Milestones and Boundaries This first issue of the American Journal of Audiology: A Journal of Clinical Practice is another milestone in our long struggle to establish audiology as an independent profession. One can only commend the wisdom of the Association for recognizing the unique needs of audiologists. But this is only a minor ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   November 01, 1991
Milestones and Boundaries
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James Jerger
    Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Viewpoints
Viewpoint   |   November 01, 1991
Milestones and Boundaries
American Journal of Audiology, November 1991, Vol. 1, 6. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0101.06
 
American Journal of Audiology, November 1991, Vol. 1, 6. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0101.06
This first issue of the American Journal of Audiology: A Journal of Clinical Practice is another milestone in our long struggle to establish audiology as an independent profession. One can only commend the wisdom of the Association for recognizing the unique needs of audiologists. But this is only a minor skirmish in comparison with the many battles that still lie ahead—for example, defining our professional boundaries, our scope of practice, and the activities consistent with our unique role in the healthcare system.
The problem with most attempts to define a field's scope of practice is that people usually want to define the profession in their own image. They believe that what they do is what everyone else ought to be doing; thus, they define the field according to what they think is important rather than according to any unifying principle. However, a truly autonomous field or discipline is defined by a broadly-conceived mission. Audiologists do many different things according to work setting, interest, preference, or desire for financial well-being. We have at our disposal many different tools—audiometers, immittance bridges, evoked potential averagers, otoacoustic emissions devices, even topographic brain-mapping systems. We are unified not by all the different things we do, or by the various tools that we use, but by our singular mission: a focus on auditory disorder. We are the experts in the communication problems resulting from peripheral and central disorders of the auditory system.
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