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A hearing aid dispenser is a person who can read assessments written on the hearing of a patient and supply him with the necessary hearing aid. She can read the results of an examination, set up and modify the hearing aids, and work with him to make sure his hearing aid is working properly. The hearing aid dispenser will make changes if the current hearing aid is not working properly until the proper hearing aid is found. Those who wish to become hearing aid dispensers must first receive training and sit for an exam to gain their license.
Training lasts two years and is available to those 18 or older who fill out an application to begin their training period. The person in training works with a qualified hearing aid dispenser who will watch her progress and correct any mistakes. The trainer will continue to advise her until the end of the two-year period. After the internship is finished, she will sit for an exam. Every state in the United States provides the exam and a trainee can receive her license from any state, typically the state she is working in.
The test is known as a National Competency Exam and involves both a written portion, which must be taken first, and an examination portion. The test taker answers questions related to hearing aids and patient evaluation, among other things, on the written test. For the examination, she will perform a series of tasks related to checking the patient's report and administering hearing aids. The observer will note her actions and whether or not she performed the correct actions. If she passes both parts of the test with a high enough score, she will be granted a license to sell hearing aids.
When searching for a new hearing aid dispenser, it is important to check that she is licensed to administer hearing aids. Ask her if she is licensed and where she received her license. A state's website may allow users to search for a person to see whether or not she is licensed to dispense hearing aids, while others may offer this information when residents contact them personally. The state of California, for example, features a hearing aid dispenser search engine on its Department of Consumer Affairs Hearing and Dispensers Bureau website. Patients can use the search box to double-check that their hearing aid dispenser is licensed.