Face-to-Face December 3, 1991 Editor, American Journal of Audiology: We read with great interest our distinguished colleague, Dr. James Jerger’s “Viewpoint” (Milestones and Boundaries) in the inaugural issue of the American Journal of Audiology (AJA). Dr. Jerger’s point that “a truly autonomous field or discipline is defined by a broadly-conceived mission” ... Face-to-Face
Face-to-Face  |   March 01, 1992
Face-to-Face
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James Jerger
    Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Face-to-Face
Face-to-Face   |   March 01, 1992
Face-to-Face
American Journal of Audiology, March 1992, Vol. 1, 11-12. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0102.11
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 1992, Vol. 1, 11-12. doi:10.1044/1059-0889.0102.11
December 3, 1991
Editor, American Journal of Audiology:
We read with great interest our distinguished colleague, Dr. James Jerger’s “Viewpoint” (Milestones and Boundaries) in the inaugural issue of the American Journal of Audiology (AJA). Dr. Jerger’s point that “a truly autonomous field or discipline is defined by a broadly-conceived mission” is well taken. Our interpretation of this statement, however, is different from that of Dr. Jerger. A broadly conceived mission should not be restricted to the narrowly defined scope of communication disorders. Although we do not believe that “what we do is what everyone else should be doing,” we do believe that in the 1990s there is room within our field for new and advanced clinical practice areas that have been appropriately earned by many of our colleagues through innovation, learning, and experience. The distinction between technician and clinician should not be based on what the individual does, but how the individual functions in a certain healthcare environment. One can argue that an audiologist performing predominantly pure-tone audiometry, without active participation in patient counseling and management, acts as a technician despite functioning within the narrow confines of communication disorders. Conversely, an audiologist managing a balance function program, including interpretation of results and the active participation in the administration of therapeutic measures, indeed functions as a clinician. In fact, the areas singled out by Dr. Jerger for exclusion from the scope of practice of audiologists have been recently accepted by the Legislative Council of ASHA for inclusion in the scope of practice. Opposition to the inclusion of new clinical practice areas into our field is counterproductive. We need instead to channel our efforts and energies to continue to improve our skills, influence training programs to provide up-to-date and relevant, state-of-the-art education, and continue our efforts to enhance our professional and economic status.
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