3,4,5

Explain the procedure to the patient, address any questions they may have relating to the procedure, including the process after the procedure and how they will be informed of the results.

  • The appropriate choice of investigation considering the findings from the history and clinical examination.
  • Common questions and concerns of patients about procedures.
  • Risks and benefits of undertaking the investigation.
  • The information needs of patients following investigation.
  • The authority level for provision of information to patients.
  • Common causes of neurological disorders/referrals and the populations disproportionately affected (e.g. by age, ethnicity).
7 2

Identify normal landmarks of the external auditory meatus (EAM) and tympanic membrane (TM) via otoscopy.

  • Normal and abnormal anatomy of the ear.
  • Knowledge of basic abnormalities and pathologies.
  • Safety requirements, including cross-infection techniques.
8 2

Gain informed consent for a pure tone audiogram (PTA).

  • The importance of explaining the procedure for each investigation to the patient and gaining informed consent.
  • The relevant procedures and requirements for patient conformance.
  • Principles, guidance and law with respect to informed consent.
9 2

Following initial familiarisation, record and accurately document with correct symbols, a non-masked PTA from a routine adult patient.

  • BSA procedure for obtaining a non-masked pure tone audiogram.
  • Principles of threshold measurements.
  • Types of transducers that can be used for air-conduction audiometry.
  • Differentiation between tests of middle ear and cochlear function.
  • The information needs of individuals relating to assessment of hearing.
  • The range of concerns that may be experienced by patients and carers.
  • How to identify concerns that fall outside the scope of planned investigations
  • Selection of tests in relation to patient condition, level of responsiveness, level of development, age-appropriateness and clinical question.
  • Techniques to maximise patient responsiveness and reliability of testing procedures.
  • How to check reproducibility and accuracy of results.
  • Appropriate stimuli for the purpose of the investigation and adjusted to avoid unnecessary patient discomfort.
  • Relevant recording methods and systems and their correct use.
  • Relevant terminology and symbols.
  • General testing
  • The range of tests available, their application, limitations and possible effects on patients.
  • The purpose and effectiveness of each assessment technique.
  • Factors influencing the effectiveness of assessment methods and 
  • how to manage these.
  • Contraindications to tests and appropriate action if found.
  • How to judge presence and categorise type and degree of abnormality or pathology.
10 3

Perform a subjective listening test and comment on the performance of a hearing aid, identify common errors or malfunctions and action as appropriate.

  • Range of devices, to include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, implanted devices and white-noise generators.
  • Relevant protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • The range of common hearing aid problems and how to troubleshoot and fix.
  • Principles of digital and analogue signal processing.
  • Prescription, compression and programming rationales.
  • The use and relevance of Hearing Aid Test Box Measurements.
  • Determine when additional tests (such as patient reassessment if no problem with the aid is found) may be required and action appropriately.
  • Accurately complete relevant recording action taken to address the patient’s concerns.
11 4,5

Summarise a patient’s history, suggest suitable aural rehabilitation strategies and recommend an initial management plan with a supervisor.

  • The type of hearing disorders that can be assessed by interview and questionnaire, which may include associated but relevant symptoms of tinnitus and vertigo.
  • How to modify and pace assessment to meet individual needs.
  • The range of abnormalities and pathologies associated with auditory and vestibular investigations, their likely prognosis and the implications of these for future patient management of patients of all ages.
  • How to interpret test results and present these in terminology that can be understood by patients and careers.
  • Options and choices for the treatment and management of conditions and their relevance to disorders, including likely outcomes, benefits and limitations.
  • The importance of facilitating patient choice in management.
  • How to confirm arrangements for referral to other specialists, agencies or support groups.
  • The range of support groups available for patients and carers and how to access current information concerning these.
  • Ethical issues surrounding the provision of care options, including consent issues.
  • The psychosocial implications of hearing and/or balance impairments and related conditions.
  • How to assess patients’ needs for advocacy or interpreting support.
12 4,5

Document findings and results from a basic adult patient with hearing difficulties, using the relevant patient management system. Discuss and evaluate any changes to previous results.

  • How to record information in a format that will enable further investigation.
  • Importance of language used, dependent upon to whom the report is sent.
  • How to collate and record results of assessments ready for the next action and treatment planning.
  • The information needed prior to investigations.
  • Next steps and possible treatment routes relating to hearing or balance disorders.

Work-based assessment

Complete 1 Case-Based Discussion(s)
Complete 1 of the following DOPS and/or OCEs
Type Title
DOPS Undertake an impression
OCE Obtain a full patient history from an adult patient relevant to the investigation and record the information accurately