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RULE §111.92Assistant in Audiology License--Practice and Duties of Assistants

(a) A licensed assistant in audiology (assistant) must perform assigned duties under the supervision of a licensed audiologist who has been approved by the department to serve as the assistant's supervisor (supervisor).

(b) The assistant may execute specific components of the clinical hearing program if the supervisor:

  (1) determines that the assistant has received the training and has the skill to accomplish that task; and

  (2) provides sufficient supervision to ensure appropriate completion of the task assigned to the assistant.

(c) Duties that a supervisor may assign to an assistant, who has received appropriate training, include the following:

  (1) under direct supervision, conduct or participate in, hearing screening including screening otoscopy, tympanometry, otoacoustic emissions procedures and pure tone air conduction procedures, but may not diagnose hearing loss or disorders of the auditory system, or make statements of severity or implication;

  (2) under direct supervision, assist the audiologist with play audiometry, visual reinforcement audiometry, and tasks such as picture-pointing speech audiometry;

  (3) under direct supervision, assist the audiologist in the evaluation of difficult-to-test patients;

  (4) assist the audiologist with technical tasks for diagnostic evaluation such as preparing test rooms, attaching electrodes, and preparing patients prior to procedures;

  (5) maintain clinical records;

  (6) prepare clinical materials;

  (7) participate with the supervisor in research projects, staff development, public relations programs, or similar activities as designated and supervised by the supervisor;

  (8) maintain equipment by conducting biologic and electroacoustic calibration of audiometric equipment, perform preventative maintenance checks and safety checks of equipment;

  (9) explain the proper care of hearing instruments and assistive listening devices to patients;

  (10) maintain hearing instruments including cleaning, replacing ear mold tubing, minor hearing instrument repairs, determining need for repair, and performing biologic and electroacoustic checks of hearing instruments;

  (11) provide case history and/or self-assessment forms and clarify questions on the forms to patients as needed;

  (12) conduct basic record keeping and prepare paperwork for signature by the audiologist;

  (13) coordinate ear mold and hearing instrument records or repairs and other orders;

  (14) attach hearing aids to computers and use software to verify internal electroacoustic settings; and

  (15) perform other non-diagnostic duties not prohibited in subsection (d), for which the assistant has been trained and demonstrates appropriate skills, as assigned by the supervisor.

(d) The assistant shall not:

  (1) conduct aural habilitation or rehabilitation activities or therapy;

  (2) provide carry-over activities (therapeutically designed transfer of a newly acquired communication ability to other contexts and situations) for patients in aural rehabilitation therapy;

  (3) collect data during aural rehabilitation therapy documenting progress and results of therapy;

  (4) administer assessments during aural rehabilitation therapy to assess therapeutic progress;

  (5) conduct any audiological procedure that requires decision-making or leads to a diagnosis;

  (6) interpret results of procedures and evaluations, except for screening tests;

  (7) make diagnostic statements, or propose or develop clinical management strategies;

  (8) make ear impressions;

  (9) cause any substance to enter the ear canal or place any instrument or object in the ear canal for the purpose of removing cerumen or debris;

  (10) make any changes to the internal settings of a hearing instrument manually or using computer software;

  (11) represent audiology at staffing meetings or on an admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committee;

  (12) attend staffing meetings or ARD committee meetings without the supervisor being present;

  (13) design a treatment program;

  (14) determine case selection;

  (15) present written or oral reports of client information, except to the assistant's supervisor;

  (16) refer a client to other professionals or other agencies;

  (17) use any title which connotes the competency of a licensed audiologist; or

  (18) practice as an assistant without a valid Supervisory Responsibility Statement for an Audiology Assistant Form on file with the department.

(e) In any professional context the assistant must indicate the assistant's status as a licensed audiology assistant.

(f) A licensed assistant in audiology may not engage in the fitting, dispensing or sale of a hearing instrument under this chapter; however, a licensed assistant in audiology who is licensed under the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 402 may engage in activities as allowed by that law and is not considered to be functioning under the person's assistant in audiology license when performing those activities.

Source Note: The provisions of this §111.92 adopted to be effective May 1, 2018, 43 TexReg 2544; amended to be effective August 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 5172; amended to be effective December 30, 2021, 46 TexReg 9021

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